Promotion Boards

FY23 O4 and O5 Promotion Board Opportunities

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Here are the FY23 O4 promotion opportunities:

-Medical Corps – 95%

-Dental Corps – 89%

-Medical Service Corps – 90%

-Nurse Corps – 75%

Here are the FY23 O5 promotion opportunities:

-Medical Corps – 90%

-Dental Corps – 80%

-Medical Service Corps – 60%

-Nurse Corps – 70%

You can find these on the 2nd page of the recently released FY23 promotion board convening orders, which are below:

FY23 O6 Promotion Board Precept, Convening Order, and Promotion Opportunities

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Now that the O6 board is over, the promotion opportunities can be found on page 2 of this convening order:

They were:

  • MC – 95% (the highest since FY10, which is as far back as I have data)
  • DC – 92%
  • MSC – 50%
  • NC – 50%

Here is the historical picture for the Medical Corps:


Here is the precept as well:

Congrats to RDML(s) Matt Case (MSC) and RDML(s) Guido Valdes (MC)

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As per the Senate Confirmation page:

2022-01-31 PN1724 Navy

The following named officers for appointment in the United States Navy to the grade indicated under title 10, U.S.C., section 624: Capt. Matthew Case, to be Rear Admiral (lower half) Capt. Guido F. Valdes, to be Rear Admiral (lower half)

You can see the specific nomination here.

All the Posts About Letters to the Board in One Place

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The question most people ask me is answered in these posts:

Should You Send a Letter to the Promotion Board?

Do You Still Need to Send the Above Zone Letter?

The bottom line is:

Pretend that you did not send a letter to the board, the board is over, and you were not selected for promotion. Are you going to be kicking yourself for not sending the letter? If the answer is yes or maybe, then send the letter. As long as you keep it short and sweet, there is no real downside.

Frankly, I think that when officers send letters to promotion boards they are often just making themselves feel better, and there is nothing wrong with that. You want to make sure that when the promotion board results come out, no matter what happened, you feel like you did everything you could to get promoted.

Letters to promotion boards have a new due date. You can’t send them the day before the board anymore:

Letters to Promotion Boards Now Due 10 Calendar Days Before the Board

If you know you are getting out of the Navy and really don’t care about getting promoted, you should read this post:

What is a “Don’t Pick Me” Promotion Board Letter? Why Would You Send One?

Have you been on active duty for less than 1 year? Read this:

How to Be Considered for Promotion if You’ve Been on Active Duty for Less Than 1 Year

You now need to use your DoD ID number and not your Social Security number on letters to the board. Read this:

Use DoD ID Number and Not Your SSN on Letters to the Board

You can now submit letters electronically:

Electronic Submission of Letters to the Board Now Available

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 do not select me for promotion by the FY-[XX] [ActiveDuty Navy/Navy Reserve] [Grade] [Line/Staff Corps] [Competitive Category] Promotion 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 know that you are resigning and will not be joining the Reserves – If you are just paying your time back and getting out, do your fellow officers a favor and remove yourself from consideration. It is hard enough to promote 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.

So…if #1 or #2 above are applicable, consider sending a “Don’t Pick Me” letter. Make sure, though, that you are 100% POSITIVE that nothing in your situation will change. Lots of people who think they are going to get out, not join the Reserves, or want to retire right at 20 years later change their mind.

And remember, they are now due 10 days before a board convenes (not 24 hours like before).

How to Be Considered for Promotion if You’ve Been on Active Duty for Less Than 1 Year

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The FY23 promotion board NAVADMIN was released this month. If you are in-zone or above-zone for an upcoming promotion board but you’ve been on active duty for less than 1 year, you should read #7 from the NAVADMIN, which says (I edited out the line only portion and focused on staff corps relevant content only):

7. In-zone and above-zone eligible officers in the grades of chief warrant officer 2/3/4, lieutenant, lieutenant commander and commander, whose placement on the Active-Duty list is within one year of the convening dates of these boards, are automatically deferred unless they specifically request to be considered. The officer may waive this deferment and request consideration for promotion, in writing, emailed to NPC_Officer_SELBD_Elig_Waivers.fct(at) or mailed to:

Commander, Navy Personnel Command (PERS-802)
5720 Integrity Drive
Millington, TN 38055-0000

For in-zone and above-zone eligible staff corps officers in the grade of commander, in-zone and
above-zone eligible line and staff corps officers in the grades of lieutenant commander and lieutenant, and in-zone and above-zone chief warrant officers, the request must be received by PERS-802 not later than 2359 CST 30 days prior to the convening date of the respective board. Specifically:

Selection To Convening Date Due Date / Time
Staff Corps Captain 8 FEB 22 8 JAN 22 / 2359 CST
Staff Corps Commander 2 MAY 22 1 APR 22 / 2359 CST
Staff Corps Lieutenant Commander 2 MAY 22 1 APR 22 / 2359 CST

What does this mean and why would it apply to you? Maybe you had prior service, you went to medical school, and now you’re a senior LT who is in-zone for LCDR right away. Maybe you did a civilian NADDS residency and you are in-zone right away for LCDR. There might be other situations that would put you in this position, like getting time-in-grade credit for other experience.

If you believe you are in this position, here is what I’d do:

  1. Confirm you are in-zone or above-zone. How can you do this? The easiest way if you are MC or DC is to read Chapter 2 of the Promo Prep. Or you can read this post that explains how zones work for the various corps.
  2. If you wish to be considered for promotion to LCDR, CDR, or CAPT, do what it says above. Send the letter simply requesting this. It can probably be a very short letter. There is no need to be verbose.
  3. Also, here is a great article on this topic from the August 2018 Medical Corps Newsletter:

Do you know about OPT-IN requirements for promotion?

FY23 Promotion Board Dates, Zones, and Continuation Policy

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This NAVADMIN gives you the zones for the FY23 promotion boards. The combined O4/O5 board will occur on 2 MAY 2022 while the O6 board occurs on 8 FEB 2022.

What is the easiest way to figure out where you are in the promotion board zones? The MC lineal list Excel spreadsheet that spells out the zones is posted on the MC Sharepoint. Or if you are MC or DC you can use your date of rank and look at page 5 of the Promo Prep because we are DOPMA exempt. NC and MSC need to use the zone NAVADMIN or their Corps’ lineal list spreadsheet.

Finally, the continuation policy that governs whether you can stay on Active Duty if you are not promoted is in this NAVADMIN. There were no changes for MC or DC from last year’s policy, but the Community Managers said this when I asked them if there were any other changes:

“NC added 1920 (Maternal/Infant) to 2xFOS LT Continuation.  MSC made several changes to eligible specialty list for 2xFOS LTs:

-All MSC clinical specialties with a 1xFOS LT are included in the FY23 plan.  Last year, the only clinical specialties were Physician Assistant, Clinical Psych, Social Work, and Podiatry.

-No HCAs are included in the FY23 plan.  Last year, a couple of HCA specialties (HFPPO and Operations Analysis) were eligible.

-All MSC science specialties (except Aviation and Operational Physiology) with a 1xFOS LT are included in the FY23 plan.  Last year, some over-manned/healthy specialties were excluded (i.e. Aviation and Operational Physiology, Entomology, and Microbiology).”

Are LT Medical Corps Fitreps Important? TL:DR = Yes

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Someone recently e-mailed me because they were having problems convincing their LTs that their fitreps mattered. Trust me, they matter.

The most important reason that they matter is because of changes made in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Prior to NDAA 20, the Navy was allowed to promote to O4 with an all fully qualified standard. In other words, the promotion opportunity was 100%. Here is a history of the O4 promotion opportunity:


As you can see, the opportunity decreased from 100% to 95% in FY22.

This means that it got a little bit harder to promote to O4, and a little more competitive. In other words, your fitreps as an O3 matter.