2021 Fitrep Prep Available

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The updated 2021 version of my Fitrep Prep for Medical Corps Officers can be found here. I was planning on putting it on Amazon as a free e-book, so I put it into the Amazon book template, but apparently you can’t list a book on Amazon for free. Oh well!

Download it on this page as much as you like (for free).

Throwback Thursday Classic Post – NOB Fitrep vs New Guy/Gal Promotable (P) Fitrep – Which is Better?

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Reader Question

I’m a LCDR MC officer. I’m new at my command and was passed over during my in-zone promotion board for CDR. My command is considering a NOB fitrep vs. a Promotable (P) fitrep. Do you have a recommendation on which fitrep will be more helpful for my promotion board?

Reader Poll

Here’s an image of the poll results:

Screen Shot 2020-06-27 at 11.14.36 AM

My Answer

In my experience, most physicians seem to prefer the NOB, but that’s not what the poll above says.

Personally, I don’t think it really matters very much. At the promotion board, both are easily explained and a getting a P as the new officer is expected, so it wouldn’t be a negative.

I would say that if you get a P you have already started the march to an MP and then (hopefully) an EP. If you take the NOB, then your next fitrep could be seen as your “new guy/gal P.”

This last point is why I’d prefer the P if it was me, but I don’t feel that strongly about it.

Updated Fitrep Prep and More Detail on Fitrep and Promo Board Changes from Recent NAVADMIN 137/20

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Because of NAVADMIN 137/20 and the increased focus it put on education in fitness reports, I updated Joel Schofer’s Fitrep Prep. The new portion is on page 15 and spells out the new requirements for block 41, which are spelled out below in detail, but later in the NAVADMIN it says in brief:

(2) For Block 41 (Comments on Performance), document professional 
military education, off-duty education and other educational and learning 
achievements pursued during the reporting period.


It also says this about promotion boards:

We will also update selection board precept and convening order 
guidance to direct board membership to review and brief specific education 
and learning contributions found in the official service records of eligible 
personnel, and to consider these documented accomplishments across the career 
of an individual when deliberating the best and fully qualified selection 
Statutory and administrative selection board presidents will be held 
accountable for ensuring compliance with this guidance in respect to board 


You better make sure you do some of this stuff and put it in your block 41, which I think would include CME/continuing education, JPME, Master’s degrees, service schools, and just about any other education related to your position that you do.

Here’s the detailed/longer portion of the NAVADMIN about fitreps:

3.  To support these goals, and in conjunction with MyNavyHR efforts to 
integrate education effectively into Sailor 2025 talent management 
initiatives, FITREPs will include specific comments regarding education, 
learning and support for a learning culture.
This requirement will allow us to identify, select and reward those officers 
who have demonstrated the commitment and ability to learn, as well as those 
who encourage and support the learning of others, by placing them into 
positions of influence at the tactical, operational and strategic levels.
    a.  Reporting Seniors must document:
        (1) All personal achievements in education and learning that 
contribute to a culture of continuous learning, improved knowledge and 
warfighting effectiveness at both the individual and unit level.
Resources include:
            (a) Resident and non-resident professional military education 
            (b) Professional and academic qualifications and certifications,
            (c) Civilian education coursework,
            (d) A personal reading program that includes (but is not limited 
to) selections from the Chief of Naval Operations Reading List,
            (e) Participation in discussion groups and military societies,
            (f) Publishing in national security or military journals, and
            (g) Involvement in learning through new technologies.

For purposes of this NAVADMIN, military societies are organizations that 
exist specifically to support education, training and professional 
development of personnel in a given community.  The definition of military 
societies does not include associations intended to promote the morale or 
general well-being of Service Members.

        (2) Individual commitment to intellectual growth in ways beneficial 
to the Navy, including rigorous self-assessment and efforts to improve:
            (a) Leadership,
            (b) Decision making,
            (c) Creativity,
            (d) Analytic ability,
            (e) Commitment to ethics,
            (f) Geopolitical awareness, and
            (g) Understanding of emerging military technologies and complex 
military operations.
        (3) The effort of the individual to support the continuing education 
of subordinates they command or supervise.
        (4) The degree to which the officer continued to assess self, develop 
professionally, improve current skills and knowledge and acquire new skills.
        (5) The extent to which these achievements increase the breadth and 
depth of warfighting and leadership aptitude.

Greater Emphasis on Education and Learning in FITREPs

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Just one more reason to get JPME

MILLINGTON, Tennessee (NNS) — The Navy’s recent deep dive into the value of higher education moved from idea to reality as the service will now require officer fitness reports to detail an individual’s educational and learning achievements as well as how these pursuits contributed to their unit’s mission effectiveness during a reporting period.

Announced in NAVADMIN 137/20 on May 7, this latest initiative shows Navy leadership’s commitment to the idea that career-long military learning isn’t only community or job-related technical or tactical training. Navy senior leadership wants this knowledge to be combined with higher education, a commitment to continuous learning, and the resulting critical thinking and analysis skills to build the Navy of the future.

This change is a logical next step in a path the Navy has been on for nearly two years, starting with the Education for Seapower Study which was published in December 2018.

“To deter and outfight potential opponents in a world defined by great power competition, our force of professionals is going to have to outthink them, and we can only do that through continual learning and education,” said the acting Secretary of the Navy James E. McPherson of the performance system changes.

“Our action today will ensure that our talent management system rewards officers who advance warfighting effectiveness through intellectual development and represents an important milestone as we implement our comprehensive Education for Seapower Strategy.”

According to the message, officer fitness reports must now detail what each individual in the service has done since their last report to further their education and support a culture of continuous learning. This will provide necessary information to Navy selection boards that will be directed to place an even greater emphasis on education and learning during their deliberations.

“The value that education and continuous learning brings to our Navy team is undisputed and directly supports our ability to deliver decisive naval power when called,” said Rear Adm. Jeff Hughes, deputy chief of naval personnel who oversees Navy selection boards at Navy Personnel Command. “It is imperative to document an individual’s commitment to intellectual growth in ways beneficial to the Navy, and the extent to which these achievements increase the breadth and depth of warfighting and leadership aptitude.”

The Navy updated its Navy Performance Evaluation System instruction – BUPERS Instruction 1610.10E to reflect these changes. It details where and when reporting seniors must document and assess each individual’s educational and learning achievements during a reporting period as they would things like their tactical performance or military bearing/character for example.

What will be considered includes formal education and learning such as resident and non-resident professional military education coursework, professional and academic qualifications and certifications, and civilian education courses.

Even more informal learning is encouraged, including personal reading programs that include, but are not limited to selections from the Chief of Naval Operation’s Reading List. Also, participation in discussion groups and military societies, writing in national security or military journals, as well as involvement in learning through new technologies will qualify.

This program is initially starting with the officer community based on their smaller numbers and existing educational opportunities and will be rolled out force wide once it is determined how to effectively measure the additional inputs. The continuing education of the entire force is extremely important. A full rollout will be done in a deliberate manner to ensure the Navy’s enlisted warfighters remain focused on their technical trades while balancing formal education and continuous learning. Ultimately, this program, and the continuing education it encourages is designed to ensure that the Navy is developing and deploying more capable and effective leaders and technical experts.

Exactly which trait grades and how seniors are to use the updated evaluation criteria are detailed in the message.

More information is available on these changes can be found in NAVADMIN 137/20 at

To read about the importance of these changes directly from the Chief Learning Officer and Chief of Naval Personnel, please visit their co-authored blog titled “Education and Learning an Operational Imperative” at the NavyLive blog.

Playing the Game and Managing Your Military Career

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What better to do during a global pandemic than listen to a screencast about managing your career! Here are the PPT slides I used for it:

Playing the Game – Managing Your Military Career

Throwback Thursday Classic Post – You Should Care About Promotion Board Precepts and Convening Orders

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Whenever a promotion board starts, the members are provided two items to guide them as they decide who to promote, the board precept and the convening order. These documents are available on-line and should be used to figure out how to promote and write your fitrep.

The Board Precept

The precept is released in December and can be seen anytime afterwards. For example, if you go to the FY21 O4 Staff Corps Promotion Board page and click on the link titled “SecNav Approved Precept” you’ll get the board precept even though this board hasn’t started yet.

The Convening Order

The convening order for a promotion board is not released until it starts. If you monitor the board page closely, you’ll usually be able to get it within 1-2 days after the board begins. I was able to download the FY21 O6 board convening order on Tuesday of this week (2 days ago), the day it started. You just click the link that reads “Board Convening Order”, like in this image below for the FY19 O4 Staff board:

Convening Order

Incidentally, this is how I always find out the promotion opportunity for all the boards and post it on the blog. It is in the convening order.

Why You Should Care

You should care about the precept and convening order because they tell you how to promote to the next rank. Go to this page and download them from the most recent boards of your next rank. You can see all the different boards circled in red here:


Click on the board for the next rank you’ll be competing for, and download the precept and convening order. If the board hasn’t happened yet (like the FY21 O4 board), then you’ll have to look at last year’s convening order (FY20).

Use these documents for two things. First, to figure out how to promote. For example, I deconstructed a past O6 convening order here.

Second, use them to come up with wording for your fitrep bullets, as discussed here where I showed you how to pull phrases for your block 41.

The Bottom Line

  1. Go to this page.
  2. Get the precept and convening order for your next rank. You might have to go to last year’s board for the convening order if the board hasn’t started yet.
  3. Use them to figure out how to get promoted and for writing your fitrep.

Summary of Changes to New Navy Fitrep Instruction

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The Navy recently updated its fitrep instruction. Here it is:


The changes are not very relevant to this audience unless you are a reporting senior, but for those that are here is the summary:

The updated instruction is attached. Below is the NAVADMIN but here is a summary of changes:

This revision incorporates policy guidance contained in NAVADMINs 141/17 (Physical Readiness Program Policy Changes), 304/17 (Physical Readiness Program Policy Change), and 193/19 (Active Component LDO and CWO Fitness Report Officer Summary Groups). In addition, the following new guidance applies with the updated instruction:

  1. Incorporating reference (a) guidance when a member willfully does not meet deployability standards and authorizing the submission of a Special Report when a member willfully does not meet deployability standards.
  2. Requiring reports for Navy reservists who perform active-duty periods that are greater than 90 days and prohibiting reports for Navy reservists who perform active-duty periods that are less than 90 days.
  3. Assigning September 30 as the periodic report date for Chief Warrant Officer-1.
  4. Prohibiting delegation of reports on members in the grades of E5 through E9, including members frocked to E5, below the grade of lieutenant designated department heads.
  5. Prohibiting reporting seniors, raters and senior raters from evaluating members who have filed an accusation of sexual misconduct against the reporting senior, rater or senior rater while an investigation is pending to reflect the requirements of reference (b).
  6. Incorporating changes to flag officer reporting requirements, including changes to blocks 14-15 (Period of Report Table 19-1), requiring submission 15 days sooner and changing the verbiage for blocks 10-13 (Occasion of Report) to read, Special Reports will be selected for Concurrent or Operational Commander report.
  7. Adding billet specific language to the instruction requiring reporting seniors evaluating Navy Installation Commanding Officers (CO) to document in block 41 (comments on performance) their performance in managing family and unaccompanied housing programs. Additionally, reporting seniors evaluating Naval Facilities Engineering Command COs are required to document in block 41 (comments on performance) their performance in facility management of family and unaccompanied housing and enforcement of Public Private Venture business agreements.