By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrea Perez, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs Office
MILLINGTON, Tenn.— With the announcement of the Fiscal Year 2013 E-7 selection board cycle Nov. 17, leadership reminds Sailors it is their responsibility to ensure their Official Military Personal File (OMPF) is up to date.
“It’s up to the Sailor to make sure that their service records are correct and not missing anything,” said Jim Giger, head of Records Management Policy Branch (PERS-313), Navy Personnel Command (NPC). “If a Sailor finds something is wrong, they should take steps to correct it as soon as possible.”
Sailors should not confuse their OMPF with the Electronic Service Record (ESR). They are two separate records with differing functions.
The ESR is an online version of the old field service record maintained at the command level. Information entered into the ESR is used to update corporate data, create documents for the OMPF, and provide up-to-date human resource information to a Sailor’s local command when the OMPF is not available. It’s not a permanent record like the OMPF. Also, when a Sailor is transferred or separated, temporary information is purged from their ESR.
Sailors can review and update their personal emergency contact information and other service record items in their ESR self-service account through the Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System (NSIPS) website at https://nsips.nmci.navy.mil. Sailors afloat can access their ESR self-service account through the ship’s NSIPS server.
If information is considered permanent, the personnel office or personnel support detachment (PSD) will verify, print, sign and send required documents to the OMPF to be retained permanently, said Giger
The OMPF is the record reviewed by selection boards and is also used to manage a service member’s assignments, training, advancement and separation.
Per NAVADMIN 349/11, the Fiscal Year 2013 E-7 selection board will review the OMPF of all candidates. If documents are missing from a candidate’s OMPF, they must submit those documents, along with a cover letter to the selection board president, to be reviewed by the board.
Letters sent to a selection board for consideration will not be added to a service member's OMPF permanently. BUPERSINST 1070.27 outlines all items that should or should not be submitted by officer and enlisted personnel and how to submit those documents.
“The longer a Sailor waits to correct something in their record or add something that is missing, the harder it is for NPC or the Sailor to validate there is an error,” said Giger. “If the error is not obvious, the Sailor has to show the personnel office the mistake and provide supporting documentation. If a Sailor waits too long, getting a copy of something like an old evaluation from a reporting senior could be very difficult.”
To securely review and print OMPF documents, Sailors can use OMPF-My Record on BUPERS Online (BOL) at https://www.bol.navy.mil. The application allows them to view, download and print documents such as Page 13s, performance evaluations, award citations, orders and other service record items. Downloading or saving documents to shared workstations is not recommended though, because OMPF documents contain personally identifiable information that could be compromised in a shared environment.
“We talk to service members every day that don’t know what’s in their record,” said Giger. “Make it a routine to periodically review your record. Every six months, go online and look at your ESR and OMPF, make sure your evaluations are there and see if anything new has been added. When you look at your OMPF and see that a document was electronically submitted from PSD, go into the record to see if it was accepted, because sometimes documents get rejected and you need to make sure they are resubmitted.”
After separation, OMPF documents are used primarily to protect the legal and financial rights of the government, veterans, their families and survivors, according to Giger.
“At least a quarter of the requests for records that we get here are from the Department of Labor and the Department of Veterans Affairs looking to see if a prior service member is eligible for some kind of a benefit,” said Giger. “If we don’t have documents on file in a service member’s record, we can’t provide them the information they’re looking for.”
“Sailors also need to keep a hard-copy of everything that affects their career while in the Navy so if they notice an error in their OMPF, they can go to the personnel office or PSD directly and get it fixed,” said Giger. “No electronic system is fool-proof and even though we have the ability to recover most corrupt files or images, sometimes we cannot, and obtaining a copy from the Sailor is the only way we can retrieve a copy of a lost image.”
If Sailors order a copy of their OMPF on a compact disc (CD) through BOL once new documents are added or their record is updated, the CD becomes outdated. Giger recommends Sailors access their records online via BOL for the most up-to-date service record information, said Giger.
For a complete description of all Navy human resource records or detailed instructions on how to update records, visit the records management and policy Web Page on the NPC website at www.npc.navy.mil/career/recordsmanagement/militarypersonnelrecords/Pages/default2.aspx
The OMPF on BOL reflects documents that have been received, reviewed, and accepted as official record documents. Recently submitted documents may not yet appear in the record. If a document was sent to NPC within the past 60-90 days, it may still be in processing, so do not resend. After 90 days, if the document still has not appeared in the OMPF, contact PERS-313 by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org before resubmitting. For additional assistance, contact the NPC Customer Service Center at 1-866-U-ASK-NPC.