The new NCOER, which is sharply different from enlisted rating systems of the past, was supposed to make its debut in October after a massive servicewide train-up that began in April.
Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey announced the NCOER delay during a June 4 town hall meeting with soldiers.
The delay gives the Army more time to fine-tune the process and procedures for tracking rater profiles. This is to make sure soldiers have a fair chance at promotions while also preventing rating inflation, according to an Army news article.
Army officials did not provide any more details as of Friday about when the new NCOER will be launched.
One of the biggest changes to the new NCOER is the introduction of rater accountability as a way to address the issue of rating inflation, the Army news article said.
The NCOER was "out of date" with Army doctrine and subject to rating inflation, Dailey said.
"We have to get at that," he said. "We have to make sure that our people we ask to run promotion boards have the full capability to understand and know who is best for promotion. This new NCOER is going to help do that."
This accountability has been in place for years when it comes to those rating Army officers, Dailey said. The new NCOER introduces a similar system for enlisted evaluations, he said.
It's difficult to decide who gets promoted if every soldier is rated as the best, Dailey said, according to the Army news article.
"With a rater profile, your rater is going to be limited on the total number [of] '1 blocks' they can give out," he said.
The revised NCO rating system mirrors several changes made to the Officer Evaluation Report in the spring of 2014, including the introduction of separate report forms for soldiers of different ranks, and new responsibilities for raters and senior raters.
The NCO reports also will employ the Evaluation Entry System, an online tool for processing and submitting evaluations to the Human Resources Command for placement in a soldier's official file. The EES was introduced with the officer system in April 2014.
Both the NCO and officer systems are aligned with Army leadership doctrine, as defined in Army Doctrine Publication 6-22.
They also support Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno's strategic priorities of cultivating adaptive leaders for a complex world. The new rating systems are designed to assist selection boards in identifying the most talented soldiers for promotion and key assignments.
As approved by senior leaders, the new NCOER will focus on three levels, or grade plates, of leadership, as follows:
- Direct Level: A form for sergeants that focuses on job proficiency and is developmental in nature. Sergeants will be evaluated as meeting or not meeting performance standards related to presence, intellect, leadership, development and achievement.
- Organizational: A form to evaluate NCOs in the ranks of staff sergeant through master sergeant and first sergeant, with a focus on organizational processes and systems. Evaluations for promotion potential will be enumerated, so that senior raters cannot give "most qualified" box checks to more than 49 percent of the NCOs they senior rate at a particular grade. Enumeration, a long-time feature of officer reports, but a new requirement for NCOs, is designed to dampen inflation.
- Strategic: a report form for sergeants major and command sergeants major that will focus on large organizations and strategic initiative.
The report is designed so that raters and senior raters will assess, in written comments, the leadership attributes and competencies of the rated NCO. Promotion potential will be handled the same way as for staff sergeants through first sergeants.
Raters, normally a soldier's first-line supervisor, will focus on job performance, while senior raters, normally an official who rates the rater, will focus on potential for promotion and future service.
In another first for the new system, raters will evaluate subordinates at the organizational and strategic levels on a four-box scale of "far exceeded," "exceeded," "met" and "did not meet" the standard.
While ratings of "far exceeded" will not be constrained by the 49 percent limit imposed on senior raters, the Army will imprint a rater tendency label, similar to the senior rater profile, showing the rater's rating history for all evaluations at that grade.
Another change under the new system involves a retooled NCOER Support Form that will be used by rating officials to counsel subordinates during the rating period.
The regulation governing the new system, AR 623-3, will require senior raters to counsel at least twice during the rating period.
Officials expect that SR participation will not only complement the rater's input to counseling, but will let rated soldiers know where they stand in terms of being evaluated for promotion.