The below comments represent
my own personal opinion, and doesn’t reflect, or is intended to represent the
views of the AF, AFPC or other board members. Board members can never disclose
the AFSCs they evaluated, scores given or any split resolution discussions.
Below is a link to the AF video covering the board process. Please watch the video, review the attached briefing given to members of the CY05 SMSgt Evaluation Board and read my board member comments contained is this document. It will help explain the evaluation board process and what I feel was important and can make you more competitive.
NOTE: This single page document does not list method of PME completion, date PME completed or year an educational degree was awarded.
The important thing is get your CCAF done early in your career. Sure there
are always a very small percentage of folks who get promoted without a CCAF each
year, but this number is declining. In the mid 1990s, almost 25% of the SMSgts
in the AF didn’t have a CCAF. Today that number is about 9%. You can see the
trend where board members are putting increased emphasis on having this
completed. It’s a BIG positive to see a CCAF awarded. Any additional degrees are
good as long as they are tied directly to your military area of expertise. If
you cross train into another career field, make sure you work to get a CCAF
awarded in your current specialty. This was a plus! Bottom line is getting your
CCAF done in the career field you’re competing for promotion!
DECORATIONS: How many decoration points do you have? Has it been more
than 3-years since your last extended tour decoration? If so, discuss this with
your boss during feedback sessions! There’s nothing wrong with letting your
reporting official/supervisor know it will soon be 3-years since your last
extended tour decoration. Most of the decoration citations in the promotion
folder were skimmed for content unless there was something special. Individuals
with Outstanding Achievement, Bronze Star, Airmans Medal or a Purple Heart
caught my eye and I read all of these fully. The norm was a MSM on top but this
wasn’t a show stopper. There were numerous records where individuals had several
extremely strong EPRs for several years and were eligible for a MSM, but didn’t
have one submitted. Why? As senior enlisted leaders we are letting some of these
troops down. Evaluate your troops and submit them for decorations.
EPRs: Senior Rater (SR) must sign your EPR. It doesn’t matter if they
are very high-ranking military or civilian. Bottom-line is they must be the SR.
If you are TIG eligible for SMSgt and receive a Deputy Rater, it will have a
negative effect on your board score and will take time to recover. If you give
one of your troops a Deputy Rater when they are TIG eligible, make sure there is
a comment to tell the board why.
AWARDS: The higher the level of recognition the better, but even SNCO of the Quarter for a squadron or AMU/Flight SNCO of the Year was impressive, given how competitive the Air Force is today. It’s key to submit awards when earned. Make sure they are documented in the EPR regardless of level or type. The more well known career field specific awards (Lew Allen, Leo Marquez and Maint Pro) were good, but the Quarterly/Annual and Lance P. Sijan Leadership Awards carried more weight since competition for these was against all AFSCs. If the award is unique to a base or unit try and explain if possible without detracting from the accomplishment.
Favorable stratification coupled with an award caught my attention without fail.
BASE/COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Leadership, leadership, leadership! This
is what the board is looking for in your EPRs. Helping cook hamburgers at a
picnic is good but organizing and delivering this for a base-wide function is
better. As SNCOs you should be out looking for ways to improve your leadership
abilities. Key positions within your base/wing Top 3, Booster Clubs, AFSA, and
NCOA are all excellent ways to get involved. Volunteer to lead committees, AFAF/CFC
unit representative, accept nominations as an officer, and/or seek out areas you
feel are important. Speak at FTAC, base events or MC award/promotion ceremonies.
All of these will improve your leadership abilities and make you more
competitive for promotion.
PME: Include selection for SNCOA in-residence and capture any awards.
Specify whether individual was a primary or alternate candidate. This lets the
board know this person is competitive and wants to be promoted since the
candidates are selected based on a combination of their board score and
supervisory exam score. I took a harder look at their records and being a select
was important. I saw very few comments where someone was selected for
PECD: If you don’t know what this is, your career has probably
suffered. The Promotion Eligibility Cutoff Date (PECD) for promotion to SMSgt is
30 Sep. You should talk with your reporting official/supervisor about making
sure your EPR closes out as close to this date as possible. Many records had
EPRs closing out in Oct or Nov. Why is this important? Because the board wants
the latest information about you. If your EPR is due in Oct, the EPR we reviewed
was dated Oct 03. The board met in Jan-Feb 05 so the information was almost 15
months old. Align your MSgt EPR close out dates as close to the PECD whenever
What about doing an EPR early to highlight accomplishments?
Chief’s Perspective: As mentioned earlier only 7-10% of eligible MSgts
will be promoted to SMSgt. Your unit/base leadership can do a number of things
(submit decorations, awards, recommend stratification, leadership opportunities,
etc) to help you receive a strong board score. The one thing they can’t do is
take your promotion exam. You must dedicate the proper amount of time to prepare
and study for this examination. Doing anything less than your best, is letting
down the senior leaders working hard to get you promoted.
Page Added on: 14 October 2005