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How can I correct an unfair NCOER before it hits my official record?

I am a Reserve Soldier and have PCS'd with my AC spouse last spring and am just now getting my NCOER from my previous unit. The rating period is from 1 Sep to 31 Aug. The first one was a joke. I replied back having to send them a copy of the APFT they administered since the NCOER stated I had not taken one within the time frame of the NCOER and was given a "needs improvement". He fixed the NCOER and entered one bullet for each section which wasn't on the first one.

I also requested that my 40+ volunteer hours as my spouses unit's FRG Leader be included. The rater is giving excuses that I was not being tracked during that time and he can't verify I actually did the volunteering because they didn't see me do it. While I was in the middle of having to find a new unit on my own because they would not help, I made sure Medpros stayed updated, my online training was always done etc. I did everything I was asked to do during the time they claim I was not being tracked. I was never counseled during the whole period and the rater entered dates of non existent counselings.

How can he enter dates for counselings that never existed and claim I wasn't being tracked and refuse to add my volunteer hours which I feel deserves an excellent bullet? I said I would get the documentation for the hours, but he still says he didn't see me do it. Is the appeal process my only choice? And, will it hold up with my documentation and MFR's from my spouses command?

The Evaluator - Army Evaluation & Counseling Guide

Let’s break this problem down into workable chunks

How can I correct an unfair NCOER?

Issue: Entering counseling dates on the NCOER when no counseling sessions were conducted: This is perhaps the most serious issue you have raised. Placing false information on an official form is fraudulent and a violation of integrity. This usually occurs because the rating chain is unfamiliar with the correct process or they do not want other leaders in the unit to know they failed to conduct counseling sessions as required by regulation.

Solution: Refer to AR 623-3 paragraph 3-15 “When counseling was not completed and dates are omitted on the form, enter a statement in Part Ve of DA Form 2166–8 explaining the reason why counseling was not accomplished.” Statement could read “Rater failed to conduct counseling IAW with AR 623-3”

Issue: Lack of knowledge concerning your achievements and status: This issue occurs with active duty Soldiers too but appears to be more common among Guard and Reserve Solders.  It is usually a result of inadequate interaction between the rater and the Soldier. This lack of interaction is usually caused by one of the following conditions: geographical separation of the rater and Soldier or other unit factors that make communication and observation difficult (such as individuals not attending drill as required, or individuals frequently TDY/at schooling during the rating period).

Solution: Make a list of your achievements that you would like to see annotated on your NCOER along with all supporting paperwork and turn it into your rater for review.

Issue: Rater will not place volunteer comment on my NCOER. The rater is under no obligation to place comments on your NCOER.  However, if you can provide proof such achievements occurred the rater will usually concede.  However, the rater could still simply enter a “Meets the Standard” rating.

Solution: Provide documentation to rater

Issue: First NCOER contained a Needs Improvement. This action shows a lack of communication between you and the rater.

Solution: Retain the original NCOER with the needs improvement rating as documentation in case you decide to file a commander’s inquiry or appeal.

Issue: Rater states he cannot annotate achievements on your NCOER because he did not see you do it. Again if you can provide documented proof by a neutral or disinterested party (such as a leader in your spouse’s unit) or provide official documentation of training the rater must now determine why he should not give you credit.

Solution: Provide written request for inclusion of achievement on your NCOER and provide documentation.

Issue: Rater states you are not being tracked. What does he mean by this? Was he your rater during this time or was this time outside the rating period he is covering in your report?

Solution: If the rater was not your rater during the time-frame of the achievement it would be considered unrated time. If he was your rater it could be included.

I believe we have gone through most of your concerns.  Now let’s review the process for trying to obtain a reasonable solution.

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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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  • LaRae


    I recieved my first NCOer and recieved a 3, 3 on it. and was told i had to sign it even though there were not initial counseling dates give but it is on the form. I have gone above and beyond as a cook and my Ncoer does not reflect anything i have accomplished. During our A.T. I was the only cook cooking for apx. 30 people, for family day i was the ONLY cook cooking for the families even though it was an FRG thing and we had a successful Holiday meal because of me. I have never recieved recongintion from my unit and my NCOer is a joke, not to mention KPs are not usually provided so I am doing everything from cooking, paperwork and cleaning. none of this reflects on my ncoer at all. Not to mention i didn’t get my NCOer until 2 months after it was due. Can i contest this? they told me by it is being my first one no one will ever get an excellence even if they are prove they are amongst the best there has to be room for improvement which doesnt make sense to me. if you are giving it your all and your amongst the best and it shows why are you being penalized for that, can i possibly improve more than my best. makes no sense.

    • SSG Jones


      Signing your NCOER does not mean you agree with what’s written. It only means you have been given the chance to view it and to verify personal information is accurate. You can take it up the chain if you don’t agree with what’s on it. They have to prove you were a unfit NCO with giving you a bad review. If there’s no supporting documents you should be good to go.

  • Luis


    So long story short. I am on TDY and my NCOER was not finished by the time I left. I will be here for six months. I started asking for my NCOER because my new/temporary Chain wanted to see my last NCOER. They sent me a mediocre NCOER. My current boss(MSG) went over it and pointed out all the things that did not make sense or were incorrect because I could get scrutinized at the E-7 board. So I sent the corrections back and got no answer. 3 weeks later I get an NCOER with the “New Counseling Dates” that never actually happened and the rest of the blocks were left unchanged. I sent back many emails, even a scanned copy of my NCOER with the highlighted areas. The rater writes back that “I will see what I can do because it went up the chain and after many reviews from higher thats what I got back…”Plus now instead of being rated as a 1-1, now Im a 2-1, as if saying “You want to make corrections? Well, here you go..” Isnt he the rater? Didn’t he write it? 2 weeks later after no answer, I get the “NEW” and improved NCOER. This time from the 1SG. No changes were made. As if saying “This time its the 1SG sending you the NCOER and asking you to sign it. DO IT!”

    I then sent him a very respectful and professional email explaining the situation. I added as attachments all 3 progressing NCOERS plus scanned copies of all email traffic.

    If this fails what should I do? Who I can bring this up to? Thanks….

    • SGT NICK


      That’s really not going to help just because you have progressing ncoers it doesn’t mean they are going to get better and better. Your evaluation only covers the rated time, not past ncoers. Technically you would be surprised what constitutes a lot of excellence blocks and a 1-1. I hope you kept a I love me book to cover everything that you have done within the last year, if they sat down and actually went through everything you done they’re going to want a lot of paperwork proving that you should get a 1-1 or a lot of excellence blocks. Also your senior rater gave you that 2-1 not your rater, obviously someone in your chain of command probably doesn’t think you’re a superstar, if you don’t have paperwork proving that you are then there is little you can do.

    • Mark Gerecht


      AR 623-3 makes it clear that the actual contents of the NCOER are up to the Rater. You can provide them all the information you want but ultimately it is the Rater’s call. Now that does not prevent you from putting together a list of achievements about your accomplishments during the rating period. In fact I encourage all Soldiers to do this as it makes the Rater’s job easier.

      With regard to falsifying counseling dates, your signature verifies that the counseling dates did take place. If you sign an NCOER with false counseling dates you are acknowledging those counselings took place. It pretty much nullifies your ability to appeal as the appeals board would ask themselves “Why would you sign a report that contains false information?” I would encourage you to read the following ASKTOP.net Q&A’s as they might have information pertinent to your situation.

      Can my Rater falsify counseling dates on my NCOER?

      What does my signature mean on the NCOER?

      So the bottom line is if you sign the NCOER you are stating the counseling dates took place. The proper procedures when a Rater fails to counsel the Rated Soldier are:
      1. The counseling dates on the NCOER are left blank
      2. The senior rater makes a comment in the senior rater portion of the NCOER something like: Rater failed to conduct counseling IAW AR 623-3.
      3. Then the rating chain is free to write what they want.
      Note: The reference for this can be found in DA PAM 623-3 under the Senior Rater portion of how to fill out the form.

      Based on the information you provided it is difficult to appeal an NOCER based on the items you outlined in your post. However if they falsify the counseling dates and you do not sign the NCOER they you should have the ability to file an appeal. In the appeal you can address the false counseling dates, you can request statements from others in the unit that might be able to support your claims, include a copy of the rating chain, provide the all the evidence including your emails. Before making your decision I would encourage you to read AR 623-3 and DA PAM 623-3 as they pertain to initiating an appeal.

      Take your time, read all the information you can find about appealing an NCOER. I would also encourage you to make a “PRO’s & CON’s” worksheet. This allows you to lay out the facts of the issue by looking at both sides of the issue. You might also consider taking your situation to the IG and/or JAG and ask them for an opinion on your specific case. They might be able to provide you information on items you might have missed or give you a better way to approach the issue. Once you have done your research you can look at the issue from a factual perspective.

      : Sometime in the near future we expect to launch a new service in which we assist Leaders in preparing Appeals and Commander Inquiries for a fee. We are currently discussing how best to implement this process as it is a time consuming to prepare these documents as we want to ensure they are both professional and factual to ensure the Leader has the best possible chance at success.

      Did you find this information useful? We appreciate your feedback!


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