The new Noncommissioned Officer Evaluation Reporting system, slated for a fall 2015 fielding, will feature separate forms for soldiers of different ranks, and new responsibilities for raters and senior raters.
It’s a radical overhaul to a decades-old evaluation system.
The NCOER, in use since 1987, “has become outdated and highly inflated,” according to Sgt. Maj. Stephen McDermid, sergeant major of the evaluation systems branch of Human Resources Command.
Problems have arisen when raters and senior raters are too liberal with evaluating soldiers. When everyone is supposedly doing a fantastic job, it’s difficult for selection boards to determine who the true standouts are for promotion.
The old NCOER system (that I worked under) wasn’t terrible, just inflated. Everyone knew all the right phrases to use to make SGT Joe Smith sound like Audie Murphy. Still, tracking, and completing, these and the NCOER support forms and providing counseling to NCOs (in a written format, not just informal conversation) was a pain, particularly for those NCOs who were not literary gifted.
And don’t think a little thing like fighting a war is any excuse for not being on top of this paperwork. What sucks is, invariably, SSG Jones, busy with patrolling for 14 hours a day in Afghanistan, is probably going to half-ass an NCOER for the two Sergeant team leaders in his squad. And they’ll end up competing against some guy whose squad leader had the time to write a better eval.
At that level, it’s not so bad. But pretty quickly for the senior NCOs, one less than stellar rating is career death.