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The purpose of a Letter of Continuity (or Memorandum of Continuity) is to provide a way to record a Soldier's performance and achievements when it isn't possible to do so in an NCOER. For example, if one of your troops received an assignment and he wasn't due for an NCOER because he just had one, the work he performed since the last NCOER would not be recorded anywhere. And when he arrived at the next duty station, he may be due for an NCOER in just a few months. If so, he would be at a disadvantage because he doesn't have the full year to demonstrate his performance and his supervisor wouldn't have enough material to write a good NCOER. A hard-working Soldier might get a lower rating than he or she deserves because of this.
The Letter of Continuity solves this problem. It gives the current supervisor a way to record the Soldier's achievements since the last NCOER or rating period. Normally the rater would give the completed Letter of Continuity to the Soldier and the Soldier would hand-carry it to his next duty station and present it to his new supervisor. His new supervisor, if he saw fit, would then add the material contained in the Letter of Continuity to the Soldier's next NCOER.
These letters are more or less optional, depending on the unit. In some units they are entirely optional while in others, they are an actual requirement. Most of the time, if a new troop arrives at his next duty station with a Memo of Continuity in hand, the new supervisor will likely think that this is a high-speed Soldier and that his previous workcenter thought so much of him that they wanted to make sure he got started off on the right foot at his next base. So, under these circumstances, a Memo of Continuity can be used to indicate superior performance (because not everyone gets one).
The form used for this purpose is a standard Army memorandum. Some units recommend using a DA 638 to record significant achievements instead of writing a memorandum. Check with your unit for their requirements. Note that it's not necessary to address the categories of performance listed on the NCOER. And there is no minimum amount of text required or specified format. All you have to do is list the work that the ratee has performed since the last reporting period, whether it's a single line or twenty bullet comments.
Jan 25, 2014
SUBJECT: Letter of Continuity, SSG Mark Welch
1. SSG Welch is an exceptional NCO and capable leader. He has a positive can-do attitude and is an outstanding example to his peers and subordinates. While assigned here, from 15 Sep 13 to 25 Jan 14, he accomplished the following:
2. If I had to write an NCOER on SSG Welch right now it would probably be the best of all my Soldiers. If you have any questions on SSG Welch's duty history you can call me at 456-0149 during regular duty hours.
JOHN A. ARMY