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No matter how hard you work or how many hours you put in, all your work will be for nothing if your achievements aren't recorded in your annual evaluation. It will be as if everything you did never happened. Because promotions, assignments and other personnel actions are decided by people who don't know you based on your records. Your NCOER is probably the single most important document you'll encounter in your military career. That single sheet of paper affects your chances for promotion, your assignment options, training opportunities, and your entire future in the Army. No other document has as much effect on your career or your life.
The good thing is that the content of your NCOER is in your hands. It's as if your supervisor gave you a blank check and said, fill it in with whatever amount you want. Because you can determine what is written in your evaluation! Your actions and the information you provide with make your supervisors job easier and your report the best it can be. Make sure you give it the attention it deserves.
Action Verbs for NCOERs (.docx) thanks, SSG Jones
NCOER (instructions), DA Pamphlet 623-3
NCOER (policy), AR 623-3
DA Pam 600-67 Effective Writing for Army Leaders
NCOER Form: DA Form 2166-8, NCO Evaluation Report
NCOER Counseling Form: DA Form 2166-8-1, NCOER Counseling and Support Form
Air Force promotion guidance, Air Force PDG 2015
How to Improve Your NCOER Score
Read DA Pamphlet 623-3 and AR 623-3. Understanding how the process works is the first step in improving your score. Don't waste time on areas that you can't control and concentrate on those that you can. Target areas that provide the most points first.
Talk with your supervisor about your NCOER. Ask him or her how you're doing and what you can do to improve. This may be the single most effective step you can take and can't be over-emphasized. Listen carefully to what he or she says. Often, it's difficult for supervisors to directly criticize their troops and they may offer advice in a tone that sounds more like a suggestion than an order. Try to read between the lines and ask questions if their meaning isn't clear. Then act on what your supervisor said. Follow up periodically and don't hesitate to ask for further advice. Supervisors love that.
Fill out an NCOER on yourself and see what areas are rated and which areas might be improved. Do this as soon as possible because it takes time to change behavior and even longer for others to become aware of it.
Keep track of your performance. Write down your accomplishments as they occur so that you can remember them when it comes time to provide material for your NCOER. You can be the best troop in the world but if you can't remember what you've accomplished, it's the same as if you didn't do anything. The best way to do this is to develop a habit that works for you -like every Friday after lunch, write down what you accomplished during the week. Or make a habit of recording your accomplishments when you have some other writing requirement, like a weekly report or weekly checks. Whatever method you choose, just make sure you do it regularly. This will pay big dividends when it's time to provide material for your NCOER or even a quarterly award.