Advice for Writing Rater Overall Performance NCOER Bullets
Tips, techniques, and professional advice for writing Rater Overall Performance bullets on the DA Form 2166-9-1 or DA Form 2166-9-2
Since the inception of the new evaluation system, I have had several e-mails form my visitors asking for advice on writing Rater Overall Performance bullets on the DA 2166-9-1 and DA 2166-9-2. On this page, I will offer my guidance for writing these bullets as well as address several very important related topics which every rater should consider.
First, it’s extremely important to remember that under the new evaluation system, the functions of the rater and senior rater are clearly delineated: the rater focuses exclusively on performance, and the senior rater focuses on potential. HQ DA takes this delineation very seriously. I recently watched an HRC video addressing the top five reasons that NCOERs are being returned for correction, and potential remarks in the rater’s comments was number two on that list!
Next, in my opinion, the Rater Overall Performance bullets should be brief and to-the-point. These bullets should not be specific to any one area, but rate your NCOER’s overall performance as it relates to not only the other NCOs of the same grade that you may rate, but also to other NCOs that you have rated throughout your career. If you are writing a report for the first time, then use your personal experience as a guidepost in writing your Rater Overall Performance bullets.
Below I have included a series of example bullets for each performance category. Notice how the strength of the bullets diminishes as you go down the list. Regardless of how you decide to rate your NCO, ensure your bullets support the rating.
Far Exceeded Standard
- clearly the best performer out of the five Staff Sergeants I rate
- demonstrated capability of handling multiple crises situations often performing at next higher rank
- outstanding performance in all respects; visibly performed above high expectations and standards
- performed duties in an outstanding manner
- accomplished any tasks assigned; continuously demonstrated a high level of achieving excellent results
- very capable NCO who can always be trusted to accomplish the mission on time and above standard
- always available to train and mentor Soldiers
- sold performer dedicated to mission accomplish
- committed to the unit, his Soldiers, and the Army
Did Not Meet Standard
- lowest performing NCO of the section
- routinely failed to accomplish missions without constant supervision
- performance was not indicative of an NCO of his current rank
Bad Bullets – DO NOT USE
- assign to positions of increased responsibility; this NCO is a future Sergeant Major
What’s wrong with this bullet? It addresses potential, not performance. As a guide, always focus on how the NCO performed over the rating period, i.e. what he did, and how he did it. A recommendation for promotion, or NCOES attendance addresses potential. Additionally, you should not address how an NCO performed at a school as this is considered nonrated time, and the Soldier's performance is already documented on DA FORM 1059. Finally, you may state that an NCO performed above this grade (o served competently for over 6-months as NCOIC; a SFC postion), but not recommend the NCO for promotion (o promote to SFC now, can easily complete missions above his grade).
- top performing SSG in a company of 30 SSGs
What’s wrong with this bullet? It’s unrealistic and exaggerated. You’re not in position to make that claim, unless of course, you happen to rate all 30 SSGs in your company, and have direct knowledge of their performance. Limit your evaluation to those NCOs of whom you have direct knowledge or have had direct knowledge (o performance was clearly in the top 5% of SSGs that I have rated throughout my career).
As a final bit of advice, be aware that as the rater your overall performance evaluation is unconstrained—meaning you may evaluate the NCOs you rate any way you see fit; however, remember that your rater tendency will be published on each report as it’s processed by HRC. If all the NCOs that you rate are evaluated as Far Exceeded Standard or Exceeded Standard, your rating integrity and credibility may come into question. If the board members feel your rating integrity is questionable, this could negatively impact those NCOs whom you rate who are truly deserving of a Far Exceeded Standards report.
Remember that Met the Standard is the norm, and reserve your Far Exceeded Standard evaluations to those truly deserving. On average, out of all reports that you write from now until you leave the service, only about 33% should be Exceeded Standard, and of those reports, only about 33% should be Far Exceeded Standard. In my opinion, a solid Met Standard/Highly Qualified Report is much better for all parties involved than an Exceeded Standard/Highly Qualified report in which the rater’s integrity is in dispute. If you’re an inexperienced rater, take the process seriously, get advice and guidance from your NCO Support Chain and/or Chain of Command, and above all, render your reports fairly and accurately to ensure you are always perceived as an honest and credible rater.