replytocom=110731 Q&a | - Leader Development for Army Professionals

What does my signature mean on the NCOER?

Can someone tell me what my signature does and does not verify on my NCOER?

The Evaluator - Army Evaluation & Counseling Guide

AR 623-3 paragraph 2-10b(5)

Review and sign the evaluation report after it has been completed by the senior rater before departing from a unit of assignment or military or civilian school of instruction. The rated Soldier’s signature verifies that administrative data, including SSN, rating chain, counseling dates, Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), and height and weight entries, (and Multi-Source Assessment and Feedback (MSAF) for OERs) on the evaluation report are correct and confirms that the rated Soldier has seen the completed evaluation report.

DA PAM 623-3 Table 3-2

The rated NCO acknowledges that he or she has seen the completed NCOER and verifies the accuracy of administrative data in part I (except part I, block m), the rating officials and counseling dates in part II, the duty description in part III, and the APFT and height and weight entries in part IV, block a and block b. This action increases administrative accuracy of the NCOER since the rated NCO is most familiar with and interested in this information. Confirmation of the administrative data also will normally preclude an appeal by the rated NCO based on inaccurate administrative data. Any administrative errors noted by the rated NCO will be brought to the attention of the rating officials and corrected prior to his or her signature. It is important that rated NCOs and rating officials clearly understand that the rated NCO’s signature does not constitute agreement or disagreement with the evaluations of the rater and/or senior rater. Rating officials
will ensure that the rated NCO is aware of the redress process.

If the rated NCO is physically unavailable to sign his or her NCOER (and the NCOER cannot be forwarded to him or her to sign), unable to sign the NCOER digitally or manually, or refuses to sign the NCOER for any reason, the senior rater will either resolve the problem or explain the reason for the lack of a signature. Using the Wizard application associated with the electronic form within the EES, the senior rater will check the appropriate “NO” box response to the question “Is the rated Soldier available for signature?” or the comment “Rated Soldier refused to sign.” The applicable statement will then be entered in part V, block b (“Soldier unavailable for signature” and/or “Soldier refused to sign”).


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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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  • Michael moore


    Forgot to ask should I take unrated time for the time between my last annual NCOER or just accept the annual NCOER I feel like all I’ll be doing is causing a shut storm.

  • Michael moore


    My NCOER wasn’t bad but it rates me as #6 of 6 of NCO’s graded by my grader. I don’t want to make it a big deal but I’m finding it hard to figure out how to as I rate 6 when I have more extra duties than most people I rate against and do the same job just as well.. Also my grader has been gone for the last 4 months and was only made my rater in the last 2 months or so (he did my annual) without a change of rater ncoer. Granted i haven’t had a single change of rater since my last NCOER and I’ve been through 3 platoon seargents.. Should I make a big deal of this? Again my ncoer wasnt bad and the bullets were ok but quite a few were generic.

  • Suds


    As far as signing the NCOER. I know the rated Soldier at the earliest can sign 14 days prior to their thru date. Does that apply to the rater, SR, and reviewer or can they sign prior to the 14 day out?

  • Yauco



    I am just wondering, what happen if my reviewer are like best friends and they just both agreed with this due to their relationship. The first thing is my NCOER is late , 6 months overdue. They are trying to base my ratings in something that happen after my thru date. What should I do. Also my reviewer told that if I do not sign the NCOER wil say UNWILLING TO SIGN. is that true. Thanks for your help.

    • Mark Gerecht


      AR 623-3 clearly states they can not address things that happen outside the rating period. Unless this issue deals with a very specific type issue. For example you are charged by legal authorities for something during a previous rating period and new evidence comes to light and the issue must be addressed. This type of situation is allowed. The specifics of the exceptions are covered in AR 623-3.
      If you do not agree with the actions of your rating chain you have two options including a commander’s inquiry, and an appeal both of which are addressed in AR 623-3.

      Usually the statement is Soldier unavailable for signature or Soldier refused to sign is used when a signature is not obtain. The specifics of when these statements can be used are outlined in AR 623-3. Your signature verifies all administrative data, the rating chain and the counseling dates. See AR 623-3 and DA PAM 623-3 as to what your signature means as it applies to the NCOER. It does not mean you agree with the rating.

      6 months is a long time and is reason for concern. Some questions that could be asked of the rating chain are:

      1. Are they derelict in the performance of their duties?
      2. Are they violating any regulations and or policies?
      3. If your roles were reversed would the rating chain be okay with their rating chain applying the same rules to their personal evaluation reports. If the answer is “YES” your leaders probably believe they are doing the right thing. If the answer is “NO” your leaders probably know they are doing something wrong, unprofessional, or inappropriate.

      First I would encourage you to look at this from the leaders perspective and see if you can figure out what is going on from their point of view. Next I would look to my chain of command. Typically I find the chain of command wants to do what is right. If there is a problem I find that by the time you get 2 levels above the problem usually enough emotion has been removed from the issue that you can get a professional perspective and answer to the issue. I would also consider going to see the JAG and/or IG on a fact finding mission to get an outside opinion on your situation. You do not have to ask them to get involved and you can even ask for assistance from another installation office if you are worried they might to talk to your chain of command. You can request that they do not contact your chain of command because all you are looking for is guidance.

      If you want to solve this professionally it is important you remain: calm, unemotional, and professional. You must be absolutely honest if you lose your credibility then you have lost the battle. Lay out the facts of your case put your information together in a timeline and in an easily understandable format so you can discuss it with the correct individuals. You have to also know what outcome you want. Your recommended solution must be professional, achievable, and reasonable.

      Here are some posts that may assist you:

      How can I correct my NCOER before it hits my official records?

      Can a Rater falsify counseling dates on my NCOER?

      What does my signature on my NCOER mean?


      Legal Assistance Appeals Guide

      NCOER Appeal Checklist

      Submitting Reports on Time

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

  • Mark Gerecht


    Your reviewer should have been provided to you on an approved rating chain. If it is different than your approved rating chain then you have justification not to sign. However there is no time requirement for a rater. Here is an extract of AR 623-3.
    Paragraph 2-8
    b. Noncommissioned officer evaluation reports.
    (1) Reviewer eligibility and responsibility. The designated reviewer on the published rating scheme will perform the mandatory review of completed NCOERs.
    (a) The reviewer will be a U.S. Army officer, CSM, or SGM in the direct line of supervision and senior in pay grade or date of rank to the senior rater. A promotable MSG working in an authorized CSM or SGM position may serve as a reviewer.
    Note. Every NCOER should be reviewed by the rated NCO’s 1SG, CSM, or SGM to ensure accountability of Soldiers’ evaluation reports and to oversee performance of junior NCOs (para 2–19).
    (b) No minimum time period is required for reviewer qualification.

    Notice b(1) states published rating scheme.

    Hope this helps!

    • Anonymous


      TOP, I really appreciate your answering back. I didn’t sign the ncoer cause I know that I was about to sign something that was not true. I read the AR and senior rater has to explain why soldier didn’t sign ncoer, so what is the next step for me to do?

      • Mark Gerecht


        You can ask for a commander’s inquiry to resolve the issue. If you do this quickly it can be taken care of prior to the NCOER being finalized and submitted. Usually this will take care of the issue. If not you have to appeal. Regardless the Senior Rater should address the issue in his block.

  • mac


    I don’t agree with the reviewer on my ncoer because its somebody else and not the commander can use this as to refuse signature.

  • Joe


    Can I be punished for refusing to sign an NCOER that is unjust? I understand the meaning of signing however I feel any signature would justify the inaccurate statements.

    • Mark Gerecht


      You cannot be punished for not signing your NCOER. The choice to sign is yours. AR 623-3 and DA Pam 623-3 are very specific with regard to what you are verifying when you sign your NCOER. DA PAM 623-3 page 43 specifically states that: NCOER Part : IIe – Rated NCO’s signature Action Required: The rated NCO’s signature verifies the following: They seen the completed report, the administrative data (Part I) is correct (except Part Ik through o), the rating officials are proper (Part II), the duty description is accurate (Part III) and includes the counseling dates, the APFT and height/weight entries are correct (Part IVc), and that the rated NCO is aware of the appeals process. It is important that rated NCOs and rating officials clearly understand that the rated NCO’s signature does not constitute agreement or disagreement with the evaluations of the rater and/or senior rater. NOTE: If the rated Soldier is unavailable, unable, or fails to sign the DA Form 2166-8 for any reason, the senior rater will either resolve the problem or explain why in DA Form 2166-8, Part Ve and the rated Soldier’s signature is left blank. The report will not be delayed because it lacks the rated Soldier’s signature.

      If these items are correct then there is no problem with signing the NCOER. If one or more of these items are not correct then you can use that as your reason for not signing the report and include this as part of your rationale during the commander’s inquiry or during your appeal.

      • Part-Time-Commander


        Good information Mark. I learn something every time I visit your blog.


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