The following is from a PDF document created by RDML(s) Swap, Chief of the Medical Service Corps, and adapted for the Medical Corps with permission. Her unedited PDF is here:
Promotion boards are an integral part of how the Navy identifies the best and most qualified officers to lead in the future. Promotions are an expectation of future potential, not a reward for past performance. Every Medical Corps officer plays an important role in developing our next generation of leaders to include preparation for promotion boards. It is incumbent on our senior MC officers to understand the promotion selection process and be familiar with changes to the system, so appropriate mentoring can be performed.
ALNAV 050/15 released on 12 June 2015 outlines new talent management initiatives introduced by the Secretary of the Navy. New initiatives include changes in officer promotion processes to ensure the best and most fully qualified officers are promoted with consideration for current abilities and talents, rather than placement in a particular promotion zone. Therefore, beginning in January 2016, Above Zone (AZ) and Below Zone (BZ) stamps on officer records will no longer be used for records reviewed on promotion boards. These stamps were indicators on the Officer’s Summary Record (OSR) that highlighted the officer’s status within the zone.
- Beginning in January 2016, AZ and BZ stamps will no longer be placed on records reviewed in “the tank” (which is the promotion board room at PERS).
- AZ records will be reviewed with In Zone (IZ) records as conducted previously, minus the AZ stamp.
- A separate BZ review will still be conducted to review records warranting further consideration.
- Any BZ record selected for further review will be added to the crunch records reviewed in the tank. All BZ records identified for complete review will have no identifying BZ stamps and will be reviewed twice to ensureconsistent appearance among all of crunch records.
- Promotion zone eligibility will continue to be released via NAVADMIN in December of each year.
TALKING POINTS FOR MENTORSHIP SESSIONS
- Removal of the AZ/BZ stamps from the board view is to ensure the selection of the best and most qualified officer and that officers are promoted with consideration for current abilities and talents, rather than placement in a particular promotion zone.
- This initiative does not change the requirement for the OSRs to be stamped with “Letter to the Board”.
- It is still the officer’s prerogative on whether to submit a letter to the board.
- All officers should engage a mentor or senior leader to review their record prior to coming in zone, to identify issues/challenges that may require attention.
- If there are items in an officer’s record that need to be addressed/explained (regardless if BZ, IZ or AZ), it is recommended that a letter to the board be submitted addressing the issue.
- Officers who have previously failed to select may choose not to submit a letter to board if the record is in good order and has no items requiring attention.
HOW DOES THIS CHANGE THE GAME?
These are my comments now, and not RDML(s) Swap’s. First, I think this might make it a little easier to promote if you are AZ. Second, it also might make it easier to promote if you are BZ. In other words, don’t put off fixing your records just because you are BZ. Make sure you go to Joel Schofer’s Promo Prep and update your record if you are BZ, IZ, or AZ as soon as possible.