What It Means To Be An Intern
Congratulations on making it through a very competitive process and on
being selected as a new Department of the Army (DA) Human
Resources Specialist Intern. Having the title “DA Intern” is quite an
honor. A lot of people from inside and outside of the government
applied for the job, but you got it! The Army hired you because they saw
something in you that would benefit the organization. They saw a future leader in you.
As an intern, you may at times feel that upon finishing the program and being
permanently placed, you won’t know enough to be a GS-11 level specialist. In the back
of your mind you always need to have the thought, “When I am placed, I will still be a
GS-09 for six months, and I will still be in a training mode.” People will be aware of your
intern background and will understand what type of training you have received.
The Mobility Agreement must be signed prior to your entrance on duty (EOD). In signing
this document, you are agreeing to be placed where the Army needs you most. The
Department of the Army will have invested a lot of money in training you and paying your
salary for two years. They really don’t want you to leave the program because you might
not like your first duty assignment. That is why, with the help of the Civilian Human
Resource Agency (CHRA) Intern Program Manager, the Army tries to match intern
placement requests with the needs of the Army. If they can accommodate personal
preferences, they will. However, the Army’s needs must be considered first.
Going through each of the rotations you may feel a little overwhelmed and think you
need more time in each area. The point of doing these rotations is not to be an expert
on the subject, but rather to get a flavor and baseline knowledge of the different areas
of human resources within the Army. The main goal of the DA Intern program is to
groom you for leadership positions within the personnel community. You need to
learn all you can in each of your rotations to better understand the whole picture,
not just one aspect. Being an intern may at times involve taking a proactive
role in your training. If you ever feel that you aren’t getting the training you
need, talk to your team leader or your supervisor. They will likely be very receptive to
listening to your concerns. Just be sure to keep your trainers informed about whether
you need more or less of a workload. You’ll soon discover how important production is
in the Civilian Personnel Operations Center (CPOC) community. Once you show
yourself to be an asset in getting work done, you’ll be seen as a real part of the team.
You want to succeed, so take small steps forward until you feel comfortable with the
work. Each time you proceed to a new functional area rotation, you’ll feel like you’ re
starting all over again. It will all be okay as long as you can adjust to change, and
changes occur frequently.
You will be promoted to GS-09 upon completing your first year of training.
You don’t have to compete for this promotion, nor do you have to
compete for the GS-11 that you will receive after the second year.
These promotions are contingent upon fulfilling the Intern Training
Plan and performing satisfactorily. So, just remember to always do
a good job, be timely in completing your assignments, be
congenial to your coworkers and supervisors, stick to your training
checklist and you shouldn’t have any problems. It takes a couple
of weeks to process promotion paperwork, so you will not see the
increase in salary immediately.
Okay, Now What? New Employee Details
This section is mainly for those who are brand new employees with the Department of
the Army. You are going to find that there are so many variables in each person’s
entitlements and options that we couldn’t possibly address every conceivable situation in
this handbook. It is strongly encouraged that you seek more specific advice and
answers as the need arises. This handbook is only meant to provide you enough
information to ask informed questions about your own particular situation.
The Master Intern Training Plan
The training plan covers a two-year timeframe. During the first year you will be assigned
to a Civilian Personnel Operations Center (CPOC). After the first year, you will relocate
for six months to a Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC), possibly within the
region serviced by your CPOC. Upon completion of your 6-month CPAC rotation, you
will be permanently placed somewhere within the Continental United States (CONUS),
either at a CPOC or CPAC.
PCS - Permanent Change of Station (Moving!)
Ideally this handbook will reach you before you actually move to your new home and
training site. If that is the case, the following are some tips to make the transition a bit
smoother. If you’re getting this after the fact, look back and see if we were right about
any of this.
First of all, quickly complete all PCS forms sent to you and return them promptly. Any
delay at this stage of this process will end up giving you less time to plan your actual
move, and you will want as much time as you can get. The ideal is that you would get
your orders 45 days before you are expected to start your new job. If you aren’t prior
military or a military dependent, 45 days might not seem like enough time to pack up and
relocate, but if you follow guidelines it can happen smoothly.
The Department of the Army will pay for your move. They will cover the shipment of
your household goods (all the items in your house) up to a certain weight, a very
generous weight. They will also pay for your travel to the training site, which can be by
plane, but will most likely be mileage for your POV (privately owned vehicle), since it’s
convenient to have a car to use during this rotation. To arrange for the shipment of your
household goods, you will need to contact the nearest military base.
You will need a copy of your orders (that’s why you can’t dally
with the paperwork!). If you aren’t sure which military
installation is nearest to you (it can be any branch of the
military, not just Army), you can find out by contacting the
Intern Coordinator at your assigned region. The
absolute best part of this move is that you don’t do any of the
packing. You set up an appointment, and a
professional moving crew packs everything that you indicate
needs to be packed. They won’t pack open food items, anything
flammable or alcoholic. Keep things like personal documents (especially paperwork you
will need to register your children in school and all your in-processing forms) and several
days’ clothes and toiletries separate. Depending on how far you are moving, it may take
weeks for your boxes to reach their destination. So, you will need to decide which end
of your move you will prefer to live without some of your household items. You will be in
contact with the transportation office at your arrival site also. They will give you the date
when you SHOULD get your household goods delivered.
Most supervisors will allow you an administration day (day off without charging you
vacation time) to be at home for the delivery of your household goods. In general, you’ll
be given up to three days of admin time in order to get settled in, to have your cable
installed, to register your children in school and perform other familial tasks. That isn’t a
hard and fast rule, so ask on your first day and remember to save one of those days for
the delivery of your household goods. You can always take leave; but if you are a new
employee, you don’t really want to start using your leave this early!
Your sponsor may be able to give you specific information on your new hometown and
help you with finding a place to live and new schools. If you can manage a trip ahead of
your start date to look at houses or apartments, we recommend it. It is much easier to
move right in to your new place than to end up moving twice. It is also easier to
concentrate on starting a new job if you aren’t in temporary lodging. If you can’t scout
ahead, you will be able to stay in lodging on post, if available, but it will be at your own
expense unless you are a current federal employee (again I suggest you get specific
guidance from your CPOC contact or sponsor). If you do establish a new address prior
to moving, you will be able to make a smoother transition into new schools for your
children. Call ahead and ask what paperwork will be needed for registration; some
schools are not able to register a child and have them start school on the same day, so
prepare as much as you can ahead of time.
Now that you are physically located at your new home, it’s time to get prepared to start
your new career. The installation where you will work will have security at the gates.
Until you get your government identification (ID), it will be a bit of a hassle to get on
post. See if your Intern Coordinator has guidance on making that easier. You
will have orders assigning you to the installation. Perhaps the CPOC can call
ahead and have your name left at the gate. You may still have to go through
a vehicle inspection, so allow extra time to get on post the first day. If you
happen to have ID from the military or if you are a current federal employee,
drive on post ahead of time and locate the building to which you will report for
work. You may be able to get on with a visitor’s pass on this day too, so ask your
sponsor. Your first day is not the day to be late because you were lost or didn’t plan
enough time for gate security! Make sure you get specific information on where you are
expected to report on the first day, who you are reporting to and what time they are
You will have some flexibility on your tour of duty, a military term for the hours you work.
Some locations may offer the option of compressed work schedules or flex starting
times. The government pay system works on two-week pay periods. In each pay period
you will need to work 80 hours. You may have the option of working eight 9-hour days,
one 8-hour day and have an extra day off each two-week period. Or you can work 8-
hour days with starting times ranging from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. and have either a 30 or 60
minute lunch. These options will be explained to you in more detail by your local Intern
We suggest that you carry a notebook and pen around at all times. You’ll be given a lot
of information, and it will be hard to remember it all without some help
How should you dress for work? That is ultimately up to you, and you may end up
adjusting to the atmosphere of your assigned training team. The best suggestion
would be to go with business casual. You could wear a business suit, but
chances are you won’t feel the need to be that formal. In general, pants and a
shirt (with or without a tie) or skirt or slacks and a blouse or sweater are good bets.
After the first day you will get a feel for how the other employees dress (and also
what the temperature settings are in your building). Most places have a casual dress
policy for Fridays, when jeans are acceptable. Ask about this policy on your first day.
Keep in mind that you’ll be making a lot of first impressions. Presenting a professional
image may help you to make a good impression.
You should have been sent a pack of forms to fill out and some information on health
benefits and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) program. If at all possible, complete all of
your forms prior to your first day of work, as it could take some time to complete them.
You will be provided with information on your benefit options; but unfortunately you won’t
really be able to access the websites until you get IDs and passwords for computer
access. If you aren’t clear on which selections you will be making for insurance
coverage, at least fill out your personal information and then ask more questions from
the benefits person at your in-processing. Take several forms of ID with you on your first
day, e.g., driver’s license, birth certificate, and passport if you have it. After checking on
your paperwork, you will be asked to take an oath. This oath is essentially the same as
that taken by newly enlisted soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, and is an affidavit of
your willingness to uphold the United States Constitution.
During your first couple of days, you will be shown around the CPOC and introduced to
many people. Try to make note of the Director, Deputy Director and, of course, current
interns or recent graduates from the program. There are “DA Interns,” “Local Interns”
and “Functional Trainees.” There is some similarity in the training for each, but there are
obvious differences. A Functional Trainee is already in a designated specialty, and their
training will be focused in that one functional area. DA and Local Interns, on the other
hand, receive training in all the functions of personnel. Local Interns are placed locally.
It won’t take you very long to realize how automated the Army’s personnel system is.
Within a few weeks you will have log-ons and passwords to many sites and programs.
One site that is useful is Army Knowledge Online (AKO). It is mandatory for every
employee to register with AKO. The AKO email address moves with you and never
changes. The AKO site has useful links, news headlines, search engines to look up
anyone in the Army (military or civilian), chat rooms and instant messaging
CAUTION: What you use your government computer for, especially on official
time but really at any time, can get you in a lot of trouble if you don’t follow the
rules. The most blatant rule is DO NOT under any circumstances use your work
computer to access sites for gambling or pornography. Your system is meant for work
only. You can do personal searches on the Internet on your breaks or lunch, but keep it
reasonable. The government does have the capability of monitoring what sites you visit,
so just be smart and use official time for official business.
What’s in it for you? Benefits and Entitlements Information
Pay periods in the Federal government work on a two-week cycle. You will be asked to
provide a direct deposit form that will allow your paycheck to be deposited in your bank
account every other Thursday. Your first paycheck will take about four weeks to get to
you. Like most civilian companies, you have to work for two weeks to earn your first
paycheck. Then there is a two-week delay in actually getting paid, ergo the four-week
delay. But once it starts, it will come every two weeks. You will get a Leave and
Earnings Statement (LES) each payday, which you can also access online at
https://mypay.dfas.mil/mypay.aspx. This LES shows what you earned, what was
deducted and why and how much leave you have earned and used for the year. There
is other information also, such as how much you are contributing to your Thrift
Savings Plan. There is a “remarks” section on the bottom for general
information to all Federal employees.
Your paycheck consists of two main types of pay: basic pay and locality
adjustment. The basic pay is the same for all people in any given pay
grade and step. The locality pay is a percentage added to adjust your
salary to reflect the cost of living in your geographical area. The pay rates for all
government employees and the locality rates for the whole country are available at
http://www.opm.gov/oca/payrates/. We generally receive pay raises in January of each
year, but it’s a constant fight in Congress and is never a guarantee. There are built-in
increases of pay, including step increases and promotions. You will learn about those as
you get your training. As a DA Intern you can look forward to two automatic promotions,
as long as you perform satisfactorily.
Besides a sense of pride in serving your country, the best part of being a federal
employee is the benefits. There are many options, and you are urged to look into
specifics for your own considerations. This section briefly explains what you are entitled
to, with links to additional information.
After the initial in processing, you will be solely responsible for making any changes or
updates to your benefits. These actions are now done either online or on the phone.
The Army Benefits Center-Civilian (ABC-C) located at Fort Riley, Kansas, provides
automated benefits to DA employees through the Employee Benefits Information System
(EBIS), the Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS), and trained counselors.
ABC-C, https://www.abc.army.mil (EBIS)
Toll Free 1-877-276-9287 (IVRS)
The ABC-C automated systems give you unlimited access to your benefits and
entitlements. You can receive personal counseling, process transactions and
obtain general information on retirement, life insurance, health benefits, the
Thrift Saving Plan (TSP) and survivor benefits. The systems are available 24
hours a day, seven days a week, with live counselors available from 7:00 a.m.
to 5:00 p.m. central time, Monday through Friday to assist you with any issues regarding
your benefits and entitlements.
The ABC-C website can be accessed immediately to obtain general information
regarding your benefits and entitlement options. Approximately five days after you begin
working, you will be able to access either system to make your initial benefits elections.
There are various restrictions as to when you are able to add, delete or change
coverage in the various programs, so become familiar with ABC-C and all the
information it has to offer. Open Seasons are periods of time when you are able to
make unrestricted changes to a particular benefit. The health insurance has a regularly
occurring open season, and other programs have more sporadic open seasons. The
website will also explain how to designate beneficiaries and the proper forms to use for
all the various transactions. All benefits and entitlement elections must be made using
the automated systems (except where otherwise stated).
Now that you know where to go to make benefit choices, it’s a matter of knowing and
understanding what some of these benefits and entitlements are.
Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)
FEGLI is term life insurance. That means there is no cash or loan value, so employees
may not borrow from their life insurance. The employee pays 2/3 of the cost of Basic
insurance, and the full premium costs for optional insurance. The agency pays 1/3 of
the cost of the Basic premium, but none of the premium for optional insurance.
You are automatically enrolled in the Basic plan, and coverage is effective on the first
day of work, unless you have waived coverage. There are also optional coverage plans
for your spouse and family members. You must have Basic coverage to enroll in the
optional insurance. If you want optional insurance, you will have 31 days following the
date of your eligibility to make the election. Rarely is there an open season for life
insurance. Although you do have options of requesting coverage at a later date, it is
restricted and will require a physical at your own expense. Seriously think about your
decision if you are planning to waive this benefit.
Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program
The FEHB is a voluntary health insurance program that helps protect the enrollee and
their eligible family members (spouse and dependent children in general, get more
specifics from the website) from the expenses of illness and injury. As a regular full-time
employee you are eligible for coverage under the FEHB. Unlike the FEGLI, FEHB is not
automatic. You must enroll to have coverage. You may also waive this right to health
insurance through ABC-C.
You should review and decide your enrollment preference prior to in-processing. If an
election is done on the day of in-processing, a hard copy Employee Health Benefit
Election Form (SF 2809) can be accepted by the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center
(CPAC) immediately; otherwise, you must enroll through ABC-C. You will need a
Personal Identification Number (PIN) to do this, and it usually takes a few weeks. As a
new employee you may enroll up to 60 days after the date of your appointment.
Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
The TSP is a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal Employees.
The purpose of the plan is to provide retirement income. TSP is treated as a
trust and is tax deferred. This is the equivalent of a 401K plan in the private
sector. You are strongly urged to make the most of this benefit; it is arguably the best
benefit for a government employee. It makes up the bulk of your retirement plan and will
make it less likely that you will have to work for additional income in retirement.
Contribution elections are, of course, made through the ABC-C via the website or toll
free number. Newly hired employees may make contribution elections within the first 60
days of employment. Your elections will begin the first full pay period after the agency
has accepted the election form.
You can contribute up to 15% of your base pay to your TSP account. The agency
contributes 1% automatically and matches contributions up to 5%. Employees can
change or reallocate contributions at any time via the TSP website at
http://www.tsp.gov/. Contributions are made through payroll deductions each pay period
and can be stopped at any time. These contributions are taxed deferred.
There are various investment fund options with the TSP program. Each fund has
varying levels of risks and yields. We suggest that you research into each fund and
decide your own personal levels of risk. You can allot varying amounts in any
combination among the various funds. You have the freedom to make changes on a
daily basis if you choose.
TSP participants may apply for a loan through the Loan Program while still employed.
There are two types of loans available: a general purpose loan and a residential loan for
the purchase of your primary residence. You can review your account information on
the TSP website (www.tsp.gov) or by calling the TSP Thrift Line (504-255-8777).
Federal Government employees are entitled to two main types of leave: annual
leave (vacation) and sick leave. Employees earn annual leave at various rates,
depending on length of service. Creditable military time is also included in computing
length of service. Employees with less than three years of service earn four hours of
annual leave each pay period (13 days a year). Service lengths of three years through
fifteen years accrue six hours of annual leave each pay period (20 days a
year). Employees with fifteen years of service earn eight hours of leave each
pay period (26 days a year). Leave can be used as soon as it is earned.
There is no requirement to work a certain length of time prior to requesting leave, but
you should try to maintain a balance of both types of leave as much as possible. At
some point you will need to concern yourself with the maximum amount of annual leave
you may maintain per year, but you need not concern yourself with that your
first year! You should also be aware of the Family and Medical Leave Act
(FMLA), which gives you additional time off of up to 12 weeks of unpaid
leave for certain family circumstances.
Annual leave is an entitlement and right of an employee. However, it is the prerogative
of management to make the decision on when leave is to be used based on the needs of
the organization to accomplish its mission. Normally, an employee should request
annual leave in advance, but we all know that is not always possible. Both annual leave
and sick leave are requested and tracked by completing a Request for Leave or
Approved Absence (OPM Form 71).
Sick Leave can be used for a variety of reasons, including your own illness,
injury or medical appointment as well as the care of a family member with an
illness, injury or medical appointment. Sick leave for routine appointments
should be requested in advance. There are specific requirements for
“calling in sick,” and you should determine your local policies immediately.
Also make sure you have contact telephone numbers available at your
home should you find it necessary to use sick leave.
Sick leave is accrued at a rate of four hours per pay period for all full-time employees.
Local policies will also determine the minimum increments that sick leave can be used,
normally in 15-minute increments.
There are a myriad of other special “leaves” or excused absences that federal
employees are entitled to, e.g., voting, jury duty, organ donation. This information is
available at the following Office of Personnel Management (OPM) site:
The Heart of the Matter-Training
The Intern Program combines formal training with on-the-job training, so you get a good
mix of learning and doing. Although you will eventually be expected to be productive,
your main focus for two years will be training. There are all types of training methods.
The vast majority of your training will be on the job while working with a specialist in your
assigned branch. There will be formal classroom training sessions,
as well as some distance learning you will receive through
correspondence courses, computer-based training and video
teletraining (VTT). Hopefully you are a self-motivated learner.
Despite having a pre-established training checklist, you will have to
take responsibility to ensure you are getting this training, as well as
seeking other opportunities to learn. The on-the-job training is
broken up into five major rotations: Classification, Staffing, Human
Resource Development, Information Systems and Civilian Personnel Advisory Center
Civilian Personnel Operations Center (CPOC) Rotation
You will most likely start at the CPOC and spend the first year of your internship at the
CPOC. For the Classification and Staffing rotations you will be assigned to a Customer
Focus Division (CFD), which is divided into branches. These branches are organized by
the military installations they service. Within the branches there are teams that are first
split between classification and staffing and then usually staffing breaks further down
into teams by organization serviced.
Under ideal circumstances this will be your first rotation at the CPOC. Classification is
the foundation for the rest of the personnel processes. This is where the initial building
blocks will start for your new career as a Human Resources Specialist. This rotation is
going to give you a better understanding of the jobs available within the government.
Jobs are called “positions”; therefore, during this rotation you are going to learn how to
determine what kind of position a particular job fits. The classification system is a plan
that brings similar things together into groups based on some factor common to each
and for distinguishing the groups from each other.
Position classification first involves the sorting of positions into broad occupational
categories (examples: Engineer, Clerk, and Secretary). Each position within these
general categories is then placed in another narrower category, which more specifically
describes the work (examples: Civil Engineer, Structural Engineer, and Electrical
Engineer). Within these more specific categories, positions are then ranked according to
the level of difficulty and responsibility (Example: Civil Engineer, Senior Civil Engineer,
Supervising Civil Engineer).
You will be doing a lot of reading, writing, and arithmetic during this rotation You will
learn how to use the Defense Civilian Personnel Data System (DCPDS), as well as
several other programs. If you follow the “job aids,” you will be able to use DCPDS
without a problem.
During classification, position management is also done. This involves being able to
look at an organization and all the positions in it to determine the feasibility of the
requested position. Is there a need for one (or another) of those and is there justification
for another supervisor? Is this position covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act or
exempt (that will mean something to you after your training)? You will determine the
competitive area and level for that position which will come into effect during Reductions
in Force (RIF). This will mean more to you once you start working in this function.
During this rotation, you are going to start learning the terminology that will carry you
throughout your intern program. Just remember like everything else you learn, you have
to take it one step at a time and that is why you have sixteen weeks.
This is the heart of production in a CPOC. Staffers take a position description and a
position build from classification and create the job vacancy like the one you applied to
for the internship. There are several steps in doing this using multiple automated
systems. Putting out the announcement requires coordination with both the
CPAC and the manager to ensure you are advertising for the same qualities
they are hoping to find. Then the resumes start to come in. The staffer
determines if each applicant is: a) legally allowed to be considered, b)
basically qualified to apply based on minimum requirements, and c) well
qualified based on specialized experience. Those who make all three cut-
offs are put on a referral list from which the manager may make selections.
There are tons of rules on the order names appear on this list and who the
manager may consider ahead of others. It’s a very intricate procedure. After
the manager has conducted any interviews he chooses and makes a selection from
the referral list, the CPAC will make a tentative job offer. When the applicant agrees to
the job, you will come back into the picture. You will again go into DCPDS to get that
person ready to start work, including setting their pay rates and indicating their various
categories. All these steps are expected to happen within a time frame that Army has
designated as the standard. The automated systems track each step of the process and
how long it takes at each step. Those statistics receive a great deal of attention from
your team leader to the Director of CHRA TMD.
Staffing work covers more than new appointments, despite that being the most visible
type of action. Everything that is done to or for an employee requires a Personnel
Action. This means all types of things like pay raises, promotions, awards, retirements
and even dismissals are done in staffing. Staffing is probably the rotation that will
involve the most training. Besides the one-week Basic Staffing course, there are quite a
few other formal classes, correspondence courses and VTT classes to take. There are
major programs like the Priority Placement Program (PPP) that you will have to become
familiar with because of all the legal restrictions involved. You will need to understand
when you are required to open job announcements to various population groups and
when you can keep it localized. You will learn about who can apply for which type of
vacancy, how to read resumes and compare them with standardized qualifications and
determine who gets considered for a position. You will learn how to determine if a
person is being transferred versus promoted versus reassigned. You will learn how
much money the person should be getting in each of those situations. When the Army
reorganizes, you will need to understand who will keep their job and who may bump
another out of their job. You will learn what Veteran’s Preference is and who gets it and
what exactly they are getting preference for. You will learn how to calculate someone’s
Service Computation Date (SCD). This in turn affects how much leave they earn and
when they are eligible for retirement. There are so many aspects to Staffing. Once you
start work in this field, you will see why everyone is always so busy!
Human Resource Development (HRD)
This personnel function grew out of training. Although that is a major aspect to this
group, it is not all they do. The Army has a plan for each type of job. They have
determined what types of skills, knowledge and abilities (KSAs) a person should develop
or acquire at each grade level of each job series. It’s HRD’s job to offer training in these
areas, whether teaching the classes or locating outside vendors and organizing the
classes. They respond to requests for training not necessarily covered in KSA’s, like
stress management or dealing with change in the work place. Since you will spend two
years in a formal training program, you will have a lot of contact with HRD personnel as
an employee yourself. The Regional Intern Coordinators are located in the HRD
Information Services Division (ISD)
The ISD rotation will give you a good understanding of the technical workings of the
current automation system within the Army’s Human Resources Field. You will learn
from the ground up how the various databases operate: DCPDS,
Customer Service Unit (CSU) and Army Portal. More importantly you
will understand the relationship between the databases and how they are
dependent upon each other to help provide the best customer service
available. The ISD rotation also provides you with a level of confidence when working
with the computer and automation that is a good foundation as you progress through the
various other rotations. Finally, as automation continues to take over the Human
Resources Field, a successful completion of the ISD rotation affords interns the
opportunity to gain a better understanding of the big picture of Human Resources within
Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC) Rotation
Since the CPAC provides advisory services, there is much more person-to-person
contact between a CPAC personnelist and managers, new employees and perspective
employees. You will have several rotations built into this rotation ranging in length from
one day to 19 weeks. Once you arrive, there should be no travel involved other than
driving your car to a different building.
The Human Resources (HR) Specialist is the principal point of contact for labor relations’
matters for the CPAC and the organizations they service. Basically, labor relations
involves representing management in any union processes. You will follow closely
behind an HR Labor Specialist. You will learn to become the spokesperson, actually to
become more diplomatic, in dealing with management and the union. You will learn how
to interpret the law for management officials, and sometimes this can be very difficult.
You will attend meetings between management and the union, which can be very
interesting. However, sometimes they can also be very nerve racking or stressful. You
should greatly develop your Internet research skills during this training.
This aspect of personnel work is not for everyone, especially if you are shy,
but it is challenging, ever changing, and rarely boring. Along with
Management Employee Relations, this should be the main focus of your
training at the CPAC.
Management Employee Relations (MER)
Have you every heard the saying, “You can not fire a government employee”? This is
where you will find that the statement is just a myth. However, there are certain steps
that must be completed to get there, and you will learn them. The employee relationship
field is at the forefront of the human resource management scene. Good employee
relations are not only desirable, they are a necessity, helping to reduce absenteeism,
avoid costly disputes and harness goodwill to achieve optimum performance,
commitment, and effectiveness. You will watch, listen, and learn to provide guidance to
employees and/or supervisors on possible methods to solve work-related problems,
provide guidance to supervisors on actions that may be taken when an employee's
performance or conduct does not improve, and advise employees of their rights when an
employee believes that he/she has been treated inappropriately. This is also the arena
for establishing performance standards, which is the basis for all employees’ annual
ratings. The employee (including you) will be asked to provide input regarding the past
year’s accomplishments, which the supervisor will then consider when designating a
rating. Make note of all the major projects you work on and how many hours of training
you are completing, as these will be the focus of your intern ratings.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
For two weeks, you will be training with the EEO Specialist. You will learn why it is
important that this office sign off on the job announcements that you have been working.
You will see a similarity between the EEO complaint process and the grievance process
used in Labor Relations, and you will learn which process best serves which type of
Resource Management (RM) Rotation
This four-day rotation helps improve the organizational structure or position
management advice that you will be providing to the managers when you become a
specialist in a CPAC. During this rotation, you will also develop a better understanding
of the planning and budgeting processes of the organization.
During this one-day rotation, you might be able to wear a hard hat and follow behind
a safety specialist while he does a safety inspection, or just sit in the office and talk
about what safety programs are in the organization. The other side of Safety deals with
the Workers’ Compensation relationship. Most Workers’ Comp Specialists are assigned
to the Safety Office, and they work closely with the CPAC to assure that claims are
properly identified and processed.
Major Command (MACOM) Rotation
You will also have a two-week rotation at a MACOM, which will more than likely involve
some travel and hotel stays. A MACOM is basically the higher headquarters for the
CPAC, based on that installation's function within the Army.
You will be given a training checklist which lists all of the courses you’ll be
required to take over the next two years. Many of the courses are available on-
line, so you can do them right at your desk and on government time. Completing
the courses on the checklist IS part of your assigned duties so you are allowed,
and usually encouraged, to do them during working hours.
Several of the Computer-Based Training (CBT) courses are administered by CHRA TMD
and can be found on their website at http://www.chra.army.mil/TMD/cpoc_dl.htm. These
courses can take from 2-8 hours to complete, depending on how fast you read. They all
consist of reading information and taking a test on each section with a unit overview test
at the end. When you finish taking a course and get the certificate printed, bring a copy
to your Intern Coordinator. A copy is placed in your Intern folder and the data is entered
in the system so your training completions are permanently documented. It’s the only
way to prove that you did actually complete the course.
Other types of training that you can complete via computer are Army e-Learning
courses. There are three required courses on your checklist that you access through
SkillPort: Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. You can access the Army e-Learning
site from Army Knowledge Online (AKO) at http://www.army.mil/ako/. The AKO website
will have a link to the Army e-Learning site which will walk you through the steps to set
up an account and obtain a User ID and Password.
Other training that you can complete at your desk is correspondence courses. The Army
Institute for Professional Development (AIPD) at website
https://www.aimsrdl.atsc.army.mil/secured/accp_top.htm has one class you are
required to take, the “Action Officer Development Course.” These classes are
FREE. All of the training classes that you take as an Intern are free to you.
On occasion you may be required to travel to CHRA TMD or other installations to attend
classes provided by CHRA TMD’s Training Management Division (TMD). There are only
five “basic” courses that you need to take. The good thing about traveling for courses is
you get to see new places and meet your fellow Interns. It is your responsibility to make
travel arrangements to attend CHRA TMD training sessions. You will travel on normal
commercial flights (or drive) and stay at a hotel or guest housing on post. If you have
any questions about making travel arrangements, consult with your Intern Coordinator.
Video Teletraining (VTT) is another method of distance learning used to train
interns without incurring all the costs associated with travel to an off-site location.
VTTs will be scheduled for your site by the HRDD. Two TV screens are used,
with the Instructor shown on the main screen and training aids shown on a second
screen. You can ask questions and interact live with the Instructor.
If you have completed your required training, you can take additional courses that are
not on your list, but still pertain to your professional development. On the Army e-
Learning and AIPD course sites, you’ll notice there are more courses than just the few
you are required to take. There will be times when you are in-between assignments and
need something to keep you busy. These additional courses are a great, and wholly
appropriate, way to use your time wisely. Training is a large part of the Intern Program
and one of the benefits. Not many jobs will allow you to develop your skills at their cost.
Two Years Later - Now What . . .Again?
When you’ve completed your two-year intern training program, the
mobility agreement may come into play again. You will be informed of
your permanent placement before the end of the two-year training
period. Remember, the CHRA TMD Intern Program Manager is bound
by the needs of the Army when making intern placement decisions.
The normal process is to survey the CPOCs and MACOMs to determine
where there is a need for a GS-11 personnelist. Then the list of potential
placement sites will be distributed to the graduating interns to determine their
preferences and any compelling requests or hardship considerations. The CHRA TMD
Intern Program Manager will make every effort to meet your requests. But remember
the needs of the Army come first. That’s the reason you signed the mobility agreement.
It’s Like a Whole Other Country - Working in a Military Environment
In many ways, working on a military installation is no different
than any other job, but there are some notable exceptions.
The first one you will notice is the security. On most
installations there are armed guards at the entrances and a
sign that says your vehicle may be searched. Don’t be
surprised if that happens, especially your first day. Always be
prepared to show your ID. Keep it handy, and keep it safe.
Trying to get to work without it can be a major challenge and
replacing it can be difficult. Keeping your trunk as empty as possible will also facilitate
One thing exclusive to military installations is marching formations. You may have to
drive around soldiers that are marching or running in formations. Most installations will
have signs posted that say something like “10 mph while passing troops.” Any tickets
you receive on post will be brought to the attention of your supervisor, so take heed and
follow all traffic signs. Whether you see a sign or not, slow down when passing soldiers
marching or running in formations. Watch for areas that completely prohibit passing
formations going in the same direction as you. You’ll learn which roads to avoid at which
times of day, generally the start and end of their training days and before and after
There are some things on military installations that are for the exclusive use of military
members and their families. Currently, civilian employees are not allowed to use the
Post Exchange (PX), Commissary, post gas station, or shoppettes. Civilians are allowed
to use any restaurants or other places run by independent companies or contractors.
Places such as Burger King, Tony’s Pizza, dry cleaners and the florist are open to
civilians. Each installation may have policies specific to them so, once again, ask.
These businesses are convenient and often cheaper than their off-post counterparts.
Sometimes the movies at the theater are FREE!
Soldiers are professionals, just the same as we are. They take their rank structure, their
responsibilities, and their authority very seriously. It is a very structured organization
where soldiers are accustomed to giving and following orders.
We are all here, ultimately, for the warfighter. It might be easy to lose sight of this fact if
you are working at a base without a large active military mission, but you need to remind
yourself of the soldiers and the true mission of the Army. The bottom line reason for
your job is that our government sometimes finds it necessary to send soldiers in harms
way; that’s why the Army exists. We ensure these soldiers are trained, maintained, and
equipped for any situation. Our war-
fighters are the best in the world. They
work hard and train hard. They put their
lives on the line every time they perform
their mission, and they deserve nothing
less than our very best.
The Rank Structure of the Army
One of the top priorities is to learn the Army’s rank structure. Know the basics like
calling a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) “sergeant,” and calling officers either by
his/her rank or “sir” or “ma’am.” Soldiers work hard to attain their rank, and they
appreciate it when their work is acknowledged. If you do get their rank wrong, they’ll
correct you - Immediately. If you aren’t sure what the correct term is, ask them. Better
to ask, than to offend. If they want to be informal, they will initiate it. When in doubt, err
on the side of formality.
Don’t confuse rank with pay grades, such as E-1, W-2 and O-5. Pay grades are
administrative classifications used primarily to standardize compensation across the
military services. The "E" in E-1 stands for "enlisted" while the "1" indicates the pay
grade for that position. The other pay categories are "W" for warrant officers and "O" for
commissioned officers. Some enlisted pay grades have two ranks. The different
branches of the military have different ranks and titles. There are many similarities, and
you’ll learn general rules soon enough. Start by learning the Army rank, since that is
what you will encounter most often. Find out which other branches are located at your
training site and work to learn those.
This chart will help you distinguish Army rank more easily:
Insignia Pay Grade – Rank How to address Abbreviated
E1- PRIVATE PRIVATE PV1
E2- PRIVATE PRIVATE PV2
E3- PRIVATE FIRST CLASS PRIVATE PFC
E4- CORPORAL CORPORAL CPL
E4- SPECIALIST SPECIALIST SPC
E5- SERGEANT SERGEANT SGT
E6- STAFF SERGEANT SERGEANT OR
E7- SERGEANT FIRST CLASS SERGEANT OR SFC
E8- MASTER SERGEANT SERGEANT OR MSG
E8- FIRST SERGEANT FIRST 1SG
E9- SERGEANT MAJOR SERGEANT SGM
E9- COMMAND SERGEANT SERGEANT CSM
E9- SERGEANT MAJOR OF THE SERGEANT SMA
WO1- WARRANT OFFICER MISTER W01
CWO2- CHIEF WARRANT MISTER CW2
CWO3- CHIEF MISTER CW3
CWO4- CHIEF WARRANT MISTER CS4
CWO5-CHIEF WARRANT MISTER CW5
Insignia Pay Grade – Rank How to address Abbreviated
O1- 2ND LIEUTENANT LIEUTENANT 2LT
O2- 1ST LIEUTENANT LIEUTENANT 1LT
O3- CAPTAIN CAPTAIN CPT
O4- MAJOR (Gold MAJOR MAJ
O5- LIEUTENANT COLONEL OR LTC
(Silver insignia) COLONEL
O6- COLONEL COLONEL COL
O7- BRIGADIER GENERAL OR BG
GENERAL (1 STAR) BRIGADIER
O8- MAJOR GENERAL (2 GENERAL OR MG
STAR) MAJOR GENERAL
O9- LIEUTENANT GENERAL OR LTG
GENERAL (3 STAR) LIEUTENANT
O10-GENERAL (4 STAR) GENERAL GEN
GENERAL OF THE ARMY GENERAL OR
(5 STAR) GENERAL OF THE
The Pecking Order
Chain of Command/Chain of Concern
Below is a list of the key positions in the Army and in the civilian personnel side of the
Army. With the exception of the CPOC chiefs and some of the people at CHRA TMD,
your chances of personally interacting with these players are small. What is important to
learn is the idea of using your “chain of command.” We adopt the saying from the
military, although it isn’t quite the same concept. Take your questions, problems and
suggestions to the lowest supervisory level possible to address any issue. If you
encounter a roadblock or that person isn’t able to help you, then go to the next level. As
an intern your main chain of command is: Trainer/Team leader (if work related), then
Supervisor, Regional Intern Coordinator and finally, after going through them all, the
CHRA TMD Intern Program Manager. It’s important to identify the individuals who hold
the supervisory positions in the interns’ Chain of Command.
President of the United States, Commander in Chief
Secretary of Defense
Secretary of the Army
Army Chief of Staff
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civilian Personnel Policy)
Director, CRHA TMD
Director, Europe CPOC
Director, Korea CPOC
Director, North Central CPOC
Director, Northeast CPOC
Director, Pacific CPOC
Director, South Central CPOC
Director, Southwest CPOC
Director, West CPOC
CHRA TMD Intern Program Manager
Regional Intern Coordinators at each CPOC
Did you know that you could find answers to many of your questions by reviewing the
Personnel Management and Information Support System (PERMISS)? This source
provides you with topic-based information to many issues effecting government
employees. View PERMISS at http://cpol.army.mil/library/permiss/p_index.html
Defense Civilian Personnel Data System (DCPDS) User Guide
The DCPDS is a human resources information system that will support civilian personnel
operations in the Department of Defense (DOD). The system allows the Department to
move from multiple systems to a single information system for DOD civilian employees.
It is designed to support appropriated fund, non-appropriated fund, and local national
human resources operations. See http://www.cpms.osd.mil/regmod/ for information.
DCPDS How-To Guide - Provides how-to instructions and answers for any operation in
the DCPDS system. http://www.cpocma.army.mil/deskguid/howto.htm
Make your own personnel file; keep copies of all paperwork that you receive
(e.g., SF-50s, evaluations, travel orders).
Know how to read an SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action – NPA).
Network with your fellow interns and classmates that you meet.
Make the most out of every opportunity.
No task is too simple or too difficult. View every task as a stepping stone and
Make suggestions as to the types of training or tasks you would like to learn.
Talk to other employees about their experiences and what they have learned
along the way.
Keep abreast of up-to-date information in the HR field.
Don’t be afraid to make a mistake.
Use your training status wisely. Learn as much as you can, while you have the
Keep an open-mind.
Maintain a paper trail.
Share information with other interns.
Choose a mentor(s).
Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance or instructions.
Volunteer for projects.
Write down everything you do. It will be useful for performance evaluations and
Commonly used forms:
DA Form 7222 Senior System Civilian Evaluation Report
DA Form 7222-1 Senior System Civilian Evaluation Report Support Form
DD Form 1351-2 Travel Voucher
DD Form 1610 Request and Authorization for Temporary Duty (TDY) Travel
DD Form 1556 Request, Authorization, Agreement, Certification of Training and
OPM Form 71 Request for Leave or Approved Absence
Frequently visited websites:
CHRA TMD http://www.chra.army.mil/tmd.htm
DA HR Intern Page http://www.chra.army.mil/DAInterns2/index.htm
Redstone Arsenal http://www.garrison.redstone.army.mil/
For tips and info on dress codes: Employee Guidelines
Glossary of Terms and Acronyms
In your daily interaction with "America's Army," you may hear words or phrases that are
unfamiliar. If you don’t know the word or acronym, ask what it means. The following list
provides some of the acronyms most commonly used or that you will encounter most
frequently. This is by no means an all-inclusive list.
ABC-C- Army Benefits Center-Civilian- Provides a full range of benefits and
entitlement services to Army employees through a centralized automated center.
Performs all advisory services and transactional processing for Federal Employees'
Health Benefits (FEHB); Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI); Thrift
Savings Plan (TSP); retirements to include - Federal Employees' Retirement System
(FERS) and Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS); and survivor benefits (death and
dismemberment). Responsible for delivery of services via the web, automated
telephone access and trained counselors.
ACTEDS- Army Civilian Training, Education and Development- A Department of the
Army program providing civilian employees and supervisors guidance for a Career
Development Plan (CDP).
AKO- Army Knowledge Online- The one stop for Army information, AKO provides a
career lifetime email address, customizable Portal, and online transaction processing
capabilities, accessible to its customers anywhere in the world.
AOC- Area of Consideration- For staffing purposes, it is the group of applicants that
are eligible to apply to any particular announcement.
AODC- Action Officer Development Course- One of the many online courses that you
will be required to take.
AP- Appropriated Fund- One of two types of government employees (interns are AP
AR- Army Regulation- Official publications from the Department of the Army providing
guidance on various aspects of the Army.
AUTHORITY- See FLRA- Federal Labor Relations Authority
AWS- Alternative Work Schedule- One of several options to working less than the
usual 10 days in a two-week period.
BU- Bargaining Unit- A group of employees who share a community of interest, and
who are collectively represented by a labor organization.
Career Field- A career field is a group of functionally related positions under a single
agent for life cycle personnel management purposes. All positions within Army are in an
identified career field. The Army Personnel Proponent System, AR 600-3, is the
regulation covering career fields. There are 54 civilian career fields.
Competitive Area- A competitive area, for reduction-in-force purposes, is an
organizational entity in which employees compete with each other to determine who will
retain his/her position, who will be separated, or who will be offered another position.
CBA- Collective Bargaining Agreement- A contract between a labor organization and
activity management entered into as a result of collective bargaining.
CBT- Computer-Based Training- Many of the courses that you will be required to take
during your internship are computer based. This is just like taking an online
correspondence course. They are generally self-paced, but they do usually have a
deadline for course completion.
CFD- Customer Focus Division-This is the CPOC’s way of describing the divisions
which are broken into various branches that encompass staffing and classification.
CFR- Code of Federal Regulations- A codification of the general and permanent rules
published in the Federal Register by the Executive departments and agencies of the
Federal Government. Corresponds to the United States Code (see USC)
CL- Competitive Level - A group of positions, NOT PEOPLE, in a competitive area in
the same grade and classification series. These people are similar enough in duties,
qualification requirements, pay schedules, and working conditions that the incumbent of
one position can successfully perform the duties of any other position in the level without
any loss of productivity beyond that normally expected in the orientation of any new but
fully qualified employee.
CONUS- Continental United States- This is all the states except Alaska and Hawaii.
CP-10 - Career Program 10- The Civilian Human Resource Management career
program. This is the career field you are in.
CPAC- Civilian Personnel Advisory Center- The part of the personnel organization
that is tasked with providing direct advice to the manager on personnel issues.
CPOC- Civilian Personnel Operations Center- One of seven centers: 5 CONUS, 2
OCONUS which do the processing of personnel actions, classification of jobs, issue
referral lists, set pay, etc. They do the behind-the-scene personnel work.
CHRA - Civilian Human Resources Agency- Located on Aberdeen Proving Ground,
Maryland. It is responsible for operational effectiveness of the CPOCs, to include
establishing and maintaining standards and measurements, total quality management,
employee development and training, organizational development and workforce
CPOL- Civilian Personnel Online- Your home page and your access to Army civilian
employment, training and career opportunities. This site also allows you admittance to
the Army civilian personnel library, Personnel Management Information and Support
System (PERMISS), Position Description (PD) Library, and links to other civilian
personnel information and sites.
CSRS- Civil Service Retirement System- Originated in 1920 and has provided
retirement, disability and survivor benefits for most civilian employees in the Federal
government. (Has since been replaced for new employees with FERS)
CSU- Customer Service Unit- One more automated system used in personnel.
CWS- Compressed Work Schedule- Like AWS, but usually referring to four 10-hour
days per pay period
CYA-Cover Your Self- The motto of most government employees
DCIPS- Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System - Personnel system for
positions in the intelligence community.
DCPDS - Defense Civilian Personnel Data System - The automated system used by
the Army to process personnel actions.
DFAS- Defense Finance and Accounting Service- The people who pay you and
through whom you process all PCS and travel claims.
DSN- Defense Switch Network- A telephone system for government-to-government
calls. You will have two phone numbers at your desk, one commercial and one DSN.
EEO- Equal Employment Opportunity- Provides employees with a right and a
procedure for redress in instances in which they have suffered discrimination based on a
limited number of personal characteristics.
EEOC- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission- Established by Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC enforces the following federal statutes: Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967, the
Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963, Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA) of 1990, Section 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Civil Rights
Act of 1991 providing monetary damages in cases of intentional discrimination and
clarifying provisions regarding disparate impact actions.
EOD- Entrance on Duty- The day an employee starts working for the Federal Service.
FECA- Federal Employees Compensation Act- Workers Comp for federal employees.
FASCLASS- Fully Automated System for Classification- This application automates
position descriptions (PD's), provides a searchable automated Master File of PDs.
Besides standardizing, simplifying, and expediting internal classification and staffing
processes with the CPOCs, this web-based system simultaneously provides current PDs
and organizational structures to Managers/Supervisors and Civilian Personnelists who
have Internet access.
FEGLI- Federal Employee Group Life Insurance- Life insurance.
FEHB- Federal Employee Health Benefits- Health insurance for federal employees
FERS- Federal Employee Retirement System- This is your retirement system. The
retirement system is a three-tiered plan. The three components are Social Security
Benefits, Basic Benefit Plan, and Thrift Savings Plan Benefits.
FLRA- Federal Labor Relations Authority- Administrative body which interprets and
oversees compliance with the Federal Labor-Management Relations Statute.
FLSA- Fair Labor Standards Act- 1938 (applicable to federal employees as of 1972),
Provides for minimum standards for both wages and overtime entitlement, and spells out
administrative procedures by which covered work time must be compensated.
FY- Fiscal Year- The twelve months included in any given budget. Runs from October 1
through September 30 of the following year.
GS- General Schedule- What are considered the “white collar” jobs in the appropriated
funds personnel system.
GSSG- General Schedule Supervisory Guide- Standard used to rate supervisory jobs
to determine proper grade level.
The Hatch Act- Under the 1939 Hatch Act, federal employees, employees of the District
of Columbia (DC) government, and certain state and local government employees faced
significant restrictions on their ability to participate in political activities. With the 1993
amendments, many federal employees (including Army civilian employees) are now
permitted to take an active part in political management or in political campaigns.
However, certain federal agencies and categories of employees continue to be subject
to important restrictions on political activities (including partisan candidacy, solicitation of
contributions, and on-duty political activity). The penalties for violating the Hatch Act
restrictions are very severe.
HRD- Human Resources Development- The training section of a CPOC.
IDP- Individual Development Plan- Outline for an employee’s training and skill
I&I- Impact and Implementation Bargaining- A form of mid-term bargaining over the
terms of implementing a change where the change itself is non-negotiable, i.e., it’s
negotiating on management actions rather than on terms of the actual agreement.
Intern Leadership Development Course (ILDC)- Training designed to provide interns
with an understanding of the structure of the US Army, the Army's leadership
competencies, and a familiarization with their emerging roles as tomorrow's leaders;
training usually lasts about 5 days. This is an intensive course which encourages “out-
ISD-Information Services Division- Manages the regional information infrastructure
and provides technical and operational leadership for the region in the deployment,
modification and utilization of approved DOD personnel automation systems and general
JTR- Joint Travel Regulation- Pertains to per diem, travel and transportation
allowances, relocation allowances, and certain other allowances of DOD civilian
employees related to travel.
KSA- Knowledge, Skills and Abilities- As outlined in an ACTEDS plan, the
“characteristics” a person should have at any given grade level in the career field.
LEAD- Leadership, Education and Development- The follow-on training program after
ILDC; generally for new supervisors.
LES- Leave and Earnings Statement- Document explaining your pay and leave status
for a pay period and some additional information.
Long-Term Training (LTT)- Training that lasts longer than 120 days.
LWOP- Leave Without Pay- A temporary non-pay status and an authorized absence
from duty, or issued when the employee has insufficient annual leave or sick leave, or
compensatory time available to cover an approved absence.
MACOM- Major Command- Higher headquarters for various specialty fields in Army.
MER- Management Employee Relations - Technical advice and assistance on
employee relations provided by CPACs to managers, supervisors and employees.
MSPB- Merit Systems Protection Board- An independent quasi-judicial agency
established to protect Federal merit systems against partisan political and other
prohibited personnel practices and to ensure adequate protection for employees against
abuses by agency management. See website http://www.mspb.gov/.
NAF- Non-Appropriated Funds- The other type of federal employee; it has to do with
where the funding for our paychecks comes from.
NCCPOC- North Central CPOC- located at Rock Island, IL
NECPOC- Northeast CPOC- located at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
NPA- Notification of Personnel Action- What an employee receives as record that a
personnel action has been done regarding them.
PM&C- Position Management and Classification- Title for classification.
OCONUS- Outside Continental United States- All foreign countries as well as Alaska
OPM- U.S. Office of Personnel Management- The personnel agency of the executive
branch charged with the mission to administer most Federal laws and Executive orders
dealing with all aspects of civilian personnel management and administration in the
OWCP- Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs- Where federal employees
process on-the-job injury claims.
PERMISS- Personnel Management Information and Support System - A searchable
online system for researching guidance on personnel issues.
PPP- Priority Placement Program- A complex program for giving higher consideration
for employment to different groups of people.
RDO- Regular Day Off- A scheduled day off from work.
RESUMIX- The automated system used to receive, process and rate resumes.
RIF -Reduction in Force- When the agency releases a competitive employee from
his/her competitive level by: Furlough for more than 30 days, Separation, or Change to
Lower Grade. RIF is a very complicated situation that is difficult to explain in a definition.
Please refer to PERMISS for a complete definition.
RPA- Request for Personnel Action- The document an agency initiates for any type of
RPL- Reemployment Priority List- List of previously displaced employees that should
be given first consideration to the type of position they were downgraded from.
SCCPOC- South Central CPOC- located at Redstone Arsenal, AL
SCD- Service Computation Date- The adjusted date from which you are credited with
service time to the federal government. There are different dates used for different
purposes like retirement, RIF standing, and leave accrual.
SES- Senior Executive Service- The civilian equivalent of generals in the Army.
STATUTE - Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute- The basis of the
labor-management relations program, which is in 5 USC 7101 – 7135.
SWCPOC- Southwest CPOC- located at Ft. Riley, KS
TAPES- Total Army Performance Evaluation System- System used to accomplish
employee annual ratings.
TIG- Time in Grade- How long you have spent at a particular pay grade.
TDY- Temporary Duty (Travel)- A work situation involving travel, where you are
temporarily reporting to a duty station other than your regular place of work (e.g., travel
to attend a one-week training session).
TMD- Training Management Division- The HRD of CHRA TMD; they oversee training
for all civilian personnel.
TOF- Transfer of Function- Deals with the right of employees to accompany their work
when it is moved to a different competitive area or geographic location.
TSP- Thrift Savings Plan- Equivalent to a 401K plan for federal employees; part of your
ULP- Unfair Labor Practice- Actions on the part of the activity management or labor
organization which violate rights granted under the Federal Labor-Management
USC- United States Code- The actual law that all regulations are ultimately based
VERA- Voluntary Early Retirement Authority- Allows eligible employees to retire early
in order to save themselves from separation or to create vacancies that can be filled by
surplus employees who would otherwise be separated.
VSIP- Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay (buyout)- Separation incentive used by
management as a tool to decrease authorized levels and accomplish streamlining
objectives, while minimizing any potential adverse impact on the workforce.
VTT- Video Teletraining- Distance learning accomplished using the Satellite Education
Network (SEN) and the Teletraining Network (TNET).
WCPOC- West CPOC- located at Ft. Huachuca, AZ
WG- Wage Grade- The “blue collar” jobs of the appropriated fund system.