If you are a Platoon Leader, I’d like to share a few tips with you concerning your Platoon Leader OER. In most cases, you won’t have any rated time until you complete BOLC. At that point, you will start working with your platoon and be eligible to receive a Platoon Leader OER at the end of your rating period.
If you’re like most new Lieutenants, you don’t really know what to do or what to expect when it comes to your evaluation report. Therefore, I’m going to give you some pointers so you can have an accurate and good OER. Let’s get started.
Tip # 1 Keep a Journal
The most important thing you can do is keep a journal of everything you do at work. After every drill weekend, or at a minimum of once a month sit down for an hour and write down your major accomplishments for the month. Write down every large and small task that you or your platoon accomplished. Track numbers, statistics and anything you can quantify. Focus on areas such as APFT, weapons qualification, unit readiness, individual and collective training, etc. Do this every single month throughout the rating period.
Tip # 2 Get Feedback from Your Boss
Obviously, your boss is supposed to counsel you. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. In either case, it is your responsibility to get feedback from your boss. Let your boss know that you are eager to learn and want to pick their brain whenever possible. Ask them if you can sit down for 30 minutes each month to review your progress and get your questions answered. If your boss is worth their grain in salt, they will do this with you. If you can’t get them to sit down, see if they will do a call or email with you to review your progress. You want to do this each month (minimum each quarter) so you can figure out where you stand with your boss. That way, if there is a problem you can fix it before it becomes a big deal.
Tip # 3 Write a Solid, Accurate OER Support Form
Since you kept a journal during your rating period, you can now write an accurate Platoon Leader OER Support Form. Take 6-8 hours and give it your best. Take all your information from your journal and organize it on your support form. Write your support form so it flows well on your Platoon Leader OER. That way your boss can copy and paste it into your Platoon Leader OER if they want to. This saves them time and makes their job easier. Most bosses will copy and paste your OER Support Form onto your OER if you did a good job writing it.
Tip # 4 Check Your OER for Errors
When you get your Platoon Leader OER for review, check it for errors. Review it closely. Take your time. Look for typos and any inaccurate information. If there is something odd or bad in your OER ask your boss if you can talk about it. Or, if there is an error you can get it fixed. Do this before you sign it. I cannot stress this enough: take your time!
At the end of the day, these tips will help you be proactive so you can manage your own career effectively. If you follow these four steps you will be well above your peers and there’s a good chance that you will get a better, more accurate Platoon Leader OER. I hope that helps.
I would love to hear any tips you might have. Also, I will attempt to answer any questions you may have. Just leave a comment to share your thoughts!
Former Army Major (resigned)
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