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 FY19 O4 Staff Corps Promotion Board page and click on the link marked with an arrow, 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. You just click the link that reads “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 FY19 O4 board), then you’ll have to look at last year’s convening order (FY18).
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
- Go to this page.
- 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.
- Use them to figure out how to get promoted and for writing your fitrep.
O5 fitreps are due soon, so it is time for me to write my fitrep. How do I do it? Here are the steps I go through:
- I get the Surgeon General’s priorities and the convening order for last year’s O6 board. (If you were an O4, you’d want the O5 convening order. If you are an O3, you’d want the O4 convening order.)
- I read through them, highlighting the important language (similar to what I did in this very popular post). I do this because I use this exact language to take my accomplishments and frame them in the setting of strategic Navy initiatives. This allows me to demonstrate Navy-wide impact, which is the goal when you are trying to prove to people that you deserve to promote.
- I take my CV, which is the document I use to track my accomplishments, and I edit it so that it only includes what I did during the time period covered by the fitrep. Here’s what was left, which is what I use to build my blocks 29 and 41.
- I print out a copy of my last fitrep.
- I download the Word template you use when drafting a block 41. This template eliminates some of the spacing issues you run into when printing your fitrep only to find that the last line of your block 41 narrative isn’t there anymore.
- I boot up NAVFIT98A and I start writing the fitrep, as outlined in Joel Schofer’s Fitrep Prep.
- Once I have a draft ready, I put it aside for 24 hours and/or have someone else who I trust read over it. Having a mentor or two take a look is always a good idea.
- I read it one more time, ensuring that I spell checked it.
- I submit it up the chain of command.
I’ve been hearing about new FITREPs for at least a year now, but very few hard details or timelines are available. Here is a Navy Times article about it:
The most telling sentence is, “Officials are still hammering out details, but the Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke told Navy Times that he wants a transition in place soon.”
Here is an article that gives some details on the new system they are developing to replace fitness reports:
Here is the Powerpoint and screencast of a lecture I gave on Fitreps a few weeks ago at the NMCSD Transition to Practice Symposium for all the graduating residents and fellows. Without audience participation, the lecture went from 30 minutes down to 18. Enjoy!