The OPR/EPR challenge

  • Published
  • By Col. Cam LeBlanc
  • 934th MXG commander
Career wise, what have you done for you lately?  Unless you have been in some serious form of denial, you know that a lot of importance and weight have been placed upon PME and CCAF or an advanced degree.  However, I think that OPRs and EPRs are the building blocks to a person's career.  Each person has a stake in it and controls their own fate depending on how involved they are with the process.

You can help your supervisor "showcase" your accomplishments by providing meaningful bullets from events you have participated in over the rating period.  After all, you should have a good idea of what you did to help the unit perform and excel.  Your first attempts at bullet writing may be a little rough.  It's not like writing prose, and is definitely an art, but believe me, you will get better and more creative with what and how much you can put into them over time.

I have sat on many promotion and selection boards.  Almost every board member starts by scanning over the last few evaluations.  I have seen some dig down all the way to the bottom evaluation.  Many decide after this first look, whether to keep a package in the mix or cut it at that point.  Later, the PME, schools and jobs held may become discriminators as far as making the cut and staying above the line. 

You only get one chance to make a first impression with folks you don't know.  Believe it or not, you have a lot to do with it.  Be involved.  Get good at it.  Not only will it help you now, it will help you become a better supervisor when you are writing evaluations later in your career.