The promotion boards for FY17 are rapidly approaching, so I wanted to briefly discuss who makes up the promotion boards and how to get on one.
COMPOSITION OF THE BOARDS
The promotion boards consist of five voting members, and at least three of them are required to have board experience. Someone is designated the senior member or board president. In addition, there is always a line officer on medical corps boards, and this is one reason you can’t use medical abbreviations on your FITREPs without explaining what they mean. That line officer could be the one briefing your record and he/she may not know what AHLTA, STEMI, DM, or CVA mean. The remainder of the board will be filled by a diverse group of officers. There will always be at least one woman on the board and one minority, although the same person could meet both of these requirements. In addition, there will be a geographic dispersion including at least one member from outside the continental US (OCONUS).
The board recorders are the officers who review your record for a week before the board members arrive and the board convenes. There will be a head recorder as well as assistant recorders and they will all be from CONUS. In other words, you cannot serve as a board recorder if you are stationed OCONUS because it just costs too much money for travel.
HOW DO I GET ON A PROMOTION BOARD?
This one is simple as you just have to e-mail your Detailer and ask. Keep in mind, though, that the demand to be on a board far outnumbers the spots that exist. When I was a Detailer I had a folder in my Outlook e-mail where I put everyone who wanted to be on a board, and there were between 50-100 names in there. During the 15 months I served at PERS, I only had to contribute about 10 names for a board. With the requirements related to board composition that we discussed above, opportunities may only be present for officers meeting these requirements.