Throwback Thursday Classic Post – What is a “Don’t Pick Me” Promotion Board Letter? Why Would You Send One?

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If you go to the Navy Active Duty Officer Promotions Page, you’ll find this at the bottom:

Sample “Don’t Pick Me” Letter to the Board

Removing the introductory portion, here is what the meat of this letter says:

1. Per reference (a), please remove my record from consideration by the FY-2X Active Duty (Grade) (Competitive Category) Selection Board.

That’s it. All it says to the promotion board is, “Don’t pick me.”

Why would or should a physician send a letter requesting NOT to be considered by a promotion board? Here are a few reasons:

  1. You are an O4 or O5, know that you are resigning, and that you will not be joining the Reserves – If you are just paying your time back and getting out, do your fellow officer a favor and remove yourself from consideration. It is hard enough to promote to O5 and O6 nowadays. Having one less person to compete with helps out those who are willing to stick around. Yes, if you are picked and get promoted soon enough you could get some extra pay for a little while before you resign, but I’d say the general karma of letting someone else get the promotion outweighs that small financial benefit.
  2. You are an O4 or O5 who is retiring but you know that if selected for promotion you won’t accept it – Why would someone not accept a promotion? Because a promotion to O5 or O6 obligates you for 3 more years if you intend to retire. And the Navy still isn’t letting anyone get out early. If you want to get out as fast as possible with a 20 year retirement, taking a promotion to O6 in year 18 means you must stick around until year 21 at least.

Why is a “Don’t Pick Me” letter not applicable if you’re an O3? Because for physicians the promotion opportunity is “all fully qualified” or 100% for O4. In other words, if everyone in zone was fully qualified they could promote every physician who is a LT to LCDR. They generally don’t, but they could. You taking a promotion doesn’t really hinder someone else’s promotion like it does for O5 and O6.

So…if #1 or #2 above are applicable, consider sending a “Don’t Pick Me” letter. And remember, they are now due 10 days before a board convenes (not 24 hours like before).

 

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