Army Records Lessons Learned

The following was originally written by me on October 12, 2014. It’s posted on another blog site of mine that I no longer contribute to. Thought it would be worth passing along. Enjoy!!


After 22 years, and still going, in the Army I’ve learned a LOT about the Army Record Keeping System. Maintain your own!!! I am in the middle of updating my ERB and it’s a serious pain in the rear. Here’s my advice to all the young Joes out there.

  1. Create an “I Love Me” book to store all your certificates, DD214s, 1059s, promotion orders, profiles, etc.
  2. In your file cabinet…store all your LES’s you get in the mail. I keep my most important docs in my safe. Cause if they ever burn, that’s it.
  3. Don’t turn off “Hard Copy” of your LES. Keep every single one.
  4. Keep every single (D)ARP 249/NGB23 for your retirement points. You may not understand all that crap now but when it’s time to retire it’ll become VERY important. I am missing 3 years for some reason and am having a heck of a time trying to get them back.
  5. Frame and hang all your award certificates. It’ll preserve them plus remind you how squared away you once were.
  6. Log into iPerms often and keep track of what’s in there. Make sure every single document of importance you receive gets “Perm’d”.
  7. Keep track of “Service Ribbons” or “Automatic” ribbons you are authorized. No one will put you in for them automatically. It’s gonna be YOUR responsibility.
  8. Always double check your LES. Make sure your PEBD date is always the same. Mine has changed on me 4 times this year. I don’t know why.
Total Points for Retirement Pay is the amount used to calculate. your retirement pay. This column is less than Total Career. Points because it follows the 60/75/90/130 CAP set by Congress. For your Total Ret Points you add The CAP to ALL AD point. The caps are set by congress and they encompass MMSI IST MEM ACCP.

Here are a few other pieces of advice.

  1. Keep your ASUs up to date. However, I prefer to buy a brand new rack with all my ribbons prior to attending any board or DA Photo.
  2. Use “Sta-Brite” on your ASUs. It’ll look like you care about how you look. Your ASU is the storybook of your military career.
  3. Always keep a few service uniforms even after they’ve been phased out. I still have plenty sets of BDUs. Keep one looking nice and folded nicely or hung up. I also have a pair of Choco Chip DCU from Kuwait back in the 90’s and DCU from Iraq in ’03. I keep them in plastic. I even have a couple old BDU Patrol Caps. Your grandkids will thank you for it. Old desert/deployment floppy hats look cool on float trips too. I’ve got at least 6 pairs of black leather boots (jungles and green jungles, Corcorans, LPCs from Basic). 

Feel free to forward this along and add to it what you feel may be of importance.

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