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Posted: 4/29/2011 8:13:30 AM EDT
About 15 years ago, the Army implemented a system that sought to diminish the prevalence of bloated evaluation reports.  Senior raters, who didn't have the balls to tell any of their subordinates to do a better job, gave everybody "Top Block" or "Above Center Mass" ratings...so OERs became nearly meaningless.

Now, the senior rater has a "profile" in which he can only give the top 50% of his officers a Top Block.  This has led to some seriously jacked up promotion and other results.

When an officer's promotion consideration packet goes before a board of ~10 to 15 officers, they have about 1 minute per file to assess the officer in relation to his peers.  So, what that means is, they look at the "Above center mass" and "center mass" ratings, make a note, and then move on.  They just don't have time to read the rater or senior rater comments.

Which brings us to today.  My senior rater's comments about my performance begin with "One of the top officers I rate...".  These words usually indicate that the rated officer is well above his peers, or easily within the top 50%.

But, because he can't manage his profile, all the top blocks are already spoken for.  So, despite his glowing comments about my performance, I get a measly "Center of Mass" rating.  

Anybody have a copy of the Riot Act handy?

Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:21:42 AM EDT
Yep.

Do you have a possible solution to the problem?
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:22:56 AM EDT
Quoted:
Yep.

Do you have a possible solution to the problem?


I have a PCS coming up in a few months.  
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:23:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:23:36 AM EDT
COM ratings aren't necessarily the kiss of death. Due to me being the only W4 in the Brigade, all my OER's are COM from now until there is another W4.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:27:13 AM EDT
Quoted:
COM ratings aren't necessarily the kiss of death. Due to me being the only W4 in the Brigade, all my OER's are COM from now until there is another W4.


Yeah, I s'pose you're right.

This is my first COM rating in 5 years, which is adding to my flames.  I've busted my nuts to maintain my streak of ACOMs, this new guy comes along, and it seems that all my hard work wasn't properly recognized.

Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:30:12 AM EDT
When I was a Lt 30 years ago the Army went to a new OER system to correct this same problem.  I am sorry you may get shafted and it is intersting to see that some things never change.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:30:33 AM EDT
It's just as bad as it was under the old system, but it's not any worse.  The OER system will never be able to address "grade inflation" because it is subjective.  The best hope we have, believe it or not, is that the new APFT gets implemented this year.  There are no alternate events.  Failure to complete the test will result in a MRB after two attempts.  I think it will be a reckoning for a very large part of the Army and National guard in a good way.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:30:57 AM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
COM ratings aren't necessarily the kiss of death. Due to me being the only W4 in the Brigade, all my OER's are COM from now until there is another W4.


Yeah, I s'pose you're right.

This is my first COM rating in 5 years, which is adding to my flames.  I've busted my nuts to maintain my streak of ACOMs, this new guy comes along, and it seems that all my hard work wasn't properly recognized.



Those who serve on promotion boards look for anomalies like that and understand that sometimes a rater is unable to manager their profile or there is a personality conflict. Less than 50% of my last 10 OER's are ACOM due to lack of similar grade WO's or SR profile mismanagement.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:32:10 AM EDT
Deleted.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:34:31 AM EDT
I had a LTC try to change the GS rating process (but could only do so for his office lol) so it was more like the military, he only wanted to give the top 10% of his people the highest rating.
He was very surprised when I told him I'd found another team to work for, a 2 or 3 is the kiss of death for a GS looking for good career programs.

Kharn
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:38:25 AM EDT
The portion of the Riot Act to be read to rioters:

Our Sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God Save the King!
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:42:27 AM EDT
My favorite abuse is from my last deployment.  I am in a National Guard Fires BDE HQ.  We got attached to an active duty division.  I, along with the rest of our officers, all got set up with active duty senior raters even the captains who should have been senior rated by our own BDE CDR who was there with us.  The active duty guys used all of us to balance their profiles.  Every single one of us received center of mass.  To add insult to injury, our tour straddled two activee duty division tours and both divisions did the same thing so we all got 2 consecutive COMs.  I did get picked up by my state's Major board when I got back but I was number 8 on th OML behind 7 non-deployers who all had ACOMs.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:44:55 AM EDT
Quoted:
About 15 years ago, the Army implemented a system that sought to diminish the prevalence of bloated evaluation reports.  Senior raters, who didn't have the balls to tell any of their subordinates to do a better job, gave everybody "Top Block" or "Above Center Mass" ratings...so OERs became nearly meaningless.

Now, the senior rater has a "profile" in which he can only give the top 50% of his officers a Top Block.  This has led to some seriously jacked up promotion and other results.

When an officer's promotion consideration packet goes before a board of ~10 to 15 officers, they have about 1 minute per file to assess the officer in relation to his peers.  So, what that means is, they look at the "Above center mass" and "center mass" ratings, make a note, and then move on.  They just don't have time to read the rater or senior rater comments.

Which brings us to today.  My senior rater's comments about my performance begin with "One of the top officers I rate...".  These words usually indicate that the rated officer is well above his peers, or easily within the top 50%.

But, because he can't manage his profile, all the top blocks are already spoken for.  So, despite his glowing comments about my performance, I get a measly "Center of Mass" rating.  

Anybody have a copy of the Riot Act handy?



I hear you on this.  But the boards do have time to read comments, normally the first and last lines of the SR comments.

If you are going to get an COM OER, which is not a bad thing, then look for enumeration.   Numbers mean things.  "one of my top officers..." does not read as well as "in the top 20% of officers I rate...", something like that.  If there are not "good" numbers in your write up, ask for them.

The boards knows what his profile looks like––heck you can see it once your OER posts.  I went through that with a SR that I was his first OER he SR'ed.  So I got a COM, otherwise it would have been inflated.  But he wrote it as a ACOM, which does help.

One last thing to remember.  Just like the old OER system was inflated, so are officer's expectations to a degree.  A COM OER is that––you are doing well, meeting expectations, and are an asset to retain.  We have gotten to the point where the ACOM is an "expectation", and anything less than that is unsatisfactory.

Now I do not condone mediocrity in the officer corps, but the rating systems exists for a reason, and when it is done correctly, works.  However, it is not always done as it should be, and hard working, deserving officers fall through the cracks.

Keep your chin up, work hard, and ride it out.  There will be more OERs coming, and you will be just fine.

I hope that helps.

BP

Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:50:58 AM EDT
Quoted:
I had a LTC try to change the GS rating process (but could only do so for his office lol) so it was more like the military, he only wanted to give the top 10% of his people the highest rating.
He was very surprised when I told him I'd found another team to work for, a 2 or 3 is the kiss of death for a GS looking for good career programs.

Kharn


That is exactly why things get inflated.  Unless it is standardized across the board, or compared to one guy's rating profile, any attempt to discriminate more strictly than the next guy will only fuck over your subordinates.  Since nobody wants to screw over their people, it incrementally gets worse.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 9:06:57 AM EDT
Quoted:
It's just as bad as it was under the old system, but it's not any worse.  The OER system will never be able to address "grade inflation" because it is subjective.  The best hope we have, believe it or not, is that the new APFT gets implemented this year.  There are no alternate events.  Failure to complete the test will result in a MRB after two attempts.  I think it will be a reckoning for a very large part of the Army and National guard in a good way.


New APFT....meh....just a way to RIF people without and separation bonus.  Remember when they were going to implement a new APFT right before 9-11?  Didn't happen.  Now, a new APFT that requires all sorts of props....with no funding to build these obstacles courses?  What are we going to do? Put ARNG and USAR Soldiers on TDY orders so they can fly or drive to some post that has one of these new fangled jungle gyms twice a year?
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 9:10:27 AM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
It's just as bad as it was under the old system, but it's not any worse.  The OER system will never be able to address "grade inflation" because it is subjective.  The best hope we have, believe it or not, is that the new APFT gets implemented this year.  There are no alternate events.  Failure to complete the test will result in a MRB after two attempts.  I think it will be a reckoning for a very large part of the Army and National guard in a good way.


New APFT....meh....just a way to RIF people without and separation bonus.  Remember when they were going to implement a new APFT right before 9-11?  Didn't happen.  Now, a new APFT that requires all sorts of props....with no funding to build these obstacles courses?  What are we going to do? Put ARNG and USAR Soldiers on TDY orders so they can fly or drive to some post that has one of these new fangled jungle gyms twice a year?


That one is only a predeployment test, so it will be part of any predeployment workup.  The standard "new" test is not equipment intensive.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 9:11:04 AM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
COM ratings aren't necessarily the kiss of death. Due to me being the only W4 in the Brigade, all my OER's are COM from now until there is another W4.


Yeah, I s'pose you're right.

This is my first COM rating in 5 years, which is adding to my flames.  I've busted my nuts to maintain my streak of ACOMs, this new guy comes along, and it seems that all my hard work wasn't properly recognized.



Five ACOMS in 5 years?  I get it.  You are the guy that is always "double outstanding" no matter where you go, no matter what you do.  You are always the best there is at...everything?  What, didn't they tell you about Kryptonite when you go commissioned? Or did they just give you gold bars and big red cape with an "S" on it when you graduated from the "Early Colonel Pogram?"

Talk about "Mr. Zero Defects......"

You are just going to LOVE the coming drawdowns.....Take it from a "black shoe" Army guy....you are not going to recognize the Army during the next five years.

Maybe if you thought more about your troops and less about your paper.....
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 9:14:56 AM EDT
Quoted:
About 15 years ago, the Army implemented a system that sought to diminish the prevalence of bloated evaluation reports.  Senior raters, who didn't have the balls to tell any of their subordinates to do a better job, gave everybody "Top Block" or "Above Center Mass" ratings...so OERs became nearly meaningless.

Now, the senior rater has a "profile" in which he can only give the top 50% of his officers a Top Block.  This has led to some seriously jacked up promotion and other results.

When an officer's promotion consideration packet goes before a board of ~10 to 15 officers, they have about 1 minute per file to assess the officer in relation to his peers.  So, what that means is, they look at the "Above center mass" and "center mass" ratings, make a note, and then move on.  They just don't have time to read the rater or senior rater comments.

Which brings us to today.  My senior rater's comments about my performance begin with "One of the top officers I rate...".  These words usually indicate that the rated officer is well above his peers, or easily within the top 50%.

But, because he can't manage his profile, all the top blocks are already spoken for.  So, despite his glowing comments about my performance, I get a measly "Center of Mass" rating.  

Anybody have a copy of the Riot Act handy?



Stop whining, being a leader in the Army is not about "you". You need to be worrying about your Soldiers. OERs are the least of your worries.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 9:46:57 AM EDT
Quoted:
It's just as bad as it was under the old system, but it's not any worse.  The OER system will never be able to address "grade inflation" because it is subjective.  The best hope we have, believe it or not, is that the new APFT gets implemented this year.  There are no alternate events.  Failure to complete the test will result in a MRB after two attempts.  I think it will be a reckoning for a very large part of the Army and National guard in a good way.



Naahhhh, better not in regards to ratings.


The new APFT will be a reckoning ... good for RIF, if enforced.

I haven't seen anything regarding the standards of the new APFT, if you have a draft I'd appreciate a link by PM.

Link Posted: 4/29/2011 9:48:57 AM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
It's just as bad as it was under the old system, but it's not any worse.  The OER system will never be able to address "grade inflation" because it is subjective.  The best hope we have, believe it or not, is that the new APFT gets implemented this year.  There are no alternate events.  Failure to complete the test will result in a MRB after two attempts.  I think it will be a reckoning for a very large part of the Army and National guard in a good way.



Naahhhh, better not.


It will be a reckoning.

I haven't seen anything regarding the standards of the new APFT, if you have a draft I'd appreciate a link by PM.



Same here.  Lots of speculation out there, but haven't seen the actual events or test standards yet.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 9:56:16 AM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
It's just as bad as it was under the old system, but it's not any worse.  The OER system will never be able to address "grade inflation" because it is subjective.  The best hope we have, believe it or not, is that the new APFT gets implemented this year.  There are no alternate events.  Failure to complete the test will result in a MRB after two attempts.  I think it will be a reckoning for a very large part of the Army and National guard in a good way.



Naahhhh, better not.


It will be a reckoning.

I haven't seen anything regarding the standards of the new APFT, if you have a draft I'd appreciate a link by PM.



Same here.  Lots of speculation out there, but haven't seen the actual events or test standards yet.


Events are out:
1 Min pushups, no pause
1 min Rowers (think modified V-up)
1.5 mile run
Standing Long jump
60 yard shuttle run

The scoring tables haven't been released yet.  They will be developed after August when the test period at the 8 test installations end.
The "no alternate events" part is already written and I think that this will be the most positive change, especially in the Guard.  No more people riding P3 profiles and doing the 2.5 mile walk or skipping pushups/situps.  You are either physically able to perform or you are not.

I think it could weed out the lazy for the coming drawdown.  I could be wrong.



Link Posted: 4/29/2011 10:11:54 AM EDT
I worked in an admin office for the SJA for a while and got to read a lot of JA OERs.  Every one was about the same i-wanna-cup-your-balls-because-you're-so-awesome type of review.  I saw it from two different SJAs and it was just laughable from an NCO's perspective.   Granted the majority of JAs in the Army are good officers, but the ass kissing politics were over the top.
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