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CY05 Central Senior Master Sergeant Evaluation Board Notes

Source: CMSgt, USAF
Headquarters Air Mobility Command
Security Forces Functional Manager
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 These notes are my personal opinions, and do not constitute official policy of AFPC:

Awards: Strong performers had a continuous history of awards, and the best won some type of award almost every year. Obviously, the higher the level of award, the more it separated the individual from their peers. Weak records normally had no awards, or only an award from when they were a SSgt. Awards make it easier for the board to see that you have separated yourself from your peers.

Stratification: Stratification by the senior rater normally sent a clear message to the board. “Number 1, 2, 3, or 4 of 150 assigned MSgts” is simple and yet powerful. “Number 27 of 100 assigned MSgts” did not paint a clear picture. A lot of senior raters used percentages, Top 1, 2 or 3 percent of 150 MSgts was powerful, and anything beyond that did not paint a clear picture of the individual. Many strong records did not have typical stratification; instead the senior rater said something like “The best troop leader in my wing”. This was also powerful.

Homesteading: There were many individuals who have been at the same base for 7 or more years. Although they moved from job to job and performed well, in my evaluation of records they were rated lower than individuals who moved every 2 or 3 years and performed well at different installations. Those who did move normally had the edge in breadth of experience.

Deployments: Those who deployed, and did well, enhanced their breadth of experience and separated themselves from their peers. Those who deployed, and performed averagely, did not separate themselves from their peers. Those that did not deploy at all were at a disadvantage when compared to their peers who did. Individuals with documented success in combat leadership clearly stood out.

PME: Approximately 30 percent of the individuals did not complete their PME…this was a deal breaker for me. Completion of PME showed us that the individual cared about their professional development; non-completion sent the exact opposite message. Most units did not award senior rater endorsements for individuals without PME, for those units who did; it sent mixed messages to the board, and normally did not carry a lot of weight.

College: Approximately 40 percent of the individuals did not complete at least a CCAF degree. Although a college degree is not a requirement for promotion, those without college degrees did not measure up well with their peers who had them. Professional students were obvious to me, and normally did not score well either because their duty performance was usually weak. Bottom line…if you want to be competitive, get at least your CCAF done.

Endorsements: A record without a senior rater on top was not competitive…equally as non-competitive as no PME or CCAF. Lack of a senior rater sent a clear message to the board that this troop was not ready for promotion at this time. A useful practice some units employed was for the senior rater deputy to come out and say why they did not get a senior rater…”Deserves immediate promotion after completion of the SNCOA”. This cleared up any ambiguity we experienced, and still set the stage for the troop to get promoted in future boards. Lack of a senior rater with no reason why left us trying to figure out why that troop was lacking. Generally, it took about 2 EPRs on top to recover from an old EPR without a senior rater.

Decorations: Solid records showed a long history of decorations. Individuals without many decorations were at a disadvantage when compared to their peers. There were a lot of individuals with combat decorations, and a Bronze Star, or MSM and AFCM with Valor were an advantage. Additionally, troops who did not receive extended tour or PCS decorations were at a disadvantage, and left the board wondering why.

Missing Documents/DVR: Not all records were complete. Your SNCO selection folder is ultimately your responsibility. I highly encourage you to e-mail AFPC at , or call them at DSN 665-2693/2421 60 days before each board and check on the status of your records. The AFPC staff will be glad to assist you in any way. Remember, an incomplete record paints an incomplete picture of you.

Special Duty Assignments: Those individuals who were Recruiters, First Sergeants, Couriers, MTI’s, etc, and returned to their primary career field normally scored well. It gave them an edge in breadth of experience that their peers did not have. Those who did not perform well in their special duty and returned to their primary career field normally did not score well.

Stove piping: I reviewed far too many records of people who have been doing the same job for 5, 7 and even 10 years. And while they may be the best “potato peeler” in the world, it left me wondering if they were capable of broader responsibilities. Solid performers normally held the same job for 2 or 3 years, mastered it, then moved on to the next job…broadening their experience. These people were at a clear advantage.

Leadership vs. Management: Almost every record cited exceptional managerial skills, not enough records talked about leadership. Those that did had a clear advantage over their peers. Strong performers had leadership roles in their units/wings, i.e., President of the Top 3, AFSA, AFA chapters. Those records that talked about leading large amounts of personnel to complete goals, exercises and deployments were also strong.

Bullet statements in EPR’s: Solid records normally consisted of one line bullet statements, with sub-bullets if necessary. Clear, concise and quantifiable bullets painted a great picture of that person’s impact. Three sentence long bullets take up too much space where something else could be talked about.

Overcoming a less than perfect EPR: Some of the records had mark downs from when the troop was a SSgt. As long as the person learned from that, and reestablished a consistent record of excellence afterwards, it really meant very little to me. Markdowns as a TSgt were a cause for concern, and markdowns as a MSgt normally had a significant negative impact on my score. As a rule of thumb, I wanted to see 2 or 3 solid EPRs on top demonstrating that the individual had made the adjustment and moved on.

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Page Added on: 13 October 2005