If you read page 16 of the FY20 Staff Corps O6 Promotion Board Convening Order, you’ll notice that there is a new section entitled “Recommendation for Reorder of Active-Duty Officers of Particular Merit.” This allows promotion boards to take up to 15% of the people they select and move them to the top of the promotion order if they feel they are worthy of it.
In other words, no longer will people promote based on seniority, but those who the board feels deserve it will move to the top of the list. It says:
Officers of particular merit are those officers whose records contain documented performance consistently superior to the performance of other officers recommended for promotion by this board.
That said, the promotion board could choose not to do this at all, leaving the people selected to promote based on their lineal number and seniority.
The FY20 Staff Corps O6 Promotion Board Convening Order was released today. On page 2, you can see the following promotion opportunities:
- Medical Corps – 81%
- Dental Corps – 89%
- Medical Service Corps – 60%
- Nurse Corps – 50%
Promotion board math was reviewed last year and can be confusing, but what it means is this…
Pretend there were 100 physicians in zone for O6. The board could select 81 for O6, but that 81 comes from all of those eligible. In other words, anyone picked from below, in, or above zone counts toward the 81. This means your chances of being selected in zone are much less than the promotion opportunity of 81% because of all the above and below zone eligibles.
Just to give some Medical Corps perspective, here is the historical promotion opportunity as far back as I have it:
The FY20 promotion board NAVADMIN was released in December. If you are in-zone or above-zone for an upcoming promotion board but you’ve been on active duty for less than 1 year, you should read #5 from the NAVADMIN, which says:
5. In-zone and above-zone eligible officers in the grades of lieutenant,
lieutenant commander and commander, whose placement on the Active -Duty List
is within one year of the convening dates of these boards, are automatically
deferred unless they specifically request to be considered. The officer may
waive this deferment and request consideration for promotion, in writing,
emailed to NPC_Officer_SELBD_Elig_Waivers.fct(AT)navy.mil or mailed
Commander, Navy Personnel Command (PERS-802)
5720 Integrity Drive
Millington, TN 38055-0000
The request must be received by PERS-80 not later than 30 days prior to the
convening date of the board. All officers are reminded it is their
responsibility to ensure their personnel records are substantially accurate
What does this mean and why would it apply to you? Maybe you had prior service, you went to medical school, and now you’re a senior LT who is in-zone for LCDR right away. Maybe you did a civilian NADDS residency and you are in-zone right away for LCDR. There might be other situations that would put you in this position, like getting time-in-grade credit for a PhD.
If you believe you are in this position, here is what I’d do:
- Confirm you are in-zone or above-zone. How can you do this? The easiest way is to either read the Promo Prep or get the FY20 lineal list. Or you can use this document from PERS.
- If you wish to be considered for promotion to LCDR, CDR, or CAPT, so what it says above. Send the letter simply requesting this. It can probably be a very short letter. There is no need to be verbose.
- Finally, contact PERS-802: Selection Board Eligibility Branch because I know people who did only #2 (sent a letter) and were not considered. Here’s what their website says:
If you have questions concerning promotion boards, eligibility for promotion boards, please contact the MyNavy Career Center at (833) 330-MNCC or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PERS-802, Branch Head, (901) 874-4537
Officer Active and Reserve Eligibility Section
Section Supervisor (901) 874-3324
Also, here is a great article on this topic from the August 2018 Medical Corps Newsletter:
The spreadsheet with the FY20 promotion board zones has too much PII to post publicly, but you can find it here (make sure you pick your e-mail certificate):
It is halfway down on the right side under “Career Management.”
I gave this talk to the medical staff at NMC Portsmouth a few weeks ago, and I finally got around to recording it for all to enjoy…
Here is a PDF of the slides:
Here is a video screencast you can watch in just under 30 minutes:
Recently I advertised the USUHS Commandant position. A reader asked:
Any thoughts on whether you think this is a position that would make an O5 competitive for O6?
This is a common issue. A position is advertised, but you want to know if it will help get your promoted to O5 or O6 if you take it. Here is how I’d evaluate that situation.
First, you need to contact the incumbent in that position now, if possible. You’re going to need information that they have.
Now that you’ve contacted that person, you need to ask them some questions:
- Did they or anyone before them promote to O5/O6 while they were in the position or shortly thereafter? In other words, has taking the position led to promotion for those who’ve already done it? If the answer is yes, that is telling and indicative that the position advances people’s careers. If the answer is no, you should probably look elsewhere for a career advancing position.
- How large is their competitive group on their fitreps? You want a position with a large competitive group so that you can perform well and break out to the right with MP and EP fitreps. Competitive EP fitreps are probably the #1 most important ingredient for successful promotion, so if the position has a small competitive group or leads to a 1/1 fitrep, it would be a mark against that position’s potential to get you promoted.
- Were they able to get EP fitreps? They might not tell you this, but if they are willing to give you this info it can help you gauge the potential for you to get EP fitreps while doing the job.
- What do your mentors think about you taking the position? We all need mentors, and I always ask mine what they think when a potential position is in my crosshairs. If they don’t think it is a good idea, I usually pass on it.
That’s it. Those are the things I’d look at when trying to evaluate whether or not a position will help you get promoted. Most of the information needs to come from the incumbent or people who have previously done the job.
If your name was not on the promotion list, you probably weren’t selected for promotion. There is, however, a chance that you actually were selected for promotion but your name was removed after the promotion board. Why would this happen?
After promotion boards there are some systems that are “scrubbed” to ensure that no adverse or reportable information exists for the officers selected by a promotion board or by an administrative board (the CO/XO/CMO/OIC board, for example). Here is a chart that shows you the systems that are checked:
As you can see, if you have problems with your security clearance, the Inspector General, Naval Criminal Investigative Services, or any legal issues, your name could be removed and your promotion put on hold. How do you tell if this happened to you?
First, go to BUPERS On-Line and click on the link for “Advancements/Selection Boards” as pointed out with the large arrow:
Now you should see a screen similar to this one:
As you can see, I was a “SELECT” for O6. If you actually were a non-select for promotion you’d see a “N” where my “S” is. If you were “scrubbed” from the promotion list, you’ll see an “H” for HOLD.
If you don’t see anything, then you didn’t fail to select. You probably weren’t looked at by the board. This most often happens to people who trained in the NADDS program in civilian training programs and weren’t on active duty for a whole year. Sometimes, though, these people will show up on the reserve promotion lists, so don’t lose hope until you check that list as well. As of now, the FY19 LCDR list for the reserves isn’t out yet.
If you are on hold, I’d contact your Detailer to try and find out why.