ARLINGTON, Va. — The Marine Corps is introducing a new computer system that should ensure Marines get their awards more quickly.

As of March 1, all recommendations for awards will be processed through the improved Awards Processing System, or iAPS, which will replace the current computer system for processing awards that has been in place since 2000, Corps officials said.

The new system will make it easier to fill out the recommendations and — officials hope — cut down on errors and omissions that can cause recommendations to be delayed, according to Lee Freund, head of the Marine Corps Military Awards Branch.

The current system relies on users forwarding recommendations up the chain of command, meaning a recommendation can get lost if users misspell an e-mail address or the recipient’s e-mail address has changed, Freund said.

One big advantage of the new system is it allows users to keep tabs on the status of award recommendations, he said.

In another change, the new system does not require users to reattach files, such as witness statements, as awards recommendations make their way up the chain of command, he said.

The system is also tied into the Corps’ manpower database, allowing users to get the rank and correct spelling of a Marine’s name by typing in the Marine’s Social Security number, Freund said.

And the system will tell users if the Marine being recommended for the award has pending or previous awards in order to cut down on duplication, said Capt. John Housand, of Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

All Marines involved in submitting and reviewing awards — about 20,000 in total — have until Feb. 29 to register in the new system, Freund said.

In a few days, the Corps will add a link to the new system on Marine Online, the Corps’ Web portal, he said.

To access the site, users must already have access to the Manpower Information Portal, officials said.

“The Manpower Information Portal (MIP) is the overall environment for all of the [Manpower and Reserve Affairs] Web content and applications locally managed by M&RA,” Housand said in an e-mail Wednesday.

Most of the portal’s content is public, but the new awards system is not, Housand said. The portal is accessible to Marines with Common Access Cards.

“All Active and Reserve Marines [with a CAC] automatically get access to iAPS,” Housand said. “Other users must go through an approval process prior to gaining access.”

Marines can register on the awards system by going to: The link is case sensitive, a recent Corpswide message said.

For more information, go to Marine Corps Administrative Message 042/08 at:

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