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MARADMINS

IMPROVED AWARDS PROCESSING SYSTEM (IAPS) UPDATES

Date Signed: 2/12/2018
MARADMINS Number: 099/18

R 120848Z FEB 18
MARADMIN 099/18
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA MM//
SUBJ/IMPROVED AWARDS PROCESSING SYSTEM (IAPS) UPDATES//
REF/A/MSGID: MSG/SECNAV/R 211924Z AUG 17//
REF/B/MSGID: MSG/CMC/R 080731Z DEC 17//
REF/C/MSGID: MSG/CMC/R 151411Z SEP 17//
REF/D/MSGID/DOC/SECNAV/22 AUG 2006//
REF/E/MSGID: MSG/CMC/R 180933Z AUG 09//
NARR/REF A IS ALNAV 055/17 NEW DEVICES AUTHORIZED FOR WEAR ON CERTAIN MILITARY MEDALS AND RIBBONS. REF B IS MARADMIN 665/17 ADDITIONAL MARINE CORPS GUIDANCE ON NEW DEVICES AUTHORIZED FOR WEAR ON CERTAIN MILITARY MEDALS AND RIBBONS. REF C IS MARADMIN 513/17 ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS FOR EXPEDITING COMBAT AWARDS FOR VALOR. REF D IS SECNAVINST 1650.1H NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AWARDS MANUAL. REF E IS MARADMIN 514/09 UNIT AWARDS UPDATE//
POC/B.A. FELTY/CAPT/MMMA/HQMC/TEL DSN: 278-9342/COML (703)784-9342/EMAIL: BRIAN.FELTY@USMC.MIL/EMAIL: SMB_HQMC_PERS_AWARDS@USMC.MIL//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  The purpose of this MARADMIN is to announce several enhancements to the Improved Awards Processing System (iAPS) that were implemented on 7 December 2017 to support the requirements as directed in the references as well as numerous legacy upgrades.  Many of these enhancements were designed to provide improved electronic quality control features to reduce the potential for administratively incomplete or inaccurate awards recommendations that can delay the endorsement and approval process.  While accuracy and inclusion of many of the key elements of a complete award recommendation cannot be electronically validated, the enhancements to iAPS outlined in this MARADMIN will help eliminate many of the common errors and omissions.
2.  Pursuant to references (a) and (b), authorization for the wear of new devices, the following updates have been incorporated in iAPS.
2.a.  The new V, C, and R devices are authorized for awards with an end date of action on or after 7 January 2016.  iAPS has been updated to adjust the requirements for award recommendations with devices based on the end date of action being before or on/after 7 January 2016.
2.b.  The “Create Award” tab is updated to reflect tiles for all award options available for origination to include the multiple new options for award recommendations with the C and R devices.
2.b.1.  Award recommendations for the V device.  Depending on the end date of action, iAPS adjusts to produce the appropriate award requirements for either the new V device or the previously authorized “Combat V device”.
2.b.2.  Award recommendations for the C device.  The C device is not authorized for awards with an end date of action prior to 7 January 2016.  As such, iAPS has been blocked from originating award recommendations with the C device where the end date of action is prior to 7 January 2016.
2.b.3.  Award recommendations for the R device.  The R device is not authorized for awards with an end date of action prior to 7 January 2016.  As such, iAPS has been blocked from originating award recommendations with the R device where the end date of action is prior to 7 January 2016.
2.c.  The example citations in iAPS have been updated to reflect the proper opening and closing sentences appropriate for each level of award.  Additionally, the appropriate device comment is reflected for each specific award recommended with a device.
3.  Valor Awards.  Pursuant to reference (C), iAPS has incorporated the following enhancements to support valor award timeliness.
3.a.  Timeliness Requirements.
3.a.1.  Valor awards are required to be originated within 45 days of the end date of action.  Origination after the 45 day period requires the originator to provide a detailed comment justifying the delay in origination.  Any such comments should be reviewed by the chain of command to ensure the explanation of circumstances accurately accounts for the delay in origination.
3.a.2.  Valor awards are required to be processed within 10 days at each level of command up to the awarding authority.  In the event this 10 day requirement is exceeded, commands are required to provide a detailed comment justifying the delay in routing.  Any such comments should be reviewed by the chain of command to ensure the explanation of circumstances accurately accounts for the delay in routing.  Details pertaining to this 10 day processing requirement are outlined in reference (C).
3.b.  Document Requirements.
3.b.1.  All valor award recommendations require two signed and notarized witness statements.  iAPS now requires the award originator to attach the required witness statements to the award recommendation prior to completing the origination process.  Additionally, iAPS requires the originator to certify that these witness statements are both signed by the witness and notarized by an authorized notary public.
3.b.2.  All valor awards are required to present the summary of action for the award recommendation in the new “Standard Valor Award Key Information” format.  iAPS has been updated and incorporates this new format as the template for preparing the award summary of action.  This standard format is required for use in all valor award recommendations.  In the event that specific questions in the format do not apply, the award originator should enter “not applicable” but the overall format may not be amended.  Additional requirements pertaining to the use of the standard format are outlined in reference (C).
3.c.  Notification Requirements.
3.c.1.  IAW reference (C), commanders are required to notify the chain of command up to the awarding authority of the award being recommended upon endorsement and routing of the award recommendation.  To assist in forwarding the award recommendation up the chain of command, iAPS includes a new box labeled “Notification To.”  Commands must use this box to notify the official with authority to approve the nominated awards, as well as intermediate commanders who must endorse the nomination of the recommended award.  Having awareness, the award authority and chain of command are expected to monitor the progress of all valor award recommendations to ensure timeliness requirements are met.
3.c.2.  Use of the “Notification To:” requires the originating command to review the chain of command and level of the recommended award to ensure the proper routing of the award.  The “Notification To:” requires the use of the routing chain of command iAPS Unit Identification Code (UIC) and should be sent to all UICs appropriate for routing each specific award depending on the chain of command.  There is no limit on the number of UICs allowed in this tool.  Once sent, all Unit Awards Administrators (UAA) for each command will be notified via e-mail that a valor award recommendation has been originated by a subordinate command.  Upon receipt of this notification the chain of command must commence tracking procedures to ensure timeliness requirements IAW reference (c) are met.
3.c.3.  The highest command notification in iAPS can be sent to is CMC (HQMC, MMMA).  Notification for awards of the Silver Star or higher will be sent to MMMA at UIC M54000.
4.  Other Upgrade.  The following additional legacy upgrades have been incorporated into iAPS to better support program functionality, award recommendation accuracy, and administrative requirements for all personal awards.
4.a.  Award opening and commendatory (closing) sentences.
4.a.1.  References (A), (B), and (D) provide the specific guidance for each decoration and the exclusive opening sentence format for each respective award.  iAPS has incorporated each exclusive opening sentence per award IAW the references.  These opening sentences are exclusive to each award and are not authorized for deviation.
4.a.2.  Reference (D) provides the two authorized options for the commendatory (closing) remarks.  These options are specific and are not authorized for deviation.  iAPS has incorporated these two options as an either/or choice with both reflected in the preformatted citation of iAPS.  Award originators should select one of the options in the award recommendation drafting process.
4.b.  Award decision reflected on the individual award dashboard (red block in left corner of iAPS screen).  Upon the awarding authority entering their decision in iAPS for the subject award, a new list item will appear on the award dashboard to reflect that decision.  The purpose of adding the awarding authoritys decision to the dashboard is to reduce the number of administrative errors by units producing the wrong certificates when award recommendations differ from the final approved award.
4.c.  Authorized period for the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (MOVSM).  IAW references (D) and (E), the sustained time period for the MOVSM is three years.  iAPS has been updated to incorporate a block to prevent origination of an MOVSM if the period of the award being recommended is less than three years.
4.d.  Award Certificate Filing.
4.d.1.  Previously MMMA only recorded a copy of the complete NAVMC 11533 (NAVMC 11533, Draft Citation, and Summary of Action) to the members Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) for awards processed in iAPS.  The member was then responsible to send the associated award certificates to MMRP-20 for recording in their OMPF.
4.d.2.  iAPS has been updated to incorporate the “Certificate” tab located directly below the “History and Comments” tab for each iAPS awards case.  This certificate tab appears once the awarding authority has made a determination on the subject award case.  Prior to forwarding the complete award case to MMMA via iAPS, it is now required that a PDF scan of the award certificates be saved to the certificate tab and forwarded with the case to MMMA for recording to the members OMPF.  The only exception is the MOVSM.  For approved MOVSMs the command should save the Letter of Authorization to the certificate tab which will then be forwarded with the complete award documents to the members OMPF.
4.d.3.  iAPS has been updated to incorporate a block feature that will prevent the award from being forwarded to HQMC MMMA unless the certificate tab is saved with a copy of the award certificates.  This feature is meant to reduce the amount of individual, unit, and HQMC action required to update a members record.
4.d.4.  Awarding authorities must take special caution to ensure only the award certificates are added to the certificates tab as the iAPS system will pull all documents added to this tab and add them to the NAVMC 11533 and report them to the members OMPF.  The following comment is provided in iAPS for clarification:  “Note:  Certificates will only include the Approved Award certificates for the respective award.  DO NOT attach command letters of transmittal.  In cases where more than one certificate is issued, record them in the following order:  1.  Award Certification, 2.  Award Citation.”
4.e.  Commanders action on Disapproved “ZZ” Awards.  Specific to awards where the commander has determined to disapprove the award, the commander can choose to bypass MMMA review and forward the award directly to the iAPS archive, or the commander can choose to still send the award to MMMA for review and subsequent archive.  Awards that are disapproved are not recorded in the members official record and are only kept in the iAPS archive for historical purposes where they remain available by individual search.  This feature works on every award except the Combat Action Ribbon (CAR).  In cases were a CAR recommendation was disapproved, MMMA records the disapproved decision in the CAR/HSM database, in addition to archiving the award case in the iAPS archive.
4.f.  Unit Awards Administrator (UAA) home page information.  iAPS has been updated to incorporate additional information on the UAAs home page.  This information includes the “To” and “From” dates for all award recommendations currently assigned to the UAA.  The intent of adding these dates is to give the UAA the ability to prioritize the assigned awards by date to determine which awards might require urgent processing.
4.g.  Disapprove User Requests.  iAPS has been updated to incorporate “Disapprove” as an option for UAAs when reviewing user request for iAPS permissions.  UAAs should review pending user requests on a routine basis (i.e. weekly, monthly, etc.), reviewing user requests affords the UAA the option to approve all requested permission, part of the requested permissions, or disapprove the request.  Disapproval of the user permissions request will remove the member from the units iAPS hierarchy and record the members account as an inactive user.
5.  Background information regarding the iAPS updates announced in this MARADMIN can be found in the references that established the specific policy or requirement.
6.  Questions should be directed to the personal awards section (MMMA-2) at comm (703) 784-9342/9343 or DSN 278-9342/9343 or can be mailed to SMB_HQMC_PERS_AWARDS@USMC.MIL.
7.  This MARADMIN is applicable to the total force Marine Corps.
8.  Release authorized by MajGen Robert F. Castellvi, Director, Manpower Management Division.//