promotion boards

FY17 CAPT Promotion Opportunity 70%!!!

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Here are the convening order and the membership for the O6 boards that just concluded. Of note in the convening order:

-The promotion opportunity was 70%, which is WAY BETTER than last year when it was 50%! This is the highest it has been since FY12 when it was 80%.

-As expected, the order directed the board to equally consider above-zone and in-zone officers.

-The “board shall identify exceptional officers from below the zone and consider selecting them…” We’ll have to wait and see if any below-zone were selected, but this is why it always pays to have a board-ready record. The below-zone selection number was not to exceed 10% of the selections.

More FY17 Promo Board Information

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Here is some more of the FY17 promotion board information I scared up from the PERS website for your perusal:

The FY17 Medical Corps Community Brief is a standard document updated and released every year and can give you some insight into what the promotion boards are looking for.

The FY17 Promotion Board Update Active Duty slides explain the changes in FY17 promotion boards.  We’ve already discussed the changes in the zone stamps, but the slides also mention a few other changes.

The FY17 Promo Board Precept explains the “rules of the road” for all the promotion boards.  You will find more detailed information in each board’s convening order, but those aren’t released yet and this still contains some general information about what promotion boards are looking for.

Promotion Board Changes

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The following is from a PDF document created by RDML(s) Swap, Chief of the Medical Service Corps, and adapted for the Medical Corps with permission.  Her unedited PDF is here:

Talking Points #33 AZ IZ Stamps


Promotion boards are an integral part of how the Navy identifies the best and most qualified officers to lead in the future. Promotions are an expectation of future potential, not a reward for past performance. Every Medical Corps officer plays an important role in developing our next generation of leaders to include preparation for promotion boards. It is incumbent on our senior MC officers to understand the promotion selection process and be familiar with changes to the system, so appropriate mentoring can be performed.


ALNAV 050/15 released on 12 June 2015 outlines new talent management initiatives introduced by the Secretary of the Navy. New initiatives include changes in officer promotion processes to ensure the best and most fully qualified officers are promoted with consideration for current abilities and talents, rather than placement in a particular promotion zone. Therefore, beginning in January 2016, Above Zone (AZ) and Below Zone (BZ) stamps on officer records will no longer be used for records reviewed on promotion boards. These stamps were indicators on the Officer’s Summary Record (OSR) that highlighted the officer’s status within the zone.


  • Beginning in January 2016, AZ and BZ stamps will no longer be placed on records reviewed in “the tank” (which is the promotion board room at PERS).
  • AZ records will be reviewed with In Zone (IZ) records as conducted previously, minus the AZ stamp.
  • A separate BZ review will still be conducted to review records warranting further consideration.
  • Any BZ record selected for further review will be added to the crunch records reviewed in the tank. All BZrecords identified for complete review will have no identifying BZ stamps and will be reviewed twice to ensure

    consistent appearance among all of crunch records.

  • Promotion zone eligibility will continue to be released via NAVADMIN in December of each year.


  • Removal of the AZ/BZ stamps from the board view is to ensure the selection of the best and most qualified officer and that officers are promoted with consideration for current abilities and talents, rather than placement in a particular promotion zone.
  • This initiative does not change the requirement for the OSRs to be stamped with “Letter to the Board”.
  • It is still the officer’s prerogative on whether to submit a letter to the board.
  • All officers should engage a mentor or senior leader to review their record prior to coming in zone, to identifyissues/challenges that may require attention.
  • If there are items in an officer’s record that need to be addressed/explained (regardless if BZ, IZ or AZ), it isrecommended that a letter to the board be submitted addressing the issue.
  • Officers who have previously failed to select may choose not to submit a letter to board if the record is in goodorder and has no items requiring attention.


These are my comments now, and not RDML(s) Swap’s.  First, I think this might make it a little easier to promote if you are AZ.  Second, it also might make it easier to promote if you are BZ.  In other words, don’t put off fixing your records just because you are BZ.  Make sure you go to Joel Schofer’s Promo Prep Guidance – 25 OCT 2015 and update your record if you are BZ, IZ, or AZ as soon as possible.

FY17 Promotion Boards

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The NAVADMIN that announced the FY17 promotion boards is out.  The full NAVADMIN can be found here:

The dates of the promotion boards are:

  • 2 FEB 2016 – Staff Corps Captain
  • 22 MAR 2016 – Staff Corps Commander
  • 10 MAY 2016 – Staff Corps Lieutenant Commander

The promotion zones are:

"The Secretary of the Navy has authorized the release of the following 
list indicating the names, Active-Duty List numbers and dates of rank of the 
Senior in-zone, Junior in-zone and Junior officer eligible for consideration 
for promotion in each competitive category as of the date of this NAVADMIN.  
In addition, those officers on the Active-Duty List and in the same 
competitive category who are senior to the Senior in-zone officer listed in 
their category are considered above-zone and are also eligible for 
Medical Corps (210X)
Senior in-zone -  CDR A. J. Vanderweele Jr. 022444-50 01 OCT 2010
Junior in-zone -  CDR M. P. Shusko          022908-50 01 SEP 2011
Junior eligible - CDR R. S. Montgomery      023324-37 01 SEP 2013

Medical Corps (210X)
Senior in-zone -  LCDR J. M. Montgomery    035607-00  01 OCT 2010
Junior in-zone -  LCDR E. B. Rizo          037423-12  09 SEP 2011
Junior eligible - LCDR A. M. Cuellar       039165-00  01 SEP 2013

Medical Corps (210X)
Senior in-zone   LT J. M. Raunig          106784-00  05 OCT 2010
Junior in-zone -  LT A. C. Buchholz        111950-00  22 SEP 2011
Junior eligible  LT A. C. Alex            124244-00  12 SEP 2013

If you want to prepare for your upcoming promotion board, read:

Joel Schofer's Promo Prep Guidance - 25 OCT 2015

Should You Send a Letter to the Promotion Board?

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Assuming you are at least in zone or above zone, the answer is yes if:

  • You are above-zone and wish to be considered for promotion. You will be considered whether you send a letter or not, but you should always send a letter to demonstrate interest in getting promoted when you are above zone. In general, you should try to get letters of recommendation from the most senior members who know you well enough to discuss your contributions to the Navy and why you should get promoted. For example, it is probably better to get a letter from an O6 who knows you well than to get a letter from an O8 who does not. Your specialty leader is always a solid choice as a letter writer if you are unsure who to get one from.
  • You are reporting to a new command before the FITREP cycle and your Commanding Officer is willing to write a positive letter about your contributions to your new command.
  • You have issues in your record or career that require explanation or amplifying information. For example, you want to tell the promotion board how promotion to the next rank will allow you to do something you can’t do at your present rank, like screen for XO. If there are any gaps in your military service or any new information not on your FITREPs, these may need explanation as well.
  • You have to make corrections/additions to your record (like missing or illegible FITREPs, awards, academic or professional achievements, etc.) but you either don’t have time to update them the standard way or your have tried without success.


There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • After the board is finished, anything you sent is discarded. You cannot permanently update your record by sending documentation to the board.
  • By law, a letter to the board must be considered. In other words, if you don’t want the board to discuss a topic, don’t mention it in a letter. If there is adverse information in your record, sending a letter discussing it may help if you have amplifying information to add. Then again, if it is something they might not have noticed, sending a letter discussing it ensures that they will notice it!
  • Your Commanding Officer usually should not write a letter if he/she has done a FITREP on you, as his/her opinion should be reflected in the FITREP.
  • They are usually not recommended if you are in-zone unless there is a reason to send a letter listed above. Do not send one just for the fun of it.
  • Keep the length of letters to a minimum – one page or less – as boards have to read everything that is sent to them.
  • Do not send copies of publications.
  • Only the service member can send the letter on his/her behalf. In other words, if you have a letter from an admiral, you need to send it to the board. Don’t have the admiral’s aide send it because it will just get shredded and will not be briefed to the board.
  • Your letter must arrive no later than the day before (2359) the board convenes.


Here are a Sample Letter to a Promotion Board and Promotion Board Correspondence FAQs. Also, see the following website:

How to Get on a Promotion Board

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The promotion boards for FY17 are rapidly approaching, so I wanted to briefly discuss who makes up the promotion boards and how to get on one.


The promotion boards consist of five voting members, and at least three of them are required to have board experience. Someone is designated the senior member or board president. In addition, there is always a line officer on medical corps boards, and this is one reason you can’t use medical abbreviations on your FITREPs without explaining what they mean. That line officer could be the one briefing your record and he/she may not know what AHLTA, STEMI, DM, or CVA mean. The remainder of the board will be filled by a diverse group of officers. There will always be at least one woman on the board and one minority, although the same person could meet both of these requirements. In addition, there will be a geographic dispersion including at least one member from outside the continental US (OCONUS).

The board recorders are the officers who review your record for a week before the board members arrive and the board convenes. There will be a head recorder as well as assistant recorders and they will all be from CONUS. In other words, you cannot serve as a board recorder if you are stationed OCONUS because it just costs too much money for travel.


This one is simple as you just have to e-mail your Detailer and ask. Keep in mind, though, that the demand to be on a board far outnumbers the spots that exist. When I was a Detailer I had a folder in my Outlook e-mail where I put everyone who wanted to be on a board, and there were between 50-100 names in there. During the 15 months I served at PERS, I only had to contribute about 10 names for a board. With the requirements related to board composition that we discussed above, opportunities may only be present for officers meeting these requirements.