About Senior Rater Comments

Senior rater bullet comments are mandatory and should focus on potential for promotion, higher level schooling and positions of greater responsibility, but may also address performance, and/or the evaluation rendered by the rater. Senior rater bullet comments must be clear, concise and should reflect the senior rater’s recommendation to promote the NCO “now”, “ahead of” or “with peers”, or to “not promote.” General terms such as “prime candidate for promotion” or “ready for promotion” often leave the panel members to decipher what is meant. A bullet comment, “consider for promotion” leaves the impression that the soldier has only mediocre backing for promotion.

Marginal ratings given by the rater and fair, or poor ratings in Part V must be addressed by the Senior Rater. It’s important to enter bullets that correspond to the box checks in Vc. and d. Entering a ‘1’ rating for potential but failing to address potential in bullets or entering weak potential bullets may degrade the value of the box check. Likewise, a ‘4’ or ‘5’ box check that is not addressed as a deficiency in the bullets sends a confusing signal on the value of the box check. Sometimes, the senior rater would mark a ‘2’ or ‘3’ block and the written bullets would be “promote now”, or “promote immediately”. Panel members do not know what the intent is for giving this type of rating. Failure to address potential can send a strong, often unintended, message to a selection board member, e.g., ‘No bullets must mean this NCO has marginal potential’. A lack of comments on promotion potential may be interpreted as “keep in the same grade.” The same bullet narrative rules apply here except the senior rater is not restricted to the use of examples like the rater is in Part IVb-f.

The first senior rater bullet in Ve should be the one addressing promotion potential. As noted above, selection panels need to see a clear and concise recommendation for promotion, e.g. promote “now”, “promote ahead of peers” or “promote with peers”, “promote if room”, or to “do not promote.

NOTE: When the senior rater does not meet minimum time requirements for evaluation on the rated NCO, he will enter the following statement in part Ve: “Senior rater does not meet minimum qualifications”. Parts Vc and Vd will not be completed.