Posted on Aug 2, 2015
Maj Force Support
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With regards to the new MSgt Board it has been noted that some individuals feel they were scored too low. It's been stated that the "average" EPR is a "firewall 5" does NOT equate to a "more than 'average' board score".

What do you all think about the results of the new MSgt board?
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Responses: 11
MSgt James Mullis
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Edited >1 y ago
Average is the guy who works hard every day, is technically competent, gets things done, and is the backbone of the Air Force. Put down the "average" at your own peril. I've said it before and I'll say it again. The new quota system will drive many of the superior technical performers out of the Air Force and in the long run will lead to a less effective force. This system rewards people for being good looking, outgoing type A personalities. However, that does not equate to being the most capable worker, or team player and they definitely do not make for the best supervisors and managers. If I were a pilot, risking my life every day, I'd much rather the Airman working on my jets engines, avionics, egress system, weapons system, munitions, etc. was as a hard working, detail oriented, technical expert then an out going, snappy dresser, who volunteers to set up the chairs for squadron functions.
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SSgt Khanh Pham
SSgt Khanh Pham
>1 y
Ah the unspoken voice of result. I am in agreement with this vital truth. The military backbone rest on your average Joe. NOthing special, just consistent dependable average work.
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PO2 Michael Berry
PO2 Michael Berry
>1 y
Key words are dependable and consistent. Add accurate to the list
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TSgt Joshua Copeland
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Edited >1 y ago
I reviewed someone I mentor's records because they are completely heart broken they missed MSgt by 40 points (missed it by less then 4 last year). When I looked at the EPR's it was pretty easy to see why their board score was so low, poor writing by their previous supervisors not accurately capturing what they did as a SSgt and new TSgt. Sure all thier EPR's were FW5's but the writing in them was less than lackluster. One bullet basically read (translated back in to English) wrote a course. What they actually did was develop an ENTIRE course of 90+ modules, revamping an entire school house program allowing them to cut an entire WOT out. Had the bullet reflected THAT it would have made a difference. The EPRs were littered with examples like that.

When asked what they can do to "fix" it? Honestly, not much, those EPR's will get pushed down each year and hopefully each EPR that is written from this point forward will frankly be written better.

Is it fair that someone doesn't get promoted based on the lack of writing skills of someone else? No. However, that is all the board has to you off of. Now for this individual, they were also "weak" in other traditional "high interest" areas as they don't have the "qtr/annual/AFSC based award" on each EPR (or even some) so that hurt their board score as well. The have also not completed the optional PME available to them (JSEPME).

Overall this board was "rough" on folks. It "graded" EPR's that were never designed to be looked at in this level which in turn means supervisors historically may not have put as much effort in to them as they would if they would have know 5 years ago that the EPR would effect the member making MSgt. This IS a self correcting problem as each year passes, supervisors (and rating chains as a whole), should be making sure that the EPRs are written in such a way that it provides really hard impacts and clearly articulates what the member did and not just in broad strokes. This will also be aided by competing at the unit level (or higher for small units) for the top two promotion recommendations each year. A quality written EPR along with all the "checklist" items will surely be key deciding factors, especially if the authority is rolled up to a higher level commander.

There is a table out there (don't have it here at home) that does a great job explaining "expected" board scores based on multiple factors. It is designed for the "Old" EES systems so some of the stuff on it wont really be accurate moving forward (IE FW5's), but it is a great tool to gauge "where you are. It also doesn't take in to account any AF level special interest items that maybe inserted nor does it factor in the different preferences of the two Chiefs and Colonel that are grading packages that year. This years group could weigh off duty education more heavily, next year's group deployments, the following number of PCS's, etc.

As for writing a quality EPR, I can't speak highly enough of CMSgt (R) Eric Jaren's http://www.brownbaglessons.com/. IF you are not a good, writer, this will help, if you ARE a good writer, this will make you great.

Thanks for bringing up this great topic Maj (Join to see)
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MSgt Alan H
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heres what's going to happen with the AIR FORCE "new" PROMOTION SYSTEM OR boards for all enlisted ranks. Yes, fabulous for the CMSAF and his fabulous new efforts to stop fire wall five EPRs for most but for the same very reason we had fire wall fives for too many, the allocation of points will also be skewed and ineffective. The reason the old AF evaluation system became so inflated and ineffective was that enlisted and officer raters did not have the backbone to reflect true performance and take the time to do effective feed back and effective rating when feed back expectations were not met. Now what's going to happen is that once again we will have raters with no backbone that will refuse to give the allocated higher marks to young, smarter, more goal reaching and more effective workers that greatly outshine some of their older more time in grade lackluster mediocre or even ineffective performers. It already happens with officer evaluations, officer definate promote "DP" and just promote "P" evaluations are normally handed out to more senior based on year group and time in service/time in rank not their over all performance which can lead to ineffective leadership, poor use of resources, politically motivated promotions within their organizations.
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