CR's - Does The Unit Make A Difference?

#41
IS Ski Geek said:
Allthough on the home on the biff at the moment. I have heard through the grapevine that the final 2 years and promotion ban thing is out of the window.

If anyone has any news on this and would like to post then please do so.

ISG
Your right mate - residual service has been lowered to 12 months, giving everyone an extra shot. If you come off the board, you will be required to serve at least 2 years from the date of your substantive promotion, this granting of continuance will be automatic.

There are a couple of letters out about it, certainly all CO's army wide have had the letter.
 
#42
I think Shania Twain sat on some of my boards :numberone: :

'14 sigs - that dont impress me much . . . '

'So your a (insert non tech trade here) - that dont impress me much'

'Medals like General Patton/served here, there and everywhere - that dont impress me much either now fcuk off!!'

Who knows how the board works (unless your on it or have been on it), all you can do is your best and hope your CR reflects it - remember you only get out of the 'suck' what you put into it . . . .
 
#43
crashers said:
I think Shania Twain sat on some of my boards :numberone: :

'14 sigs - that dont impress me much . . . '

'So your a (insert non tech trade here) - that dont impress me much'

'Medals like General Patton/served here, there and everywhere - that dont impress me much either now fcuk off!!'

Who knows how the board works (unless your on it or have been on it), all you can do is your best and hope your CR reflects it - remember you only get out of the 'suck' what you put into it . . . .
:thumright:

Crashers - medals and trade aren't going to get you promoted mate. The most decorated, dog's bollix tradesman in the world is not going to get the CR he needs if he sh1ts in the CO's handbag is he...... (not saying you have by the way but take my point that it's your profile, conduct and performance that they're looking at - not your gongs or geography).

That said, there is some truth in the unit making a difference.

As a PSI of a TA unit years ago I sat on a PSIs brief delivered by a full Col (regular) who asked the question "should TA units integrate more with the regular army - like 21 pigs?"

He said possibly not because he, for one, did not want to do a full weeks work and then have to work at the weekend as well.

The following was politely asked by a WO2 PSI at the briefing:

"s'cuse me Sir but what the fcuk do you think we do as PSI's - sit at home all fcuking week?".

Point is - that full Colonel sits on promotion boards and his perception of what a PSI does was soooo far off the fcuking mark I don't think any PSI's would have come off boards on which he sat.
 
#44
IS Ski Geek said:
Allthough on the home on the biff at the moment. I have heard through the grapevine that the final 2 years and promotion ban thing is out of the window.

If anyone has any news on this and would like to post then please do so.

ISG
The latest MS letter shows:

quote on/

Manning Measures. The APC continues to contribute to the considerable Army-wide manning effort by encouraging and processing rejoins, transfers and the use of continuance. In particular, A&SDs and units are encouraged to identify as many posts and personnel as possible for use of continuance. In addition, where appropriate and the soldiers concerned are willing, units should consider seeking a limited period of continuance to enable soldiers nearing their ROD to deploy on operations and still have 6 months of service remaining on return in which to complete POTL and resettlement.

quote off/

The promotion of soldiers who are in their last two years has been covered on the REME board, IIRC.

Litotes

Edited because I'm either dyxleics or thick!
 
#45
Like CGS, I have sat on R SIGNALS promotion boards and can comment from experience on what actually happens.

We only promote enough people to fill vacancies. So if there are only 10 vacancies in your trade, no matter how many fantastic tradesmen are on the board, only 10 will promote. Each trade is boarded separately, so if your trade doesn't do well one year it is because there simply aren't many vacancies. It is not that your trade is considered any worse that others.

A promotion board is looking for individuals who have performed well and have demonstrated the potential for promotion. This information has to be included in your CR book. (Don't forget that all of your CRs are in your book although the board members don't have time to read more that 4 or 5). Some units are better that others at:

- allowing soldiers to perform well (ie those units on ops).
- drawing out potential (ie units with good leadership who push soldiers to exceed themselves).
- writing this information on the CR.

However, this is rarely the same unit year after year.

I found that we didn't give extra credit to individual report writers (ie Maj XXXX is a great bloke so I'll add half a point), but rather took a dim view of report writers who constantly overgraded. (One CO gave 25 'O' Grades to signallers one year - how can you take him seriously when other COs were only giving 1 or 2 'O' Grades?).

It is very difficult for board members to influence the rest of the board. If one member massively over-scores a soldier, it will stand out. The President of the Board will invite the Member to reduce his scores in line with everyone else's score.

You never look at the grade. Most people who make it to the board are 'A' or 'O'. It really is the write-up that counts.

As for late CRs (which has been mentioned on this subject), it doesn't matter if the CR is on yellow, white, fax or toilet paper. The board is too busy to care.

Although no promotion system can be perfect, the system that we have is fair and works well. I'm sure people will disagree, but they probably haven't seen the way it works.
 
#46
DangerousDusty said:
Gents (and ladies..)

...guess what..same thing happens in Civvie Street!!!


I now work for Dell as a programme manager by the way.

Ahhhhh no, NOT the dreaded Performance Feedback or some version thereof ? Now THAT is trying to fit square blocks into round holes :shakefist:

Mind you in CIVDIV, it is easier to refuse to sign your PF. Shite loads of extra work for your line manager if you do though :twisted:
 
#47
I agree with Interceptor. The Board is remarkably unanimous in its gradings. Reshows are for differences of 1.5 points or more (out of 10) from all members. Those who have graded too high or low must adjust their marks. Reshows happen, but rarely.

You only have time to read 3 reports max. Gradings are unimportant - the script is all-important. Good soldiers leap off the pages and poor ones die!

All very hard work and it is a long day!

For the soldier out there, it is important for you to understand the report you have been given. Read it until you understand it and question anything you do not understand! And if you are crap, then don't ask for an "O" or an "A" grading! Gradings are only really useful for the CO's and Coy Comd's grading conferences, when they are trying to sort out the pecking order - which informs the CR drafting process.

Litotes
 
#48
I have sat on a number of boards as well, Interceptors and CGS's points are spot on. The key responsibility lies with the Reporting Officer, those who are being reported upon should do your job to the best of your ability and expect to be reported upon accordingly.

As an Adjt, our unit made sure that we graded each rank. That enabled 2nd RO, whether OC or CO, could write 'Soldier X is the best out of XX of RS Ops on my Regt/Sqn'. Or put them into top third etc.

These sorts of comments really stand out on a Bd and help graders sort the really good from the good.

It helps if Adjt/2IC/Ch Clk are good at maths. Sat on a Cpl - Sgt Bd once where one sub-unit had 7 Cpls in there top 5! Not clever.

Key point, unit is largely immaterial. Breadth of service and experience is very important. An RD wala who has only worked in Trg Wgs or Phase 1 trg will do themselves no favours, likewise those that spend all their time at Spec units (no matter the role).

AY
 
#49
E-Layer said:
crashers said:
I think Shania Twain sat on some of my boards :numberone: :

'14 sigs - that dont impress me much . . . '

'So your a (insert non tech trade here) - that dont impress me much'

'Medals like General Patton/served here, there and everywhere - that dont impress me much either now fcuk off!!'

Who knows how the board works (unless your on it or have been on it), all you can do is your best and hope your CR reflects it - remember you only get out of the 'suck' what you put into it . . . .
:thumright:

Crashers - medals and trade aren't going to get you promoted mate. The most decorated, dog's bollix tradesman in the world is not going to get the CR he needs if he sh1ts in the CO's handbag is he...... (not saying you have by the way but take my point that it's your profile, conduct and performance that they're looking at - not your gongs or geography).

That said, there is some truth in the unit making a difference.

As a PSI of a TA unit years ago I sat on a PSIs brief delivered by a full Col (regular) who asked the question "should TA units integrate more with the regular army - like 21 pigs?"

He said possibly not because he, for one, did not want to do a full weeks work and then have to work at the weekend as well.

The following was politely asked by a WO2 PSI at the briefing:

"s'cuse me Sir but what the fcuk do you think we do as PSI's - sit at home all fcuking week?".

Point is - that full Colonel sits on promotion boards and his perception of what a PSI does was soooo far off the fcuking mark I don't think any PSI's would have come off boards on which he sat.
I was just adding a light hearted view of CR's (as i am no longer serving in the colours) and totally agree with IS Ski Geeks comments, in particular 'Surely a CR should be judged on the merits of the person who is reported on . . '. And, Yes, crapping in your gaffer/gafferess's handbag is not the best career move ever.

However promotion bias based on your posting is unfair - if your promotion material then it shouldnt matter, surely boards can see that though prior posts in this thread may show otherwise . . . during my time i never came across this problem and came off the cpl-sgt board while at a unit with 3 Royal Signals personel proving the point somewhat. This also adds weight to a previous quote regarding CR's from non Royal Signals officers, i am sure that this worked for me (Marine Col and Inf Maj)!

To sumarise, my experiences showed that most of the gripes were from those that did not come off the board - suck it up people and learn from the experience!
 
#50
Well where you are, and who signs it do count. I had one CR as a Junior Sergeant when I was still wet behind the ears that said something along the lines of
"Sgt Guru fully warrants this A grade that would in a working unit, tend towards an O grade"

WTF?
 
#51
the_guru said:
Well where you are, and who signs it do count. I had one CR as a Junior Sergeant when I was still wet behind the ears that said something along the lines of
"Sgt Guru fully warrants this A grade that would in a working unit, tend towards an O grade"

WTF?
What kind of bollöcks statement is THAT ?? The mind boggles :frustrated:
 
#52
i reckon the unit makes a hge difference, smply because of how your "future" prospects are decided on what you achieve not only in your job (what you're paid at the end of the day), but also what you can do above and beyond that. so if you have the time to do these "extra cirricular" activities, then there is more to write upon for the CR. if you are worked to the bone then it is less likely. Probably why FoS and YoS, IS Sup etc reckon they should get their almost automatic promotion.

Hope that hits a nerve!!!
 
#53
mercury30 said:
Probably why FoS and YoS, IS Sup etc reckon they should get their almost automatic promotion.
No. It's because they have already proven themselves better than their non-supervisory counterparts, having already passed quality boards to get onto the respective roster. So the reporting period involves actual work vital to the unit, not the kid-on stuff.

I'm just being obnoxious, it's my only spec qual. I bet monkeyspanker is going to rim my brew when I get back into work.
 
#54
PoisonDwarf said:
I'm just being obnoxious, it's my only spec qual.
I can't believe that you haven't got Mil Swim test.......
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
#55
I've got to add my piece following on from CGS and that other Officer...

I agree with them both in the main - there is such a thing as promotion to requirement. Life in the forces is being part of a sausage machine (obviously not literally but some days it does feel like that) there has to be enough of a valid requirement to create pull through. There is a degree of slack in the system but invariably that is to cater for career courses, sicknotes etc. All the Armed Forces are shrinking, so if the requirement this year was for 10 SSgt (IS Supvr) then 10 it is and that is all across the Corps. It will only get less, you can't promote everyone, even if they are good people.

The next point is that doing a good job and doing that consistently does not automatically mean you should be promoted. As tough a pill as it is, and its valid for Ruperts and the Ranks alike, you have to demonstrate potential. I always tell my people if you want me to write you up for promotion you should act NOW like you are in the next higher rank, or demonstrate the capacity to do so. Hard to do in some units I accept, but invariably the Corps is guilty of over marking, probably because we get humped to do all manner of odds and sods that aren't really in our TORS and we do them well. Also some people just have a natural ceiling of promotability.

As for CRs - the unit and the name shouldn't make a difference, but they DO. If you're 2nd/3rd RO are well known names/rising stars of the Corps their signature is worth just that bit more BUT and here is the but, that only makes a difference if the content of the CR is good and it is equally comparable to someone elses and there were limited slots. At this point even I suspect I'd lean to support the CR with the name I knew. Its human nature and it does apply across all three Services. As for units its been said for example that the Army gives a PJHQ/JTFHQ posting a big tick, the RAF and Navy aren't so keen on PJHQ. Is it true? Possibly, board members are human, they have their own beliefs. Compare a 3 yr tour in DCSA and that CR with a 3 yr tour at 2SR including SLE/Op tours!

At the end of the day you're CR has to be realistic, credible and well written and (here I will be flamed, of that I have little doubt) far too often we do a massive dis-service to our people by not writing honestly, keeping a track of what they do, if they are detached on op tours chasing Insert Slips and the like. Too many 2nd/3rd ROs write on people they simply do not know well enough to do so - that is criminal!
 
#56
Hmm agree with you Matelot on most points. Certainly we overwright and grade. I wonder what the average grade is really, I suspect it is an A with the difference in the write up. So how can that be, with C being average?


MCM briefs give advice on what soldiers should look for and do to ensure they get a fair crack at a good CR. If a soldier gets a badly written(worded as opposed to BAD) CR but a good grade and solid proof (course reports, Op Inserts etc) then most board officers will pick this up as it will stand out.

The problem will always lie in Mr Average, decent write up, decent grade. How do you distinguish this soldier from others. Op tour, well most are doing them! Then I would suggest the unit counts, for example on a board knowing what particular units do, a Det Cmdr with 30 would score higher (normally) than a Cpl in a Div etc. Why, I know what responsiblity both have.

CRs are not fair, they are written by humans (sorry... officers mainly) and everyone is after a uncertain number of places which shift in number dependent on a unquantifyable reasoning. How can you play fair on if this is the case, you have to adept, improvise, overcome... do your best and crack on.
 
#57
To CGS, if too long a posting/service to particular areas of the corps do not help your CR... why is it that particular units, 30, 2, 16, 7 and 18 particularly do well. One of these (if you do the maths over the years) has continually done better than others, more promotions per head, more supervisors per head, more everything... probably bullshit included). Just because you specialise does not mean you are not employable, despite what some ex Cold War warrirors spout
 
#58
Redshaggydog said:
... and solid proof (course reports, Op Inserts etc) then most board officers will pick this up as it will stand out.
Ah, yes. Inserts.

Some operational inserts and course reports carry weight. Others do absolutely no good at all.

More often than not these reports focus only on the performance of an individual over a certain period. They tend to focus on the positive and are rarely written with the attention that CRs are. They rarely contain a rounded view of an individual (ie he might be great on Ops but - could not organise training, is a hand grenade on the p!ss) and they almost never mention potential which is the real thing that a promotion board needs to know about (saying "would make a great sergeant" is not mentioning potential).

They are often written by people who do not understand how promotion boards work and what they are looking for. For example, I read an op insert during a promotion board that contained four lines about how the soldier had enjoyed a Herc flight around the brigade AO. Honestly.

Also, you should only get an op insert if you are outside of your reporting chain during that op. Consider this example: 2 lance corporals on the same det during an op tour with 2 Sigs. One is from 2 Sigs and the other is from 1 ADSR (augmentee). They perform to the same high standard. At the end of the tour, 2 Sigs bloke gets nothing until his CR but 1 ADSR gets an op insert to take home. Then he gets a CR. The promotion board members will see just a CR when they read the 2 Sigs bloke's book but the 1 ADSR bloke will have a CR and and op insert - that's more than twice the information contained in just one CR. Should they give the op insert any real weight? Should 1 ADSR man score higher just because he was an augmentee?

Course reports also deserve a mention. Why should someone be promoted on the strength of a course report? What potential does that show, other than the potential to be good on courses? A course report should add weight to your CR, but not that much weight.

Finally, it is your CR book that gets you promoted. The CRs are the important bit and the inserts just might tip the balance.
 
#59
Interceptor said:
They are often written by people who do not understand how promotion boards work and what they are looking for. For example, I read an op insert during a promotion board that contained four lines about how the soldier had enjoyed a Herc flight around the brigade AO. Honestly.
I was sent an insert slip for one of my lads recently. It started off "XYZ (not his real name :biggrin: ) is a tall, well built individual...". I kid you not, it was about 4 months ago, originating from a joint service unit and written by someone from another service.
 
#60
I think where you are does make a difference in conjuction with who crafts it. you only have to look on any board to see how many soldiers who are affiliated to stab regt for instance who just dont get a look in. Was there any on this yr WO2 to WO1 i can think of one, and not sure if any promoted to WO2....maybe wrong ......but not often.
 
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