I truly believe that all Army Officers should educate themselves about the Army OER Appeal Process. If you make a career out of the Army, there’s a small chance you could get a bad OER. Of course, if you are truly a squared away officer this is highly unlikely. But, sometimes mistakes do happen. Or, one of your peers or subordinates might get a bad OER and come to you for advice about the appeal process. In either case, you should know the rules and procedures for appealing an OER.
With close to 12 years as an Active Duty and Army National Guard Officer, I’d like to share a few tips of advice with you about the appeal process.
Tip # 1 Read AR 623-3, Chapter III
This is the official Army Regulation pertaining to the Army OER Appeal process. Spend an hour or two reading through this document to see what you can appeal, what rights you have, and what the process is. This should answer 95% of your questions about the process. I consider it the “appeal bible.” If you don’t have a copy of this regulation, just do an Internet search for “AR 623-3, Chapter 3” and you will find it.
Tip # 2 Contact JAG or a Trusted Peer
The next thing you can do is contact JAG or a trusted peer to get additional advice. Sometimes it helps to get advice from a qualified individual who is on the outside looking in. They will have less “emotions” attached to the event and should be able to give you constructive advice about whether you have a valid claim.
Tip # 3 Talk to Your Supervisor and Senior Rater
Before you begin the appeal process, you might consider sitting down with your rater and senior rater in private to talk with them. If they do not have any supporting documentation to validate the bad OER, ask them how they arrived at their decision. Try to see things from their perspective, if possible.
Tip # 4 Sleep on It
I’ve never personally met anyone who received a bad OER who thought they deserved it. One of the best things you can do is be honest with yourself. Take a day or two and sleep on it before you start with the process. Ask yourself if what they wrote in the OER is true? If it is, you might want to reconsider your appeal. In addition, if your rater and senior rater have lots of supporting documentation (counseling) to support your OER, you should also reconsider. In either case, wait a day or two until your emotions cool off and then make a logical decision.
Tip # 5 Make a Decision
The final tip is to make a decision as to whether or not your Army OER Appeal is worth it. After you read the regulation, consult with JAG, talk with your supervisors, and sleep on it, you will know what the right course of action is. If you decide to go ahead with the appeal, get started and follow through with it until it is done.
In summary, these are my best tips on the Army OER Appeal process. I hope you find the information helpful. And I hope you never get a bad OER, but if you do, you now know what you will need to do.
Is there any added tips you can provide? Have you ever appealed a bad OER? Tell us more if you feel comfortable doing so. Thank you and have a great day.