Promotion Boards

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

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Live and learn…

You no longer use your social security number on letters to promotion boards. The middle of this webpage at PERS says:

Also, you MUST use your FULL 10 digit DoD identification number on your cover letter and any document that does not already contain it.


The Word File of My Promo Board Letter and Other Templates

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Lots of people are asking me for templates for letters to promotion boards. Here is the exact letter in Word format that I sent to last year’s O6 board (minus my Xed out SS#):

Schofer Letter to O6 Board

You can also use these:

PERS Sample Letter to the Board

PERS Promotion Board Letter – Word Template

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


Happy holidays!

How to Get the FY20 Medical Corps Promotion Lineal List

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The spreadsheet with the FY20 promotion board zones has too much PII to post publicly, but you can find it here (make sure you pick your e-mail certificate):

It is halfway down on the right side under “Career Management.”

FY20 Promotion Boards – What are They Looking At and How Can You Get Ready?

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I gave this talk to the medical staff at NMC Portsmouth a few weeks ago, and I finally got around to recording it for all to enjoy…

Here is a PDF of the slides:

FY20 Promotion Boards – What are They Looking At and How Can You Get Ready

Here is a video screencast you can watch in just under 30 minutes:

Why the Navy is Using Photos for Promotion Boards Again

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A few readers have asked me why the Navy is using full length photos for promotion boards again. The official answer provided is:

This policy change is the result of board feedback received since the removal of the photograph requirement that the photographs and the board’s ability to assess the Title 10 requirements of an officer’s ability to perform the duties of the next higher grade.

Frankly, I had no idea what that really meant.

Then I read this article from Navy Times about the reinstitution of the photos. Here is what it says:

Vice Adm. Bob Burke, the Navy’s top uniformed personnel officer, changed course. He said selection boards wanted to appraise the appearance and physical fitness of officers submitting packages.

Appearance and physical fitness…now that makes more sense to me.

Navy Reinstates Officer Board Photo Requirement

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From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

Oct. 29 (NNS) — Official photographs will once again be displayed for all officer promotion selection boards, according to a Navy message, released Oct. 29.

This policy change came about due to board feedback. Boards overwhelmingly found the photo to be useful in evaluating officers’ ability to fulfill the Title 10 requirements for promotion to the next grade.

Effective with the release of NAVADMIN 265/18, the requirement to maintain an official full-length officer photograph remains in accordance with Military Personnel Manual (MILPERSMAN) 1070-180 – Officer Photographs. A change to MILPERSMAN Article 1070-020 – Officer Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) – will reflect the reinstatement of the requirement to display the photo during officer selection boards.

The Navy had eliminated the requirement to display photos for officer selections in 2016, but the requirement for officers to maintain an official photo in their records remained unchanged. The point of contact for photo submissions to the OMPF is Navy Personnel Command’s Records Management and Policy Division. Sailors can contact them through the MyNavy Career Center Contact Center by calling 1-833-330-MNCC (6622) or via e-mail at

For more information, read NAVADMIN 265/18 at

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