Promo Prep Document

2022 Promo Prep for FY23 Promotion Boards is Live!

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The 2022 edition of Joel Schofer’s Promo Prep for FY23 promotion boards as well as the FY23 screencast video can be found on this page.

2021 Promotion Board Prep Available

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The updated 2021 version of Joel Schofer’s Promotion Board Prep 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).

Updated Awards Section in Promo Prep

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I’m slowly but steadily working on the 2021 version of the Promo Prep and Fitrep Prep, but because Navy Personnel Command retired NDAWS ( and now uses BOL for awards, the awards section needed to be updated. The version with the updated awards section has been uploaded to the Promo Prep page.

Bottom Line – If your awards are accurate on your OSR, there is no action to take. If they are not, have fun!

New Process to Add Degrees to Your Record

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Thanks to the Detailers for sending me this update. Below and in the just updated Promo Prep are the new procedures for adding degrees to your record:

To have your formal education updated, the official transcripts must come directly from the school to the office below. They can be delivered electronically as long as the school uses a secure delivery system such as eScript/Parchment to JST@DODED.MIL or they can be mailed to:

JST Ops Center
6490 Saufley Field Road
Pensacola, Florida 32509

Before sending the transcripts, you must contact the Joint Services Transcript Operations Center (JST OPS) at JST@DODED.MIL, advising them that you are having an official transcript mailed to them directly from the academic institution for the purpose of adding it to your Joint Services Transcript (JST). You are to provide your name, last four of your SSN, and either your e-mail or phone number so that they can reach you should there be any questions.

To see if the degrees have been added, please check the ACADEMIC page or the INQUIRIES tab on the JST website before contacting the office to see if the degree has been added. Please wait a minimum of 10 business days before contacting the JST office to see if they have received the degree.

The JST website can be found at

2020 Version of Promo Prep is Ready!

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If you want the 2020 version of my Promo Prep, go to this site where you’ll always find the most up-to-date version:

Joel Schofer’s Promo Prep

Suggestions for Promo Prep Revisions

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I usually start the annual revision of the Promo Prep document once the LCDR promotion results are released. If you have any suggestions for the revision, put them in the comments section of this post and I’ll try to incorporate them.

New Addition to the Promo Prep – Check Your Security Clearance

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During the last Specialty Leader Business Meeting, the Detailing Update mentioned that there were about 10 cases of officers who lost their promotion due to a security clearance issue. As a result, I added a new section to the Promo Prep document. In it you can find out how to check your security clearance. Here’s what I added:

Step 8 – Check Your Security Clearance

If your security clearance is expired, you won’t promote. To check on its status, go to blocks 92 and 93 of your Officer Data Card (ODC). Here is what mine says:

Block 92 – VV1015

Block 93 – 1115

What does this mean? The letters and dates in order are the level of clearance you are eligible for, the level of clearance you have, the date your investigation was initiated (MMYY format), and in block 93 the date your clearance was granted (MMYY format).

My first “V” means I am eligible for a “Top Secret – SCI Eligible” clearance. The second “V” means I actually have one. Here is a list of the various codes you might see:

The second date in block 93, “1115” in my case, is the important one. A Top Secret clearance is good for 6 years, so I should be good until NOV 2021. A Secret clearance, which is what most of you will have, is good for 10 years.

If your security clearance will expire within the next year or you have any questions about this, you should go to your security manager to renew it. Don’t let a promotion slip by because you had an expired clearance. It happens more than you would think.

Don’t Worry – I Can’t Update My Record Either

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I’m in zone for O6 next year, so I’ve been trying to update my record. On the whole, my record is up-to-date on a near continuous basis. As the guy who wrote the book…I mean wrote the PDF…on updating your record, updating my record is one way to make sure that the Promo Prep document is accurate. For this post, I thought it might be interesting to tell you that even I can’t update my record easily.

My Extra Navy Comm

Before I became the Detailer, I had three Navy Commendation Medals. My record said that I only had two. I followed all of the procedures detailed on the Navy Awards Page. Suddenly I not two…not three…but FOUR Navy Comms!

I did everything I could to remove this extra Comm from my record, but I wasn’t actually able to make it happen until I became the Detailer, found the huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan who controls awards, and had him fix it.

The Elusive JPME I AQD

Earlier this year I finished Joint Professional Military Education I, which gets you Additional Qualification Designator (AQD) JS7. Normally Detailers add AQDs, but they can’t add JPME AQDs. For that you have to follow the procedures on this page. As you can read, it says that as long as you e-mail them your JPME letter/diploma, the AQD will be added within 30 days.

I followed the instructions, and it wasn’t added. Only by having the Detailer submit the documents, did the AQD get added. (Thanks, Rich.)

The Missing Service School

Finally, I also completed another service school this year, the MHS Capstone. I submitted my completion certificate to NSIPS, but the school is still not reflected on my Officer Service Record or Officer Data Card.

If I Can’t Update My Record, What Should You Do?

Read the Promo Prep, and do what it says. If it doesn’t work, try one more time.

If after the second time you are still unsuccessful, give up. Yes, give up.

Just send a letter to the promotion board explaining that you’ve tried unsuccessfully to update your record, and include any supporting documents as enclosures with the letter.

No, sending a letter to the board will not update your record permanently. After the board they shred/destroy everything that was sent to them. You’ll continue to have these omissions on your record for every promotion board until it is fixed.

Can’t Fix Your Record?

Try once. Try a second time. Eventually you have to say, “Enough is enough.”

When you get to this point, just send the letter.

2016-2017 Edition of Joel Schofer’s Promo Prep

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I’ve significantly updated the old version of the promo prep document that has been downloaded over 2,000 times.  It now includes:

  • Screen shots so you can be sure to find what you’re looking for
  • Actual images from my own officer record so you know you’re looking in the right place
  • Updated promotion board statistics
  • Appendix VIII – detailed instructions on how to obtain the Executive Medicine AQD (thanks to whoever created this at BUMED or PERS as I’m not sure exactly where it came from)
  • Up-to-date lists of all the medical AQDs and service schools

It is new, improved, and as always the newest version can be found here:

Joel Schofer’s Promo Prep Guidance

Suggestions for Next Promo Prep Document Update?

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As best as I can tell with the blog stats that WordPress provides, the Promo Prep Document has been downloaded at least 1931 times in just over 1 year.  The number is probably higher because people share it via e-mail or download old versions from other places like the PERS website or MilSuite (the most current version is always on this page).  Now that the Medical Corps promotion boards are finished for FY17, it is time for people to start preparing for the FY18 promotion boards!

I constantly update the Promo Prep Document, usually only with updated stats or changes in e-mail addresses, but I am about to give it a complete read through and update.  If you have any suggestions please use the Contact Me tab and let me know things you’d like to see changed, added, subtracted, or more fully explained.  Thanks for reading!