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Military & Veteran Lawyer > Blog > Managing Your Military Career > NCOERs and OERs will make or break your promotion and whether you retire

NCOERs and OERs will make or break your promotion and whether you retire

Inaccurate, untrue and improper NCOERs and OERs must be corrected

It is your career, retirement and healthcare benefits at stake

(Important Note: NCOERs Are Treated Somewhat Differently)

What to do if you receive a referred OER in a Relief for Cause from Command (Chapter 3)

Opportunity to submit comments when you acknowledge receipt of the OER, but first, you should usually request Redress, as per Chapter 4 below AR 623-3, Chapter 3

(5) Upon receipt of the rated officer’s acknowledgment (for example, receipt of a signed OER or AER, email, signed certified mail document, signed acknowledgment statement accompanying memorandum, submission of signed comments, and so forth), the senior rater will enclose it, any written comments provided by the rated officer, and the referral memorandum, with the original OER or AER for forwarding to—

(a)The reviewer (if applicable).

(b)The BN or BDE S1, administrative office, or HQDA, as appropriate.

(c)The other rating officials if paragraph c(4) applies.

(6) In cases where the rated Soldier acknowledges receipt of the referred OER or AER, but refuses to sign the OER or AER, the senior rater (or reviewer for AERs) will enter “The rated officer (or NCO) refused to sign.” in part VI, block c for OERs, item 14 for AER-S, or item 13 for AER-C.

c. If comments are provided—

(1) Comments will be factual, concise, and limited to matters directly related to the evaluation on the OER or AER; rating officials may not rebut a rated Soldier’s referral comments. Extraneous or voluminous material, material already contained in the officer’s AMHRR, and enclosures or attachments are prohibited.
 
(2) Any enclosures or attachments to rebuttal comments will be withdrawn at the unit or organization-level and returned to the rated Soldier before the OER or AER is forwarded to HQDA.

Note. AERs for ARNG NCOs will be forwarded to the state military personnel office versus HQDA (see apps F and H).

(3) The rated Soldier’s comments do not constitute an appeal. Appeals are processed separately, as outlined in chapter 4. Likewise, the rated Soldier’s comments do not constitute a request for a CDR’s or commandant’s inquiry (see chap 4, sec II). Such a request will be submitted separately by the rated Soldier.

(4) If the senior rater (OER) or reviewing official (AER) decides that the comments provide significant new facts about the rated Soldier’s performance that could affect the evaluation of the rated Soldier, he or she may refer the comments to the other rating officials, as appropriate. The rating officials, in turn, may reconsider their evaluations of the rated Soldier. The senior rater or reviewing official will not pressure or influence another rating official. Any rating official who elects to raise their evaluation as a result of this action may do so. However, the evaluation may not be lowered because of the rated Soldier’s comments. If the OER or AER is changed but still requires referral, the OER or AER will again be referred to the rated Soldier for acknowledgment and the opportunity to provide new comments, if desired. Only the latest acknowledgment (“YES” or “NO” on OER or AER signed by the rated Soldier) and the rated Soldier’s comments, if submitted, will be forwarded to HQDA.

Note.  AERs for ARNG NCOs will be forwarded to the State EPM versus HQDA (see apps F and H).

d. If the rated Soldier fails to respond within the given suspense period, or if certified mail sent to an officer’s last known forwarding address is returned indicating that the Soldier cannot be reached at that address, the senior rater will annotate on the referred OER or AER, “Rated officer was not available to sign.” When no signature appears on a referred OER or AER, the senior rater will prepare a memorandum as an enclosure to the OER or AER to document referral actions taken and whether or not there was acknowledgment of the rated officer (a copy of the returned certified mail document and/or email referral/“read receipt” may be included, if used, as enclosures to this memorandum)

for forwarding to—

(1) The designated individual who will perform the Supplementary Evaluation Report Redress Program

Section I
Managing the Redress Program
4–1. Overview

a.  The Evaluation Report Redress Program consists of several elements at various levels of command (for example, field, HRC, DCS, G–1, and HQDA). The program is both preventive and corrective, in that it is based upon principles structured to prevent, and provide a remedy for, alleged injustices or regulatory violations, as well as to correct them once they have occurred.

b. The first program element is the communication process fostered by the DA Form 67–10–1A and DA Form

2166–8–1, which affords the rated officer or NCO a forum for establishing duty requirements and a discussion of actual accomplishments (see chap 3, sec II, and DA Pam 623–3). A second element is the various regulatory requirements, such as each evaluation report standing on its own without reference to facts or events occurring prior or subsequent to the rating period (para 3–16) and the prohibition against command influence on rating officials during the preparation of evaluation reports (see para 1–11 and DA Pam 623–3).

c.  If an OER or AER is referred, there is the evaluation referral and acknowledgment process (para 3–28 and DA Pam 623–3).

d.  Beyond regulatory remedies, elements of the Redress Program, CDR’s or Commandant’s Inquiry (sec II, this chap), the Appeals System (sec III, this chap), and application to the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) under the provisions of AR 15–185 are available.

e.  This chapter focuses on the policies, procedures, preparation, and submission of a CDR’s or Commandant’s

Inquiry and an evaluation report appeal.

4–2. Information

a.  An OER, NCOER, or AER-S may have administrative errors or may not accurately record the rated Soldier’s potential or the manner in which he or she performed his or her duties. The Evaluation Report Redress Program protects the Army’s interests and ensures fairness to the evaluated officer or NCO. At the same time, it avoids impugning the integrity or judgment of the rating officials without sufficient cause. A CDR’s or Commandant’s Inquiry and an evaluation report appeal are separate and distinct actions. Rated Soldiers may seek an initial means of redress through a CDR’s or Commandant’s Inquiry; however, a CDR’s or Commandant’s Inquiry is not a prerequisite for the submission of an appeal.

b. DA Pam 623–3 amplifies and clarifies the policies outlined in this chapter by providing detailed guidance on the preparation of an appeal. Rated Soldiers considering submission of an appeal are strongly encouraged to read the appeals section of this pamphlet in its entirety prior to preparing and submitting one. A thorough understanding of the appeals system can save considerable time and effort and reduce the anxiety associated with having an appeal returned without consideration.

Section II
Commander’s or Commandant’s Inquiry

4–3. Applicability

CDRs (OER and NCOER) or commandants (AER) are required to look into alleged errors, injustices, and illegalities in evaluation reports. This section does not pertain to AERs or other evaluation reports provided by civilian educational, medical, or industrial institution because there is no military command structure available.

4–4. Purpose

Alleged errors, injustices, and illegalities in a rated Soldier’s evaluation report may be brought to the CDR’s or commandant’s attention by the rated Soldier or anyone authorized access to the report (para 1–11).

a. The primary purpose of a CDR’s or Commandant’s Inquiry is to provide a greater degree of command involvement in preventing obvious injustices to the rated Soldier and correcting errors before they become a matter of permanent record.

b. A secondary purpose is to obtain command involvement in clarifying errors or injustices after the evaluation is accepted at HQDA. However, in these after-the-fact cases, this paragraph is not intended to be a substitute for the appeals process, which is the primary means of addressing errors and injustices after they have become a matter of permanent record (para 3–36 provides restrictions on modifications to previously submitted reports already accepted by HQDA).

c. The provisions of AR 15–6 do not normally apply to inquiries of this type. However, the CDR or commandant
may determine that the provisions of AR 15–6 apply in specific instances.

4–5. Policy

a. A CDR’s or Commandant’s Inquiry will not be used to document differences of opinion among members of the rating chain about a rated Soldier’s performance and potential. The evaluation system establishes rating chains and normally relies on the opinions of the rating officials. Rating officials will evaluate a rated Soldier and their opinions constitute the organization’s view of that Soldier. However, the CDR may determine through inquiry that the report has serious irregularities or errors. Examples include:

(1) Improperly designated, unqualified, or disqualified rating officials (that is, a rating official not in the published rating chain; a rating official without the minimum required time to render an evaluation report; or a rating official who, through an official investigation, has had a substantiated adverse finding against him or her that results in his or her relief or calls into question the rating official’s objectivity).

(2) Inaccurate or untrue statements.

(3) Lack of objectivity or fairness by rating officials.

b. The inquiry will be made by a CDR in the chain of command or military school commandant above the designated rating officials involved in the allegations. In headquarters and other military organizations lacking a CDR or commandant, the inquiry will be conducted by the next higher official in the rating chain above the designated rating officials involved in the allegations.

c. The official conducting the inquiry will not pressure or force rating officials to change their evaluations.

d.  The official conducting the inquiry may not evaluate the rated Soldier, either as a substitute for, or in addition to, the designated rating officials’ evaluations.

e. The rating chain or official conducting the inquiry will not use the CDR’s Inquiry (OER or NCOER) or Commandant’s Inquiry (AER) provisions to forward information derogatory to the rated Soldier. For OERs and AERs only, if the inquiry reveals matters that might have resulted in a lower evaluation of a rated Soldier, the information will be addressed in the memorandum outlining the results of the inquiry by the CDR or commandant responsible for the inquiry in accordance with paragraph 3–38. No changes will be made to an evaluation report to reflect a lower evaluation of a rated Soldier following the results of a CDR’s or Commandant’s Inquiry.

f. To ensure the availability of pertinent data and timely completion of an inquiry conducted after the evaluation in question has been accepted at HQDA for inclusion in the rated Soldier’s OMPF, the inquiry will be conducted by either the CDR or commandant at the time the evaluation was rendered who is still in the command position, or by a subsequent CDR or commandant in the position. The results of the inquiry will be forwarded to HQDA not later than 120 days after the signature date of the senior rater (OER) or reviewer (NCOER) or authenticating official (AER).

g. The results of the inquiry forwarded to HQDA will include the findings, conclusions, and recommendations in a memorandum that will be filed with the evaluation report in the rated Soldier’s OMPF for clarification purposes (see fig 4–1). The results will include the CDR’s or commandant’s signature, will stand alone without reference to other documentation, and will be limited to one page. Sufficient documentation, such as reports and statements, will be attached to justify the conclusions.

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