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FITREP Writing

Details about how Navy selection board operate.

Diane Boettcher

on 5 March 2017

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Transcript of FITREP Writing

The Senior Officer APPLY Board is how the Navy Reserve details -- we call it slating -- officers into command positions.

Because Reservists are not compensated for travel, their desires must be factored heavily into the slating process.

At the same time, we must only select the best to command and into pay.
How to Write a Fitrep
Your Letter to the Board
Senior Officer APPLY
Milestone Screening
Promotion Boards
Reserve Calculations
Promotion Opportunity
Selection Rate
PERS determines Quotas
Starts with Guidance
Promotion Planning Guidance
Match end strength to OPA (Officer Program Allowance)
Ensure a similar promotion opportunity across the FYDP (FY16-FY20)
Maintain a quality cut
LCDR 90% max
CDR 80% max
CAPT 60% max
Ensure gain/loss rates are aligned with the community’s future path
Move time in grade (TIG) to absorb gaps / peaks in Year Groups

Goal: End Strength = OPA
Inventory are those officers in a paid status (SELRES)
Beginning Inventory = End of Year Inventory from previous FY
Gains (into PAY1) = Accessions + Apply Gains + VTU to SELRES + Redesignations
Losses (out of PAY1) = Retirements + Resignations + Discharges + Apply losses + SELRES to VTU/IRR + Redesignations

OPA = Community funded billets (Authorized Strength)
End-strength = Beginning Inventory + Gains – Losses

FY15 Forecasted Promotion Opportunity Average over the FYDP for the IDC
Quotas / Promotion Rate = Zone
For example: We need 11 new Commanders.

We're striving for a Promotion Opportunity of 75% for this year.
11/.75= 14.67 or 15 officers in zone.

The zone message is issued in December and builds a zone of approximately 15 officers eligible for promotion to CDR.

When the board meets in March, the 15 officers are considered, along with 19 more officers who are Above Zone.
Why these are different
Promotion Board Planning
Note: The Active Component considers officers Below Zone.
The Reserve Component does not for LTJG and above.
[These are actual FY15, Information Warfare CDR numbers.]
Getting Promoted in Three Simple Steps
Perform exceptionally......
....in hard jobs......
....and get it in your record.
Read the Full Manual
Know what your
Community Values
1. Administrative Data
a. Full Name.
b. Grade.
2. Duties
a. Primary duties.
b. Collateral duties.
3. Job Scope
4. Specific Contributions.
a. Operational Readiness and performance.
c. Growth and development of subordinates.
d. Training.
f. Quality improvements and cost savings.
k. Morale and welfare.
n. Other.

Review the precepts from previous year's boards
The convening order and precepts are published on the NPC Web site.

They don't change drastically from year to year.
Zone and Non-Observed
Going to school is important.

A Reservist can drop into the IRR to focus on family or other personal issues.

Doing this when you're going to be in zone is risky since your peers will be getting meaningful fitreps
Memo for input
Get your Sustained Superior Performance in your record by understanding the expectations of your Commanding Officer.

Exceed those expectations and your CO will be willing to document your Sustained Superior Performance.
Exhibit 17-1
Officer Fitness Report Input
Create a document with the headings from the sample input memo. Update it at least monthly. You can provide pages and pages of input when the time comes.

You can still include a Sample BLOCK 41 for completeness.
Only two people are allow to communicate with the board about you; the Secretary of the Navy and you.

Your record is your primary communication to the board. You MUST be an active participant in your record maintenance and in getting a well-written FITREP.

SECNAV provides three pieces of guidance to every board:
The Community Briefs
The Convening Order
The Precepts
The heart of the matter is
Sustained Superior Performance.

This is the primary and secondary bar for every promotion and selection.

Everything else is tertirary.
Active Component
Reserve Component
Maintaining your Record
The Officer's Part
What happens at the Board
First Morning is Orientation
Record Review
Voting in the tank
Confidence Factors
Want a Record Review?
PSR, OSR and last five years of FITREPs & remove all PII
"Which road do I take?" she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" was his response.
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter.”
AFQ and
why you should care
All Fully Qualified are promoted to LT.
Ensure all of your fitness reports are included
Your degrees should all be included.
An up-to-date photo
Reservists should update their NRQQ (NAVPERS 1200/1).
You should have someone review your record.
Should you write?
The #1 Rule is Don't Annoy Your Briefer.
Explain your career in no more three sentences.
Early career years if you started on active duty
Transition to the Reserve or to the IDC
When/where you mobilized
Include significant civilian certifications.
Describe significant civilian leadership positions.
Don't include fluff.
Like grades like.
Entire record is available for review
Adverse information must be reviewed and briefed.
IA/Mob time matters -- somewhat.
Joint education and experience can be a discriminator.
Play well in traffic.
Diversity in jobs across desired skill sets.
Most personal awards don't matter (much).
The up-tick should be in leadership
Adverse information that is in your record.
Mixed messages on the fitness report.
Getting comfortable.
PRT Failures (if they are recent).
Air gaps as a LT or above.
Briefing takes less than one minute.
Check your record on-line.
The Mirror Test
When are you evaluated?
It's our job
No one cares as much as you.
Soft break when 1 of 1
Tracking Right
Compare to the RSA and RSCA
Strong Recommendations
Sustained Superior Performance is the heart of confidence.
Strong Block 41
Impactful Bullets
Meaningful Recommendations
If the board had 12 quotas to fill, they will Tentatively Select the top records, drop from further consideration the bottom records and crunch the rest.
Call Out
Usually conducted by the President and Head Recorder
Brief Chain of Command on board results
Conducted following adjournment
SECNAV, CNO, VCNO, CNP Involvement

Nomination Process
NAVADMIN is issued
Names are listed alphabetically.
The four digit number following each name is based on seniority going into the board and determines who gets to promote first.
Fiscal year starting monthly in October
Estimates published on website
Not official until name on monthly NAVADMIN (DOPMA/Recalls etc)
O-4 through O-6
5% of list monthly for first 8 months
15% of list monthly for last 4 months
O-3 - First of month two years after LTJG
CWO-3/4 - First of month four years after 2 or 3

A wetting down is traditionally held following each promotion.

Once the party is over,
get back to work and teach others what you have learned.
After the board -
or when will I get promoted?
A Reserve Administrative Board
Start with Why
URL Panel results
URL Panel Results
IDC Panel Results
Phase One
Phase Two
Applicant #2
Applicant #3
Is John the best qualified?
Then we chase the billet
Going non-pay means that you'll want to be close to home
Then other Leadership
Be an Executive Officer
Command, Command, Command
Why do good billets get left behind?
Why do good officers get left behind?
At some point, the board stops.
Board Membership
Going unobserved immediately before being in zone may put you at a disadvantage.

Review the message and do the math

19 AZ
15 IZ
= 34
15 IZ x 75%
= 11 Selects
11 Selects /
34 Eligibles = 32%

The basics of writing
Be explicit about your expectations

Get them done right and on time

FITREPs and Evals are for the boards

Write the FITREP/Eval that was earned
Every Reservist is a Great American
Not everyone should be promoted
Sweet Spots are the first and last (two) comment lines

Opening includes a soft break

Closing includes recommendation

Middle is impact
Bullets must convey impact
Qualitative and quantitative impact/results

Leadership in order of IMPACT
Support to the Fleet
Leadership, mentoring
Personal accomplishments
IDWO, JPME, Advanced JPME, masters or PhD

Lead with action verbs (e.g., Led, Initiated, Developed, Focused support, ...).
Managed is weaker
Use past tense (except for Block 28)
MPs and Ps
EPs speak for themselves in large groups

Focus on
MPs who you want to rank EP
Ps who deserved an EP or MP

Explain why they weren’t an EP
Trait average must be consistent with words

"Earned an EP, and competing against command-ready XO"
"Performing at an EP level during short eval period"
"Moving right quickly while more junior than …"
Reporting Senior Average maintenance
RSA is frozen in time
90 days after cycle

5.00 FITREP/Eval averages
Are not credible to the Board
Give you no room to reward the truly great

Know your current RSA
Track the status of all FITREPs/Evals

Routine maintenance
3.00 reports for retiring members
Below 3.00 for misconduct or members being separated for cause

Set at 3.5 and walk it up over time

The trait average on a reporting senior’s first report is irrelevant (provided it is not below 3.5)
Discuss target average
Use Excel spreadsheet to figure out marks and promotion recommendation
Display individual and group average
Easy to adjust marks to hit target.

Use the counseling session
Establish performance benchmarks
Track progression and accomplishments.
Track your members’ performance progression from the day they report on board.

Assigning a grade
Top performers are two ticks above average
Solid performers are one tick above RSA
First report in command can be on average
Need to move right over time
Any FITREP longer than 6 months should show progression right
Staff management
Block 41: Comments on Performance
G. Mark Hardy, CAPT (Retired)
Start with why
Improves the FITREP completion process
Organization of details
Discussion by unit leadership
Validation of member performance
More attention to detail
Block 21, 29, 41
Maintenance of CO’s Average
Higher quality reporting for Selection Board

CO kicks off the board
Thanks for diligent preparation
Underscore importance of what is being done
Integrity and Trust
Everything discussed stays in the board
The member will be debriefed by CO
Cumulative Average – give them the target
CO’s role in the process
Conduct & Comments must be professional
Resources required
Unit Organization Chart
Seniority ranking list
BUPERINST 1610.10 FITREP Instruction
Block 40 - “Table of Trait Averages”
Max Limits on EP & MP Recommendation
20% EP and combined 60% EP & MP
CO’s average for each rank (target and current)
Know how to calculate CO’s RSA per Summary Group
Community Values for all Designators

For each members:
PFT Results
Completed member input
Prior marks (if same Reporting Senior)
XO's overview
“We will be boarding thirteen LTs.”
“Tell us about your people so they can be fairly assessed.”
“My job is to maintain the CO’s Average.”
“We have XX Summary Groups.”

“Let’s Begin the process…”

Ranking boards
Full transcript