Posted on Oct 1, 2014
SSG Theodore Scherer
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I have recently come into a rather, I think, unusual situation. Without going into too much detail essentially one of the Soldier's in my rating chain I feel is a toxic leader and I have a rather substantial amount of evidence to back up this claim. A Commander's Inquiry has been done and I have exhausted all possible means of combating this situation with the exception of the NCOER appeal process.

I am being marked down for a needs improvement under Duties and Responsibilities for a situation that was proven to not be my doing. This NCOER is being done up as a 3/3 and is the only blemish on my record during my rating time. The DA 4856 I had received for this incident I did not agree with, however because of the nature of this officer and the way I was treated by them, I did not have a choice but to agree on the form. I know it is my right to disagree however I personally felt that that right was taken from me throughout my time with this officer. This officer has made it a point to make ending my career a personally motivated ordeal and it has been noticed by other members of the organization, even going so far as to change my raters bullets on the NCOER, with this officer being the senior rater and stating that they wish this to be as weak as possible.

My question is, does a 3/3 prevent me from continuing my career in the military? It is lowest NCOER I currently have and due to the nature of this I feel I have a standing chance of appealing it. I realize the Army Retention Initiative from February 2014 states that a 4 in any category will end you its just I am not sure about this rating. Again up until this point in my career I have had zero incidents or issues against and my record is for the most part spotless. I am attempting to pursue to be a Warrant Officer.

I have referenced DA PAM 623-3 and I am just asking for an actual Soldier's perspective on this situation as the reg tends to be, at least from my interpretation, open ended at times and it helps to have people who have been in similar situations help you understand.

I spoke with legal today as well and asked them about signing the NCOER if I do not agree with it. I know that the only thing I am agreeing to is the admin data and that if I do not sign it, it can be marked down as "Soldier refused to sign." Legal told me that it will not hurt me if I do not sign it, I would like to request confirmation on this. As of yet I have not signed it.

Thank you in advance and I apologize for the long read.
Posted in these groups: 1efa5058 NCOER
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1SG Claims Assistant
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First, to answer your two questions:
No, a 3/3 is not career breaker. It shows you were successful at your current grade, and you should be promoted if positions are available. That is a quote from the Pam.
Yes, I would advise you to sign (assuming the admin data and rating chain is correct), and it will not harm you to not do so.

Now as for an appeal, your case as you lay it out would be to prove a rating official treated you with prejudice - different from other Soldiers with similar circumstances. You have an angle to pursue if you can prove that the S/R had "undue command influence" and caused the rater to change his/her comments. He can't do that.
In my experience this type of appeal is very difficult to substantiate and will require a number of statements corroborating your side of the story to be successful. If you go for an appeal, please ensure you have a preponderance of evidence on your side.
Gotcha NCOERs happen a lot right before a PCS. Some people lack the courage to address issues when the Soldier will be a member of their unit going forward, and wait until they are about to leave to spring an ambush... banking that you will go away. Invest the time to secure all of your documentation before you go, or you will have an uphill battle.

One last thing, the officer will never know if you are successful in your appeal, so reprisal (if he is indeed a toxin) is only likely if the circle of personnel you solicit for support talk about the issue in the wrong circles.
Good Luck, SSG.
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SSG Theodore Scherer
SSG Theodore Scherer
7 y
1SG Healy, thank you for taking the time to advise on this. Now I know most people in these situations never tell the full truth. I will say that I am not completely innocent in this situation, no one ever really is. I could have been more tactful towards this individual to avoid being put in this situation, however when you are treated not as a NCO, or even a person, it makes it very difficult to bite your tongue. I now have a better understanding of what I must do in case I ever come across another toxic leader and I can help others who are put in similar situations. My counseling packet will be called in during the appeal and that, as you said, will make this a very difficult thing to over come. My biggest issue is I agreed on the 4856 when I know I should not have. That is my fault and I acknowledge that. That is part of my argument is to show that the actions of this officer prevented me from being allowed the opportunity to disagree. It is very difficult to explain, I was afforded the opportunity to disagree but it did not feel like I really did, if you understand me. I appreciate your advice on this and I will be referencing these comments in January when I start my appeal. Thank you again.
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CSM Brigade Operations (S3) Sergeant Major
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SSG Theodore Scherer
I agree with the other SNCOs on signing the evaluation. I also would like to know if you have spoken to the reviewer? Even a little differences between the rater and senior rater comments should be sniffed out by the reviewer (or the CSM).

I am on the fence with the 3/3 thing, a couple years ago I would of agreed that it wouldn't hurt you but these days it sure isn't going to help you. Were you counseled properly every quarter on a DA Form 2166-8-1? Did the senior rater counsel you at all justifying the comments and blocks? If improperly counseled or no counseling at all you have a strong case for appeal.

Be careful with the appeal process as you could end up with nonrated time for the entire evaluation period if the appeal is won in your favor. So that begs the question is the NCOER so terrible that nonrated time will look better?
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SSG Theodore Scherer
SSG Theodore Scherer
7 y
Thank you for your response CSM Oldsen.

I have spoken to the reviewer and there was little they could actually do. Essentially what it came down to was, the through date on the NCOER was in June, I did not even see the NCOER until the end of September because of what this officer was trying to do. They could not agree on what bullets and rating to give me because she had made this personal. I was originally going to get a 4/4 and the bullets were written in such a way that were highly questionable at best and was since changed to a 3/3 after many weeks of going back and forth. Additionally, my rater wanted to give me something higher than what I got however my senior rater was telling my rater how to change the bullets to what she wanted. My rater would put something in and when it was sent to my senior rater for her bullets, bullets were changed to what the senior rater wanted without talking to the rater first, if that makes sense. This went on for weeks until a compromise was met.

I was also counseled on a 4856 instead of the 2166. My situation was very complicated. My rater was supposed to be my first line supervisor, however once this Captain came into the office it was supposed to change but it never did officially, it just kind of happened. No paperwork was done to point out this change. My first line was selected for another duty position and was supposed to be moved out of the office but that did not happen either, so I reported to my fire line and was reprimanded for not reporting to the captain even though it was never pointed out until almost 2 months after she was there and I received a negative 4856 because of this, since the change in first line was done verbally and not on paper. Once it was time to write the NCOER, my first line who was first in charge became the overall rater and the captain became the senior rater, again this was something that took many weeks for my unit to actually decide. I was told very little about my NCOER until I actually got it. I also did not have a sit down my senior rater to discuss what happened, my rater had also since PCSd a few days after the NCOER was finished so I never talked with anyone other than the CSM about what went on and even then it was vague. I didn't get my NCOER until about 1 week before I PCSd so when I went to talk to legal to start the appeal they told me they couldn't help because my time was short, I had to wait until I got to my next assignment, almost 3 months later, due to leave and ALC in route to start the appeal.

With the counseling justifying the bullets, yes I was however I did not agree with them at all. Because of the nature of this officer and her demeanor towards me, I felt like I was backed into a corner. I know it is my right to disagree on the 4856 but I did not, I felt like I would be punished if I did. I typed a up a full rebuttal to this counseling packet and submitted it to my BN CDR which he then initiated a commanders inquiry. I never did find out what the results were, the only word I got was it was being taken care of and never heard anything back since. This officer made me feel like I was unimportant and I was a complete failure in what I was doing because of one mistake which I was set up for failure on.

Would you recommend I even pursue this? It just sounds like I am caught between a rock and hard place. I hope I am going about this right way and am not hurting myself in trying to appeal, that NCOER covers 11 months, that would be a pretty large gap.
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CSM Brigade Operations (S3) Sergeant Major
CSM (Join to see)
7 y
SSG Theodore Scherer
I will tell you what I would do. I would let it ride and keep driving on. When your records go before the SFC board they will look at your last five NCOERs, if four of them are good and that one 3/3 is on of the five the board will figure it out. As far as the Warrant Officer thing goes you should talk to the recruiter and see how it would affect your selection. Not to drop a dime on one of my peers but just going off what you have stated your CSM really shit the bed on this one. He/she should of been the mediator on this and ensured a fair evaluation was submitted. Wishing you the best of luck brother!
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SSG Theodore Scherer
SSG Theodore Scherer
7 y
CSM Oldsen,

Thank you for your advice. I really do appreciate it. It just seemed like everyone in the organization was just waiting for me to PCS so they could forget about it and not deal with it anymore. It is what it is.
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SGT Francis Wright
SGT Francis Wright
7 y
I agree with the CSM just drive on and don't let the negativity define you.
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SFC Petroleum Supply Specialist
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no it will not hurt you if you don't sign. I had this happen to me as a Staff and made it to SFC. Plus the board will see the inconsistance with this rating versus the other 4 NCOER that the board looks at. Now will it get looked at unfavorably by some on the board...absouletly but trust me you can rebound and thats just his opinion. This to shall past.
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SSG Theodore Scherer
SSG Theodore Scherer
7 y
Thank you for your input SFC Bethea. After speaking with several seniors and warrant officers, they did say the same thing. I can hold my head high leaving this installation knowing I did everything I could minus appealing, which I am still prepared to do once I reach my next duty station. It just amazes me the lengths some people are willing to go to ensure that someone's career is either ended or delayed because they simply do not like you.
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