Posted on Jul 13, 2015
CAPT Kevin B.
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I'm sure there's more than a few of us who sat or recorded a selection board. It is a stressful environment but things happen just often enough to get the laughs out and make the day go better. I'll chip in one of mine.

The Navy holds its boards in Millington TN. Since I was Staff, all the Staff officer boards were convened at the same time. Members of a panel review candidate records, make annotations, and then present them in "The Tank". That's a room where you sit in leather command chairs, have a keypad of voting buttons, and a laser pointer. Someone briefs the record and buttons are pushed. If you saw the movie Live, Die, Repeat you'll see the sick humor I can get into sometimes. Regardless, we were in one of the Tanks and the Chaplains were in the one across the passageway. A big storm came through and a lightning strike zapped the electrical. The reason you have recorders is if the hard drives crash, you're not starting from scratch. Power came back we found the last vote did write to disk. Then 10 minutes later it happened again but we came back up. Shortly thereafter a lightning bolt hit the building and everything went down and wasn't coming back up. So after ten minutes we decided to grab some coffee. As we were leaving the Tank, I saw the Chaplains leaving theirs. So I walked up to them and said "You're obviously getting the vote wrong so God's taking it out on all of us." That loosened things up well. When we finished up later for the day and went outside, we could see God was pleased.
Posted in these groups: Officer Selection Officer1024px-smiley.svg Humor
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PO1 John Miller
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CAPT Kevin B.
No funny stories from me personally, but I did hear about one that was pretty damn funny in SOC(SEAL) Chris Kyle's book "American Sniper."

It was the CPO selection board, and an IS Chief was reviewing (at the time) IS1(SEAL) Kyle's record (this was before SEALS had their own rating. They had "source" ratings and had to compete with the rest of the Navy for advancement). Chris hadn't updated his records since shortly after he graduated BUD/S, so his Silver and Bronze Star (with Valor) medals weren't in his record. He said something like "Who the f--k is this ass clown and why should he be a Chief?" A SEAL Chief was sitting next to him so the IS Chief asked "Do you know anything about this Chris Kyle guy?" So SEAL Chief says "Let's go to lunch and have a private talk." Apparently the Chief was Chris's Chief and was TAD to the CPO Selection Board. Well, they had their talk and a few months later Chris was pinning on Anchors.
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CAPT Kevin B.
CAPT Kevin B.
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I'm suspicious on how that story played out. Members don't provide their decoration information unless they don't see it on a record check. It would make sense that Chris didn't bother with that stuff. Also the admin staff is required to scrub the system in preparing the electronic jackets for review specifically to look for them. Also given the number of voters, something would need to be said in the Tank. Rules are you can say truthful personal knowledge positives, not negatives. The SEAL Chief would certainly piped up on that one. The President of the Board would have a few choice words to say to the Recorder and Admin staff on that bust.

All that story told me is two board members violated their oath and improperly held a discussion outside the Tank or Review Room about a candidate.
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PO1 John Miller
PO1 John Miller
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Thanks for the "inside scoop" CAPT Kevin B. Sir. As you can see by my profile I retired as a First Class. Yeah I made it to the "dance" (Selection Board Eligible) many times but was never lucky enough to be selected to don the coveted Fouled Anchors.
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COL Charles Williams
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Yes CAPT Kevin B. when my boss at West Point, left a hand written note on my desk congratulating me for being promoted to Major (Below the Zone - a year early) and it turned out I was not on the on the list... It was hardly funny at the time...
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CAPT Kevin B.
CAPT Kevin B.
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Well COL Charles Williams it's even less funny if you get that note when you're above the zone. That would be evil.
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COL Charles Williams
COL Charles Williams
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CAPT Kevin B. - Good point.
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LTC Hardware Test Engineer
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you know how they always tell you to make sure all your ribbons are correct in your DA photo before your packet goes to the board? Not sure it's really all that important. I know a guy who got promoted to MAJ and didn't have his name tag on his uniform in his DA photo. If the board missed or ignored a missing name tag do you really think they took the time to check his ribbons?
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