The Evaluator: The Comprehensive Guide for Preparing Evaluation Reports and Counselings Book Review

In today’s post I’m going to do a book review of The Evaluator: The Comprehensive Guide for Preparing Evaluation Reports and Counselings.  The author sent me a review copy and asked if I would write a review about the book. After checking out the book, I decided that it is worth reviewing (and buying).  Listed below you will learn more about the book and what I like/dislike about it.

Let me start by telling you that if you are in a leadership position in the Army (NCOs and Officers) you will at some point be responsible to write evaluation reports for the people under your authority.  And if you are like most Army leaders, no one has ever really taken the time to show you HOW to do this the right way.  It’s as if you are supposed to figure out on your own how to write accurate, fair, and just evaluation reports.

That’s where this book comes in handy!  This is the book I wish someone would have given me when I was a brand new 2LT.  This book is quite perhaps the most comprehensive, single resource, you will need to understand your responsibilities as an evaluator AND about how to do evaluation reports the right way.

The book starts out by doing an overview of AR 623-3 and DA PAM 623-3.  It goes into more detail about:

  • Commander Responsibilities
  • Evaluation Reporting Systems and Functions
  • The Rating Chain
  • Rules for Designating Senior Raters and Reviewers
  • Roles and Responsibilities of the Rating Chain
  • Preparation and Submission Procedures
  • Managing Army Reserve and National Guard Evaluation Reports
  • Evaluation Report Redress Program
  • And So Much More!

While most of this information, in the first chapter, is available online, I like how he has it consolidated in one place.

The Evaluator Book ReviewChapter 2 focused on bullet comments.  This is really a meat and potatoes chapter with tons of example bullet points.  It gives lots of practical, real world examples for each area of the evaluation report, such as competence, physical fitness, leadership, etc.  It also gives examples for bullets of excellence, bullets of success, and bullets of needs improvement.  This chapter alone is worth the price tag of the book!

Chapter 3 discusses Relief for Cause Reports.  It gives reasons to do a Relief for Cause Evaluation Report, provides definitions, talks about counseling requirements, and gives you items to consider.

Chapter 4 focuses on Evaluation Appeals.  It covers the redress program, gives you steps in the appeal preparation, items to consider for an appeal, appeal checklist, and tasks for conducting a commander’s inquiry.

Chapter 5 discusses counseling.  It explains what to do prior to the initial counseling, questions for the soldier, how to conduct the counseling session, offers a counseling checklist, gives you an example 2166-8-1 and much more.

Chapter 6 reviews the most frequently asked questions.  I’d bet there are close to 75 to 100 common questions and answers that people have about evaluation reports.  This is another really good section.

Chapter 7 covers the key terms on the evaluation report, such as appeal, appointed duties, bullet comments, competence, commander’s inquiry, complete the record, dual supervision, intermediate rater, leadership, performance counseling, period of report, physical fitness and military bearing, potential evaluation, rated individual, rater, rating chain, rating officials, rating scheme, redress, referral, relief, responsibility and accountability, reviewer, senior rater, suspension, training and values.

Chapter 8 offers a word list.  This chapter gives you great list of adjectives, verbs and nouns you can use on the evaluation reports that you write.

What I like most about the book is that you can go to the index and find whatever it is you are looking for.  This isn’t necessarily the type of book you would read from cover to cover.  It’s more of a reference guide where you can get answers to your questions.  To be honest with you, this one book alone would probably answer 99% of your questions about evaluation reports.

The book is by published by Mentor Enterprises, INC.  It is now in its 10th anniversary edition.  It was first published in 2002.  The book features 194 pages and comes in soft-cover format.  You can buy it on Amazon or on GI Pubs.com.  It retails for $23.95.

Overall, I give this book 10 of 10 stars and I believe that EVERY Army leader should own a copy.  My best advice for you is to ORDER A COPY TODAY!  This is a “must have” resource for your leader’s library.  It would also be a great gift to give to your subordinate leaders.

What are your thoughts?  What did you think about the book, The Evaluator: The Comprehensive Guide for Preparing Evaluation Reports and Counselings?  Leave a comment below and let us know.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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2 thoughts on “The Evaluator: The Comprehensive Guide for Preparing Evaluation Reports and Counselings Book Review”

  1. Many civilian leaders could benefit from this book as well, Chuck. You have many in leadership positions who dread giving reviews and evaluations for fear of upsetting or alienating those under their command. But it is necessary. If you know how to properly give an evaluation and help your soldiers deal with the results in a positive manner, it will go a long way in helping that soldier grow and improve.

  2. This sounds like the perfect book for any leader that must do evaluations. I am actually surprised the Army does not supply this much needed book and make it mandatory for evaluators to use.

    Every commander that has to do evaluations should be evaluated on the evaluations he does. If they are poorly written, he/she should be given training on how to properly evaluate soldiers under their command.

    I also believe that when a soldier is evaluated, the soldier also should have the advantage of evaluating the leader. By doing this, the leader and others can see how they reflect to their soldiers, while the soldier will see how they reflect to the leaders. This forces everyone to “look in the mirror” at their faults and good points.

    We have used this system in a company I worked at and it was win-win.

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