Please allow me to preface my comments with the following:
I would like to a take a few minutes now to provide you with my own personal
observations. Although they are my own views, I had the general feeling that all
board members this year had the same or similar thoughts. Knowing the grading
scale of 6-10 in ½ point increments, a record started out at 7.5 (average) and
worked up or down depending on the record. The CMSgt Board is extremely
competitive since almost all candidates had their PME, CCAF, appropriate
decorations and had firewalled 5 EPRs. We as board members were charge to find
the candidates with the best leadership potential and grade records based on the
“whole person concept.” So, let’s get to the nitty-gritty…
- Decoration history is important
-- The MSM is reserved for those who achieve greater things and have a higher level of responsibility…
-- If a MSgt PCSs with less than an MSM, perhaps he or she did not have higher responsibility or did not achieve great things…or both. The AFI does not set a minimum time for PCS, retirement, separatation or PCA medals, although, short periods from one decoration to another were considered
-- It was good to see that overall, supervisors were submitting extended tour decorations for worthy individuals (individuals with strong reports). Some may have been overlooked or intentionally not submitted; either way there was a message sent.
--- Decoration “gaps” sent wrong message…some times 5 or 6 years with no decoration forced board members to assume the worst…. take care of your people!
-- Decorations for Outstanding Achievement carried positive weight
-- Just because an individual fills a one-deep management position doesn’t mean their actions didn’t impact large numbers in a leadership role. Supervisors should capture that in the EPR
-- Just showing an individual’s span-of-control in the job description was not
back of the EPR, the word picture needs to describe leadership results and
impact to the unit,
wing or higher
-- An individual award (e.g. SNCO of the Year) helps substantiate stratification
- Stratification should be in comparison to like rank/category of rank., i.e.,
“#4 of 210 MSgts”,
“#3 of 385 SNCOs in the wing”…percentages are OK, but I felt it is better to
picture with raw numbers rather than make the board member do math to convert
- Stratification within or among one’s own office when the individual was the
didn’t carry much weigh
- Cross-functional stratifications were positive, compare to all SNCOs instead
instructors or radio operators, for example...although any strat was better than
-- Subjective commentary should be kept to a minimum, i.e., “hard charging, superior leader for all to emulate”; I was seeking facts (actions/results). I found this in a lot in opening bullets of each section. Need strong impact in every line, especially in Senior Rater’s block
-- Write EPRs with the strongest bullets at the bottom; highest-level achievements belong in the highest Indorser’s comment area
-- Don’t hide the best achievements, awards and other honors
-- Quarterly/annual awards, DG at PME, Career Field Specific awards, etc
-- Use left margin to your advantage; a line that begins “SNCO of the Year…”
or “Distinguished Graduate…” catches attention
-- Same job description block for multiple years sent negative message (it’s ok to change your job description as your responsibilities change….and they usually do every year)
-- Progressively increased responsibilities is a good sign you are growing/maturing
-- Don’t get wrapped up in what job title you have or what we call your
wanted to see was what you were responsible for and how well you were doing it!
-- Similarly, if you change geographic area (and of course jobs) you are better able to broaden your experience
-- There were some cases were it was acceptable to remain at the same base for several years
For instance, a base where squadron, group, wing and MAJCOM opportunities were available such a Randolph, Scott, Hurlburt…but in these cases, job descriptions were closely scrutinized. If the job was the same year after year, it held negative regard
- Volunteerism and participation on base, in military organizations and in the
community are important. They are additional opportunities to lead others…take advantage of
them and give
I would like to reiterate these views are my own and not necessarily those of other board members or the Air Force. I would like to point out a few things that caught my eye as both positive and/or negative
- My #7 of 85 SMSgts; #9 of 123 SNCOs---made me assume there are better MSgts (7 vs. 9 when including MSgts)
- Definitely in top 10!---I could only assume the individual was #10
- #2 of 22 I have seen in my career! coming from a LT was weak since that career was less then 6 years
- Immediate block does not do him justice…not sure what that meant, but had negative flavor
- #1 of 37 “box kickers” in the wing; supervises and manages 36 “box kickers”---weak stratification based on rank
- He’s among the finest! Not that he is the best, just among the finest
- Definitely ready for the top 1% club—made the Chief rank sound superficial and shallow
- His leadership skills were “Super sized!” Cute, but I recommend avoiding cliché’s (sports, McDonalds in this case, etc)
- This command’s ranking SNCO---What does this tell me? That the individual can’t get promoted? Is he a high time SMSgt?
- Selected as the # 1 SMSgt, instructor, evaluator of the AFA Chapter XXX---Honestly, how many of those could there be?
- “Highly qualified,” “Honor Guard” and “Take Charge” are 3 ways one might describe him—talk about deception
- Like Teddy Roosevelt, carries a big stick and ready to complete any job—I saw this in a negative context…. like a leadership style using punishment and fear to attempt motivation
- Send TSgt XXXX to the SNCOA---this is a waste, first of all, board members can not make SNCOA selections, secondly, TSgts can’t go to the SNCOA! There’s really no need to put “send to SNCOA in an EPR”…I took it as filler
- #1 of 126…..eligibles for promotion—does this mean the individual has high time in grade/service? Are there some non-eligibles better?
- Top 1 % of 180 SNCOs I’ve seen in 24 years---first of all…. that would equate to # 2, but only seeing 180 SNCOs in 24 years...something didn’t jive here
- #2 of 110 SNCOs…None better!—(Second to none)—Obviously someone is better…this I thought was humorous
- One of my units top SMSgts—too vague…. no creditability
- Promote to E-9---Although I dislike the “he/she is an E-9 not a Chief” the bullet could’ve been worded stronger
- #1 of 90 SNCOS….as SNCO of the Quarter—tricky stratification, but got me to double take
- Groom for Chief---This told me the individual was not ready yet to be Chief
- I want to send a clear message! —this bullet really got my attention coming from a CMSgt
- Best of the best #3 of 8---again, the two parts contradict themselves…best of the best should be #1
The following are what I like to call “Eye traps.”…buzz words, if you will. On my initial glance, these made me stop and read more closely.
Key words like:
Although sometimes the above words or phrases didn’t really have much to go along with them, I was forced to slow down on them. Not only was I looking for leadership and individual achievements, but also level of impact and the above words usually were included in many bullets describing the impact (obviously this is not an all-inclusive list). I also found the use of the ellipse (…) often made reading the EPR easier and helped identify strong bullets, not to say anyone should over use them.
Again, these are only my views and opinions. We can make records promotion-competitive simply by taking care of our people. Thanks for allowing me to share my experience with you.
Page Added on: 10 October 2005