Senior Rater Bullets and Senior Rater Comments: Tips for Writing Accurate OERs

The purpose of this article is to give you some sample senior rater bullets and senior rater comments for an Army Officer Evaluation Report.

I will shed more light upon the NCOER in another blog entry.

As a senior rater, you have a vital role in the promotion eligibility and career opportunities for the people you evaluate.

When promotion boards review the person’s evaluation reports, they will focus on the senior rater comments, not the rater’s comments.

Therefore, it’s critical that you do your job well and make sure the report is accurate, factual and detailed.

That means that everyone gets an OER that reflects their actual performance and potential.

senior raterIn other words, you don’t give a dirt-bag Officer a marginal OER because you feel bad for him.

Instead, you give him a dirt-bag OER.

You make sure your average Officers get average OERs.

And you ensure your studs and superstars get that type of OER.

Don’t play it safe.

Don’t be scared to write an OER that needs to be written.

Does that make sense?

After all, the Army relies on you to evaluate your subordinates’ potential and performance.

In addition, you must ensure the information you write in the senior rater section of the OER is as specific as possible.

When possible, use numbers, goals, specific achievements, readiness rates, Soldiers trained, and any other quantifiable number you can get.

This is what the promotion boards are looking for.

If you just use “generic statements” you are doing the person you rate a huge injustice.

The only way to write an accurate OER is to be actively involved with each officer throughout the entire OER process.

That means that you have to interact with everyone you senior rate, throughout the entire rating period.

You need to learn their strengths, weaknesses, personalities, goals, desires, etc.

If you don’t do this, you really aren’t qualified to provide senior rater bullets (just my thoughts).

Just keep this in mind before you prepare more OERs.

One of the best things you can do is sit down with each one of the Officers you senior rate at least once a quarter, so you can learn more about them.

Even if you can only invest 20 minutes with each person that you senior rate, each quarter, you should do it.

Talk to them.

Ask questions.

And listen.

Find out what makes them tick, what their goals are, and what they think about their own performance.

Take notes.

You will learn more in 20 minutes that you could through 50 emails or 10 phone conversations.

You should also have frequent talks with the officer’s rater to find out what they think about the person.

But whatever you do, make sure you form your own judgment.

Don’t let the rater totally persuade you that someone is a superstar or dud.

Trust your own instincts and do your own homework.

You owe it to each person that you senior rate to do that.

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  5. Managing Two Levels Down in the Army

What I’d like to do in the rest of this page is give you some examples of senior rater bullets and sample senior rater comments.

You can use this information as a reference when you are preparing your senior rater comments.

Listed below are five sample senior rater bullets from actual OERs.

Some are excellent, while others are average.

I really just want to share different perspectives to get you thinking.

Sample Senior Rater Bullets # 1

MAJ James is a vital asset to our unit and the Texas Army National Guard as a whole.

MAJ James is very committed to helping his organization, in any capacity.

MAJ James is a future Battalion Commander.

He is a talented leader and logistician, capable of leading a large number of Soldiers and accomplishing any mission.

His maturity and skill set well exceed his peers.

He is the type of officer that could excel in any position, in any unit.

He is a “plug and play” type guy.

You could stick him in any position and he would figure out how to succeed.

He displays and enormous amount of initiative and self-motivation.

Continue to challenge this officer with the toughest assignments.

I know he will excel.

Unlimited potential.

Promote ahead of peers.

Sample Senior Rater Bullets # 2

A self-starter with the honed ability to operate autonomously in challenging environments best describes this capable young commander.

During the rating period, this commander improved the overall readiness indicators for his company, to include DMOSQ, Non-Val Pay, Strength, Medical Readiness, and educational posture for the Soldiers under his charge.

During the 56th Presidential Inauguration, he led his Soldiers to man a key traffic control point without incident and ensured the security of his operational space.

He shows acumen for complex logistical challenges that will serve him well in positions of greater responsibility.

This fine officer will succeed.

Sample Senior Rater Bullets # 3

CPT Snuffy is a superb officer with unlimited potential for advancement.

He completed a successful Company Command where his company continued to improve and excel in all aspects of support operations: OR rating, Maintenance Readiness and Recruiting and Retention.

In addition to his exceptional leadership skills, he is also a talented staff officer, planner and logistician.

CPT Snuffy’s skill-set and experience exceeds that of his peers.

He will excel in troop leadership and staff positions.

He was selected to become the S4 of a MACOM, an O4 position.

He as a very bright future ahead of him, promote ahead of peers.

Sample Senior Rater Bullets # 4

During this rating period CPT James performed far beyond his years of experience.

Even though his primary responsibilities were as a logistical planner, he was able to contribute significantly to the CPXs and preparation of the MRX.

CPT James performed all tasks assigned to him during this period under very stressful and contentious conditions.

He always maintained a professional demeanor and earned the respect of his peers and superiors.

CPT James is a truly talented officer and has the potential to serve on battalion and brigade level staffs very successfully.

Upon completion of this assignment, he should be afforded the opportunity to command at the company level as soon as possible in order to round out his experience at the junior officer level.

Sample Senior Rater Bullets # 5 

CPT Smith has performed exceptionally as an officer and Company Commander while in command of A Company.

The company completed all assigned missions, to include a high profile mission during AT-09 supporting the U.S. Marine Corps.

CPT Smith has increased the strength of his company and developed an awards recognition program that has raised morale in his unit.

CPT Smith has received recognition in his support of INARNG recruiting efforts and should be considered a valuable asset to the INARNG in the future ahead of him.

He should be promoted at first opportunity.

Conclusion

By all means, feel free to copy these senior rater comments and senior rater bullets as you like.

Modify them any way you like.

Just make sure that you provide ACCURATE comments on the OER.

Hold people accountable.

Reward the studs and punish the duds.

Do your job!

It’s really that simple.

What are your thoughts?

Do you have any senior rater bullets or comments that you could share with the rest of us?

Just leave a comment below to do so.

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Thanks for Your Service,

Chuck Holmes

SKYPE: mrchuckholmes
(352) 503-4816 home office
Email: chuck@part-time-commander.com

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7 thoughts on “Senior Rater Bullets and Senior Rater Comments: Tips for Writing Accurate OERs

  1. Monica Peck

    What would be most helpful for me is to see what the "dirt-bag" OER, the "average" OER, and the "stud" OER look like. I know there is key verbiage that differentiate them like "promote ahead of peers," and "send to resident ILE." What are those key words, what is the hierarchy and what needs to be in the OER to support that?

    Reply
  2. Jeff Ferry

    I've seen a problem where senior rater's are afraid to give very bad or very good OER's. This is unfair to all involved. You're punishing the average troops by lumping them in with the dirt-bags and you are punishing your top tier guys by lumping them in with your average people. The point is to EVALUATE, so it doesn't do much good to stay in the middle.
    Also, be factual. I once saw an evaluation that mentioned the member's time in deployment to Saudi Arabia. He'd never been there. That is no acceptable.

    Reply
  3. Faye

    I agree with this post: give an honest rating, and be specific. (For some reason, the Fort Hood shooter popped immediately into my mind.)

    The fact is, you cannot be afraid to call things or people like they are. When poor behavior goes unchecked, it is really being rewarded, and it will only get worse when it is tolerated. Ignoring it also marginalizes the good efforts of others and gives those soldiers doing a good or great job, less incentive to continue to do so.

    Reply
  4. Jud

    I definitely think the senior raters need to put some thought into their Senior Rater comments. From my experience, I’ve found the rater normally writes up the Senior Rater portion. Sometimes the SR changes it, or writes their own, but most of the time they don’t. Personally, I’ve never agreed with that. I think the SR should take the time to get to know the rated Soldier and make their own assessment.

    Reply
    1. Chuck Holmes Post author

      So true, Jud. 99% or more of all Senior Raters I’ve ever met do the same thing. During my 15+ years in the military, not once did my Senior Rater sit down with me before the OER was due and learn anything about me. No interview. No questions. Nothing. Personally, I think this is wrong.

      Reply
  5. Leslie

    This information is helpful. It can be hard to come up with rater bullets that get to the point without being long winded but still highlight the merits of the person you are rating. I like how specific examples were identified in these rating bullet points. That is a lot more effective than just saying “they did a good job.”

    Reply

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