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Army NCOER UPDATE

The recent overhaul of the Noncommissioned Officer Evaluation Report will help identify the next leaders of the Army by
ensuring that NCOs meet requirements before they are given greater responsibility, said officials at U.S. Army Human
Resources Command at Fort Knox, Ky. Ultimately, the new NCOER — which will transition from a one-size-fits-all report
to one based on the NCO’s rank — will offer Army officials a better tool in determining which Soldiers to place in key
assignments.

Plans call for the Army to transition from one NCOER to three separate reports for NCOs of different ranks. The new
NCOER, which is due to roll out in September 2015, will also feature new responsibilities for raters and senior raters.

“We need to align [the NCOER] with current doctrine,” said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III after
addressing students in August at the U. S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas, shortly after NCOER
changes were announced. “We should be measuring people against what we say leaders should be, know and do. …
[New control measures] may be part of the solution, but it’s really going to be about noncommissioned officers upholding
a standard to define what means success, failure or excellence.”

“With new control measures, everyone cannot receive a 1/1 (exemplary rating) anymore,” said Command Sgt. Maj.
Charles E. Smith, the command sergeant major of HRC. “It’s also going to help shape the Army across the board
because when promotion boards and senior leaders are looking at those files to pick the next future leader of the Army,
there will be a clearer distinction between who is among the best.

Key changes in the new NCOER
Secretary of the Army John McHugh approved the following revisions to the Noncommissioned Officer Evaluation Report
on Aug. 1, 2014. The changes apply to all components: active, Reserve and National Guard. Use of the new NCOER is
due to begin in September 2015.

•Three NCOER forms aligned with Army leadership doctrine (Army Doctrine Publication 6-22)

▪ Sergeant — will focus on proficiency and is developmental in nature

▪ Staff sergeant through first sergeant/master sergeant — will focus on organizational systems and processes

▪ Command sergeant major/sergeant major — strategic level report will focus on large organizations and strategic
initiative
•A rater tendency label or rating history for raters of staff sergeant through command sergeant major/sergeant major
that will be imprinted on completed NCOER
•A senior rater profile established for senior raters of staff sergeant through command sergeant major/sergeant major
(managed at less than 50 percent in the “most qualified” selection)
•Delineation of rating officials’ roles and responsibilities to eliminate inconsistent ratings

▪ Rater assesses performance

▪ Senior rater assesses potential

● Assessment format

▪ For raters:

▫ Bullet comments (for sergeant through first sergeant/master sergeant forms)

▫ Narrative comments (for the command sergeant major/sergeant major form)

▪ For senior raters, narrative comments for all forms
•The senior rater willcounsel the rated NCO, at a minimum, twice during the rating period
•A supplementary reviewer will be required in some situations where there are non-Army rating officials in the rating chain

Another key change of the new NCOER is that support forms will require senior raters to counsel NCOs twice, at a
minimum, during the rating period. But despite the changes on the horizon, rating officials don’t need to change their
rating philosophies until the new NCOER is implemented, McDermid said.

In moving to a senior rater profile, it becomes even more “critical that [the senior rater] sit down, counsel and mentor
that rated NCO,” he said.

The counseling sessions will force rating officials to sit down with NCOs to make sure that the expectations laid out by
leaders are followed through and that the NCOs stay on track, Smith said. Additional responsibility will also be placed on
the rated NCO to set a goal for that rating period and to achieve it.

“[NCOs will then hear raters say], ‘If you want to remain competitive, if you want to be a future leader in the Army, you’ll
have to do the things that are going to get you there,” Smith said. “You have to stay proficient in your core
competencies. You have to go to school to improve yourself. You have to continue to improve on your physical fitness.
All those things that have been laid out for years, those things are really going to come to the forefront because now not
everybody is going to receive a 1/1 [rating]. This is going to force leaders and Soldiers to strap up their boot laces and
really get after it every day.”

In order to ease the transition to the new NCOER, mobile teams will begin training in April at HRC at Fort Knox. Once
completed, mobile training teams will then instruct trainers throughout the Army in May. Those trainers will then return to
their installations, and they will train their assigned units and personnel from June through August 2015 in time for the
rollout of the new NCOER in September.

“During this time, when we start to roll out and we start training and bringing out mobile training teams to different
organizations, it is critical that senior leaders at all levels in the Army are really engaged in this process so that we can
properly train the entire Army,” Smith said. “The people who should be putting a lot of emphasis on it are the senior
leaders, because if we don’t get this right, we can [adversely] affect some Soldiers’ careers in the long run.”

Establishing and enforcing accountability for rating officials will be paramount in eliminating rating inflation in the
evaluation system, officials say.

“Leveling the playing field and making sure that everyone plays by the same rules will create fairness across the board,”
McDermid said.

“[The current NCOER] is outdated and highly inflated,” he said. “NCOs must understand the move toward [establishing]
the accountability of the rating official, which will ensure that we provide accurate assessments because … not
everybody is a 1 [rating],” he said. “When we talk about a culture change, we’re talking about a significant emotional
impact on the NCO Corps once the new NCOER is implemented.”
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