Warrant Officer Promotion Board – Fiscal Year 2015: Chief Warrant Officer of the Branch / CW5 Allen R. “Randy” Godfrey
On 9 January 2015, the U. S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC) released MILPER Message 15-009 on the Fiscal Year 2015 Active Component Chief Warrant Officer Three, Four, and Five Promotion Board. This board returns to the standard of 12-month zones of consideration.
In 27 January 2015, HRC released MILPER Messages 15-025 and 15-026 on the Fiscal Year 2015 Reserve Component Chief Warrant Officer Three, Four, and Five Promotion Board. Each MILPER message describes in detail the required items and deadlines in order to prepare for the board.
The promotion board mission is to recommend officers CW3, CW4, CW5 who are “Best Qualified” to meet the needs of the Army. Best qualified exemplifies the promotion orders’ words, “The Secretary of the Army has reposed special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity, and abilities. In view of these qualities and demonstrated potential for increased responsibility therefore promoted.”
The promotion board members utilize and adhere to laws, DOD regulations, Department of the Army Memorandums and Pamphlets, and Secretary of the Army Memorandum of Instructions. The board members assess files utilizing each of these documents to vote on the merits of the entire file. Scoring criteria for the vote is a word picture approved by the board with a numerical score from 1 to 6 +/-. Board members do not compare individual files to each other. The board member’s scoring criteria must remain consistent for each file in a population. Having been a previous board member, I can attest to the professional conduct and sincere obligation of the board.
The board members utilize DA PAM 600-3 to analyze career models for each specific Warrant Officer Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). Warrant officers display their demonstrated potential by filling positions of increased responsibility and performing once assigned to these positions. Diversity in assignments also demonstrates potential. The DA Pam provides descriptions of assignments, education, and experience for each MOS by rank.
The promotion board file consists of:
- Official DA Photo
- Officer Record Brief (ORB)
- Official Military Personnel File (OMPF)
- Letters to the Board President
- Retirement Letters – Approved Retirement Date
- Miscellaneous/Scanned Documents
- Disciplinary (if there is any “derogatory” data)
- Performance – Officer Evaluation Reports (OER), Academic Evaluation Reports (AER)
- Education and Training
The DA Photo is your “handshake” to the board member, and is important in making a good first impression. The photo is valid for 5 years. Recommendation is take the photo in the Army Service Uniform just prior to board but no later than 1 year prior. Ensure your uniform and authorized permanent accessories, decorations and insignia are properly worn in accordance with AR 670-1. Have someone look at your uniform BEFORE you take your photo. Take someone with you to your photo appointment (peer, NCO, superior) to ensure that you are not awkwardly positioned and that all of your accoutrements are properly aligned. Have a senior warrant officer review your photo before submission. For missing awards, add the certificate to your OMPF before you take a photo. If it is not in the OMPF then it does not exist.
The Officer Record Brief is the “road map” of your career. Correct current duty titles, such as “incoming personnel”, “excess personnel”, or “known losses”. Ensure Units of Assignment are readable and understandable. Verify that your assignment history is correct. Overseas duty assignment should be consistent, correct, and up to date. Awards and decorations should be consistent between OMPF, ORB, and DA Photo. Update all education both military and civilian. Ensure transcripts and required documents are in your file. Height and weight should be consistent with other documents in the packet. The physical is current five years for Technicians and one year for Aviators. The battalion or brigade S1 can update most areas with proper documentation. Other areas may require HRC input.
The Officer Evaluation Report serves two purposes. First, it is the report card for rated officer. Second, it is a message to the promotion board. In accordance with the Secretary of the Army directive dated 30 January 2015, HRC will move previously masked OERS to the OMPF performance section. Raters and senior raters must make the hard calls. They must be fair and open and send a clear message to the officer and to the board.
The rater is the first individual to write a narrative on the OER. With the advent of the new OER, the rater specifically addresses performance. The first sentence should quantify and qualify this performance. The narrative should define how well the rated officer accomplished his or her duties and responsibilities. Selection board members do use the rater’s narrative in their file deliberations.
Senior rater narrative should quantify and qualify the rated officer’s potential. Selection boards should understand what input the senior rater is providing without having to guess. This is done by clearly delineating potential box checks using the narrative sending the appropriate message to board members.
The HRC webpage has a link to selections and promotions. On the webpage, there is a video on the promotion board process. Additionally, there is a promotion board checklist available for download. Recommend all warrant officers considered for promotion review both these items to understand the board process. You are your own best S-1 and career manager.
Remember to start our day asking, “What are we doing for the Warfighter?”
At the end of the day, the answer is, “We provided no fail support to the Warfighter on the ground and in the air.”
CW5 Allen R. “Randy” Godfrey is the chief warrant officer of the Aviation Branch with the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort Rucker, AL.