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Officials announce clarification of EPR criteria, policy

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- The Air Force has released a policy to clarify senior rater endorsement and stratification procedures for enlisted performance reports.

While many supervisors and senior NCOs looked to completion of the Senior NCO Academy and a Community College of the Air Force degree as criteria for consideration of a senior rater endorsement for promotion to the ranks of senior and chief master sergeant, no official policy existed.

The new policy clarifies and standardizes criteria for endorsement and stratification statements. It requires members to have Senior NCO Academy completion, correspondence or in-residence, and any CCAF degree for senior rater endorsement eligibility. The policy notes that meeting these requirements is not a guarantee for senior rater endorsement.

The implementation dates will be for the calendar year 2007 chief master sergeant and calendar year 2008 senior master sergeant promotion cycles. This transition time provides senior NCOs the opportunity to complete the requirements, said Chief Master Sgt. Trenda Voegtle, chief of enlisted evaluations and promotions policy.

The CCAF degree is an occupational education degree. Specific programs are designed to provide students with the necessary backgrounds to perform as competent supervisors in their field.

"This policy re-emphasizes the importance of deliberate and timely (professional military education) and CCAF completion for our enlisted force, formally instills the developmental expectation, and ensures a consistent policy for senior rater endorsement eligibility across the Air Force," said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley.

Stratification statements on EPRs will also change. Statements will only be allowed on EPR's of those master sergeant and senior master sergeants who are time-in-grade promotion eligible for senior rater endorsement. Stratification statements on all other EPRs, to include chief master sergeant reports, is prohibited. Instead of stratification statement use on chief master sergeant EPRs, evaluators will focus comments on future job recommendations.

"As a result of the perception that stratification is required for promotion, raters have started using multiple, uncontrolled stratification schemes that only add to the confusion promotion board members feel when trying to identify the right people for promotion," said Lt. Gen. Roger A. Brady, deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel.

"To ensure stratification statements remain a valuable tool, we must ensure they are limited and used in the proper context," said General Brady, who personally discussed the issue with major command vice commanders and command chief master sergeants.

If a stratification statement is used, it will be defined in quantitative terms, such as "No. 1 of 178 master sergeants in the wing." Statements based on percentage or best in career field are no longer allowed.

This policy also states that evaluators will stratify master sergeants and senior master sergeants separately and should only consider the number assigned within their rating scope.

This policy will be included in the revision to Air Force Instruction 36-2406, Officer and Enlisted Evaluation Systems.


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