Navy Announces Two-Week BOL System Outage for Updates and Tech Refresh

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From Naval Personnel Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) — Navy Personnel Command (NPC) announced Aug. 7, that BUPERS Online (BOL) will be offline for two weeks, starting Aug. 25, to receive a number of important upgrades.

Sailors may also experience intermittent BOL system outages from Sept. 9 – Oct. 2, in addition to the two-week shutdown. The Navy anticipates BOL will be fully operational Oct. 3.

Among the applications regularly used by Sailors that will be affected include: Physical Readiness Information Management System (PRIMS), access to Officer Data Card, Officer Service Record, Performance Summary Record, Electronic Service Record (ODC, OSR, PSR, ESR) and the ability to request a CD of a Sailor’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF).

While this maintenance period was carefully selected because there are no promotion selection boards during this timeframe, Sailors are encouraged to review their records now prior to the start of the fiscal year (FY) 19 board schedule. A full list of upcoming boards during FY-19, which begin Oct. 1, can be viewed at www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/boards/selectionboardsupport/Pages/FY19-Board-Schedule.aspx.

Several workarounds have been established for personnel records updates during the outage. To find out how to conduct personnel actions during this short outage, refer to the FAQs at www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/Documents/2017%20Tech%20Refresh%20FAQs%20Final.docx.

The Navy’s 2017 Physical Fitness Assessment cycle II began July 1 and runs until Dec. 31. Commands have the freedom to select any time to conduct testing during this period. If the Physical Activity Risk Factor Questionnaire is not available through BOL, a hard copy can be downloaded at www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/21st_Century_Sailor/physical/Pages/default2.aspx. If the hard copy is used, command fitness leaders must manually enter the data once BOL access is restored.

Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System (NSIPS) Self Service capability will be available during the outage, but updates to the Official Military Personnel File will not be complete until connectivity is re-established.

For those Sailors on orders to or returning from overseas, remote or expeditionary assignments, there are several additional workarounds. Visit www.public.navy.mil/BUPERS-NPC/SUPPORT/DISTRIBUTION/Pages/OverseasScreening.aspx for more information.

Contact the NPC Customer Service Center at 1-866-U-ASK-NPC (1-866-827-5672) for more information concerning specific application impact.

For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/npc/.

What Should You Do If You Didn’t Promote?

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If you are particularly interested in this post, I’m sorry. You or someone you care about probably failed to promote. In reality, nowadays it is normal and expected to fail to promote to O5 and O6, so you have company. Here are my suggestions for those that fail to promote.

First, try to figure out why you didn’t promote. Because the promotion board members are not allowed to speak about your board, you’ll never actually find out why you failed to promote, but you can usually take a pretty educated guess if you talk to the right people (like me).

If any of these things happened to you, they are likely a main reason you didn’t promote:

  • Any PFA/BCA failures.
  • Legal issues, such as a DUI or any other legal trouble.
  • Failure to become board certified.

There are other things that could happen to you that make it difficult but not impossible to promote. They include:

  • Coming into zone while in you were in GME.
  • Having non-observed (NOB) fitreps before the board, such as those in full-time outservice training.
  • Spending too much time in the fleet as a GMO, Flight Surgeon, or UMO. This is mostly because it causes you to come into zone for O5 while you are still in GME, and is more of a problem if your residency is long.
  • Never getting a competitive early promote (EP) fitrep. Many officers who fail to select have never had a competitive EP fitrep in their current rank. This can be because they were stationed places without competitive groups and they get 1/1 fitreps, or it can be because they were in a competitive group and did not break out and get an EP. To me this is the #1 ingredient to promote…competitive EP fitreps. If you don’t have them, you are really up against it.
  • Receiving potentially adverse fitreps. This most commonly happens when you are at an operational command and your reporting senior is not someone who is used to ranking Medical Corps officers, although it could happen for other reasons (like your reporting senior felt you deserved this type of fitrep). The most common situation would be if there is a competitive group of 2 officers but both are given must promote (MP) fitreps instead of 1 getting an EP and the other the MP. When both get an MP, it reflects poorly on both officers unless the reason for this is CLEARLY explained in the fitrep narrative, which it often is not. The other thing that happens is that a reporting senior gives you a 1/1 MP instead of a 1/1 EP. If you are ever getting a 1/1 fitrep, make sure you get an EP. You should consider getting a 1/1 MP an adverse fitrep. If there is no way around this, often because the reporting senior has a policy that they don’t give newly promoted officers an EP, make sure that this policy is clear in the fitrep narrative.
  • Having a declining fitrep. Mostly this happens when you go from getting an EP to an MP on your fitrep under the same reporting senior. If it is because you changed competitive groups, like you went from being a resident to a staff physician, that is understandable and not a negative. If you didn’t change competitive groups, though, make sure the reason you declined is explained.
  • Making it obvious to the promotion board that you didn’t update your record. The most obvious ways a promotion board will know you didn’t update your record is if your Officer Summary Record (OSR) is missing degrees that you obviously have (like your MD or DO) or if many of the sections of your OSR are either completely blank or required updating by the board recorders. Remember that although promotion board recorders will correct your record for you, anything they do and any corrections they make are annotated to the board. While a few corrections are OK, you don’t want a blank record that the recorders had to fill in. It demonstrates that you didn’t update your record.

So who actually promotes to O5 and O6? In general, the officer who promotes is:

  • Board certified.
  • Has a demonstrated history of excellence as an officer. In other words, whenever they are in a competitive group, they successfully break out and get an EP fitrep. Being average is just not good enough anymore.
  • They have no PFA failures, legal problems, declining fitreps, or potentially adverse fitreps.
  • They have updated their record, and if they previously failed to select they reviewed their record with their Detailer and actively worked to improve it.

So what do you do if you were passed over and failed to promote?

Realize that it is not the end of the world. Based on the recent promotion board statistics, most officers were passed over for O5 or O6, but a large number of the officers selected were from the above zone group.

If you do nothing, you will continue to get looked at by promotion boards until you retire, resign, or are forced out of the Navy. There is no limit to the number of chances you get to promote and your record will be evaluated for promotion every year. That said…

You need to try to promote. Consider sending a letter to the promotion board. What do you say in this letter? First, briefly state that you want to be promoted and to continue your career in the Navy. Second, explain what a promotion would allow you to do that you can’t do at your current rank. Answer the question, “Why should they promote you?”

For example, if you want to be a Department Head at a large military treatment facility (MTF) or a Residency Director (or whatever you want to do), tell them that you need to be promoted to be competitive for these jobs. The Navy wants to promote leaders. Make it clear to them that you are a motivated future leader.

Try and get letters of support to attach to your letter. These letters should be from the most senior officers who can personally attest to your value to the Navy. In other words, it is probably better to get a letter from an O6 who knows you well than a 3 star who doesn’t. If you are not sure who to ask for letters, ask those more senior to you or your Detailer for advice. Your Specialty Leader is always someone to consider if he/she knows you well and can speak to your contributions to the specialty and Navy.

Have your record reviewed by your Detailer, Specialty Leader, other trusted senior advisor, or by me. Because of promotion board confidentiality, you will never know the reason(s) you did not promote, but most of the time experienced reviewers can come up with an educated guess. They’ll often find things that you were not even aware of, like potentially adverse fitreps, or information missing from your record. My promo prep document will help you as well.

Do everything you can to get “early promote” or “EP” fitreps. This is largely accomplished by continually striving for positions of increased leadership. You need to get a job that has historically led to a promotion.

As a LCDR who got passed over for CDR, try to get one of these jobs and excel at it (this list is not exhaustive and these positions are not the only path to CDR, but they are a good start):

  • Assistant/Associate Residency Director
  • Department Head at a small/medium sized MTF
  • Senior Medical Officer or Medical Director
  • Chair of a hospital committee
  • MEC member

If you are a CDR who got passed over for CAPT, try to get one of these jobs and excel at it:

  • Residency Director
  • Department Head in a large MTF
  • Associate Director or Director
  • Officer-in-Charge (OIC)
  • MEC President
  • Division, Group, or Wing Surgeon
  • CATF Surgeon
  • Specialty Leader

Meet with your chain-of-command. After you’ve been passed over is not the time to be passive. You need to sit down with your leadership and get an honest assessment from them of how you’re doing and what they would recommend continuing to advance your career. You may not like what you hear, but it is better to find out early if they don’t think you’re doing a good job or that you are unlikely to break out on your fitreps. That way you can try and put yourself in a better situation by changing commands.

In addition to the above list of things you should do, there are a few things you should not do:

  • Do not lie in your letter to the board. In other words, don’t tell them you want to do Executive Medicine if you don’t really want to. Your record reads like a book, and if it tells a story that is contrary to what your letter says, this is unlikely to help you and may hurt you.
  • Do not send long correspondence. Promotion boards have to read everything sent to them, and a long letter may not be appreciated. Keep it brief and to the point.
  • Do not ask your current CO to write you a letter to the board if they’ve done an observed fitrep on you. His or her opinion about you should be reflected on that fitrep, so they don’t need to write you a letter. If they’ve never given you an observed fitrep or there is some new information not reflected on prior fitreps, they could either write you a letter or give you a special fitrep. Ultimately it is up to them whether they do either of these or none.
  • Do not discuss anything adverse unless you want the board to notice and discuss it. This issue comes up frequently and people will ask me for advice, but ultimately it is up to the individual officer. The one thing I can guarantee is that if you send a letter to the board and discuss something adverse, they will notice it because they will read your letter! If you think there is a chance the adverse matter will get overlooked, it is probably better not to mention it and keep your fingers crossed.

Those are my tips for those who find themselves above zone. Most importantly, if you want to promote, NEVER STOP TRYING. You can stay in as a LCDR for 20 years, and I personally know of people who got promoted their 9th look!

FY18 O5 Medical Corps Promotion Stats by Specialty

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FLT SRG 1 0 0.00% 8 1 12.50% 12 0 0.00%
RAM 4 0 0.00% 8 3 37.50% 6 0 0.00%
ANESTH 11 3 27.27% 5 2 40.00% 28 0 0.00%
SURG 14 2 14.29% 12 6 50.00% 40 0 0.00%
NEURO SURG 1 0 0.00% 1 1 100.00% 10 0 0.00%
OB GYN 5 1 20.00% 8 1 12.50% 21 0 0.00%
GMO 0 0 N/A 2 0 0.00% 6 0 0.00%
OPHTH 2 2 100.00% 3 2 66.67% 5 0 0.00%
ORTHO 7 2 28.57% 7 2 28.57% 28 0 0.00%
OTO 4 2 50.00% 4 1 25.00% 11 1 9.09%
URO 2 2 100.00% 3 1 33.33% 6 0 0.00%
PREV MED 5 3 60.00% 7 1 14.29% 4 0 0.00%
OCC MED 3 1 33.33% 3 0 0.00% 8 1 12.50%
PHYS MED 1 1 100.00% 1 0 0.00% 3 0 0.00%
PATH 7 3 42.86% 4 1 25.00% 6 0 0.00%
DERM 5 4 80.00% 2 1 50.00% 11 0 0.00%
EMERG 10 4 40.00% 14 4 28.57% 29 0 0.00%
FAM PRAC 15 5 33.33% 20 9 45.00% 40 1 2.50%
INT MED 21 10 47.62% 15 3 20.00% 41 0 0.00%
NEURO 1 1 100.00% 1 0 0.00% 2 0 0.00%
UMO 2 0 0.00% 2 0 0.00% 2 0 0.00%
PEDS 4 3 75.00% 7 1 14.29% 22 0 0.00%
NUC MED 0 0 N/A 0 0 N/A 0 0 N/A
PSYCH 4 2 50.00% 3 0 0.00% 24 0 0.00%
DIAG RAD 13 6 46.15% 13 6 46.15% 30 0 0.00%
RAD ONC 1 0 0.00% 2 1 50.00% 4 0 0.00%
TOTAL 143 57 39.86% 155 47 30.32% 399 3 0.75%


ABOVE ZONE 155 47 30.32%
IN ZONE 143 57 39.86%
BELOW ZONE 399 3 0.75%

FY18 Medical Corps O5 Promotion Board Stats and Math Explained

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Overall stats are here (and in PDF form – FY18 AO5S STATS):

The promotion opportunity was 75%. The number of people in zone was 143. In order to find the total number of officers they could select for promotion, you take the promotion opportunity x the size of the zone:

(75% promotion opportunity) x (143 officer zone size) = 107 officers could be selected for promotion, which is how many they selected…

Above zone – 47 of 155 selected – 30.32%
In zone – 57 of 143 selected – 39.86%
Below zone – 3 of 398 selected – 0.75%


FY18 Medical Corps O5 Promotion List

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Here’s the list (link to the ALNAV is here):

Ableman Thomas B 0031 Agraz Javier Jr 0021
Atienza Arriel Elarmo 0105 Auten Jonathan David 0013
Ballard Sarah B 0074 Barker Patrick Dean 0079
Barlow Thomas K 0098 Bernhard Jason Robert 0081
Boller William A 0017 Burke Kim Elizabeth 0038
Canuso Amy Arnold 0070 Capra Gregory Gerard 0083
Carbone Peter Neff 0088 Childs John Michael 0025
Choe Anna Y 0068 Chung James 0039
Clark Delbert David 0008 Clark James K 0069
Coffey Debra D 0072 Connolly Randy Wain 0041
Cook Jerald L 0106 Cronyn Patrick Dager 0052
Cross Garfield 0029 Crossman Emily L 0048
Decker Lawrence C 0067 Degrado Justin James 0024
Dierksheide Julie E 0014 Dimmer Brian Matthew 0086
Douglas Mark S 0075 Elliott Adrian 0026
Fechner Kenneth M 0020 Fick Daryl Burton Jr 0087
Fowler Elizabeth Mae 0085 Gentry Shari Lynn 0012
Germana Antonino 0101 Gibson Lisa Kay 0104
Gomezleonardelli Domin 0047 Greene David Erik 0009
Grijalva Steven D 0033 Grossart Richard T 0005
Gudeman Suzanne Rae 0089 Heltzel David Andrew 0010
Hoover Khristina J 0030 Kazlauskas Kristofer A 0003
Kilfoil Terrence M 0043 Ko Charles C 0036
Koren Kelly Gray 0080 Krzyzaniak Michael J 0023
Lamme Jacqueline S 0034 Leibig Jonathan Scott 0046
Lodico Derek N 0061 Love Kathleen M 0076
Lunceford Martin W 0065 Mcadams Douglas C 0056
Mcdivitt Jonathan D 0078 Mcdonald Lucas S 0032
Mcgrath Sean F 0001 Mei Jian Ming 0007
Mentler Ellie Chiwon K 0084 Miletich Derek Matthew 0082
Miller Kyle Eric 0077 Mullins Lynita H 0095
Murphy Thomas J II 0019 Murphy Wayne Thomas 0006
Nassiri Joshua Darius 0064 Nelles Meghann E 0015
Nelson Benjamin E 0055 Nicholas Luke C 0092
Nork Justin J 0100 Owings Alfred John II 0050
Paz David Alexander 0018 Perez Angel J 0107
Peterson Jami Jo 0058 Phillips Christopher R 0071
Phun Huy Q 0060 Potochny Evelyn M 0049
Pryor Howard Irwin II 0004 Quartey Benjamin N 0028
Rappe Jodie Danielle 0090 Reynolds William W Jr 0002
Rice Nelly Kim 0022 Ripple James Randall 0066
Robinson Christa M 0045 Rose Matthew W 0011
Rupp Brianna L 0042 Sangiorgi Michelle J 0073
Schmitz Joseph William 0035 Schuette Albert J Jr 0016
Shah Anil N 0027 Singla Manish 0091
Smith Jason E 0040 Smith Monique E 0096
Spring Leah Kristina 0063 Stclair Kristina J 0093
Steelman Theodore J 0053 Stickle Edward T Jr 0059
Sweet Nicholas N 0062 Teti Virginia Plitt 0054
Uniszkiewicz Robert N 0103 Valentine Johannah K 0037
Vargas Marcel Moses 0044 Viola Shelton A 0094
Ward William Harrell 0102 Whaley John Gregory 0051
Wood Kristi M 0097 Worthley Jeffrey C 0057
Yee Bruce Arnold 0099

USSOCOM Surgeon Position – O6 Only

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The USSOCOM Surgeon ­position is opening in June 2018 and is open to O­6 only. Nomination packets are due to BUMED by 17 JUL via your Specialty Leader. The nomination packet must include:

  • Flag officer letter of recommendation
  • Photo
  • CV and BIO
  • Last 5 fitreps
  • Detailer and Specialty Leader concurrence

Guest Post – Maximizing TSP Contributions During Deployment

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[Editor’s Note – The process of contributing to the TSP above the $18K annual limit while deployed can be confusing. Thanks to Dr. Levi Kitchen for giving us a first hand summary of how it works.]

By LCDR Levi Kitchen (Levikk81 < at > gmail.com)

Deployment offers a number of financial benefits, including tax free pay which can be directly contributed to your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). However, this can be tricky. The following numbers are based on 2017 limits, which can be seen at this link.

Normally, the elective deferral limit is $18,000 annually. A deferral is defined as the money you elect to remove from your paycheck and contribute to the TSP. This includes either Roth or traditional TSP contributions. When deployed to a combat zone and therefore receiving combat zone tax exempt (CZTE) pay, the deferral limit for the current calendar year increases to $54,000. However, even when receiving CZTE pay, you cannot exceed $18,000 in contributions to your Roth TSP. The remaining $36,000 would have to be contributed to the traditional TSP. Also, in order to take advantage of the higher limit, the money has to come from your CZTE pay, which has to come directly from your paycheck. So, you can only take advantage of the higher deferral limits while receiving CZTE pay, not after.

Although the decision between the Roth and traditional TSP can be complicated (a matrix can be seen here), it’s probably smartest to max contributions to the Roth TSP first as, due to the CZTE, this money will never be taxed by the federal government. Once you reach a total contribution of $18,000 to the Roth TSP, DFAS will automatically stop deducting money from your paycheck. At this point, you need to change your contributions to traditional TSP in MyPay, because you’ve reached the limit of allowable Roth TSP contributions. Automatic deductions to the traditional TSP would again stop once you reach the total limit of $54,000 ($18,000 in Roth TSP and $36,000 in traditional TSP) for the calendar year, or you stop receiving CZTE pay.

As far as I know, once you stop receiving CZTE pay, your annual limit returns to $18,000 regardless of either Roth or traditional contributions. If you’ve already contributed over $18,000 while deployed, then you cannot contribute anymore to your TSP for that calendar year.

For any comments or questions, please email Levi at Levikk81 < at > gmail.com.