WASHINGTON (AFNS) --
The Air Force is taking another major step in a series of transformations within its officer evaluation system with the implementation of officer performance report (OPR) static closeout dates (SCODs) for officers in the grades of O-1 to O-6.
In developing solutions that best support the Air Force’s talent management strategy, transitioning from non-standardized annual and change of reporting official (CRO) OPR closeout policies to SCODs increases transparency by ensuring stable, steady, and reliable assessments from senior raters and rating chains.
“As we continue to fully execute Action Order A (Airmen), implementing officer static closeout dates is key to ensuring transparency and consistency are cornerstones of our feedback and evaluation systems,” said Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services. “SCODs deliver improved predictability to our officers, raters, and units, while also providing a synchronized comparison of performance within peer groups. This arms officers with a more complete understanding of their performance assessment, their strengths and weaknesses, and where they stand among their peers. This is essential to ensure we give Airmen an opportunity to fully develop to their capabilities and excel at the Airmen Leadership Qualities they’ll need to be successful in the future.”
Additionally, consistent predictability of evaluations for Airmen and leadership helps reduce current administrative burdens of evaluation tracking and timing. The transition to officer SCODs fully aligns all Airmen--officers, enlisted, and civilians--with steady evaluation and appraisal timelines across the calendar year.
After carefully studying various implementation options, Air Force leaders established the officer SCOD schedule to integrate with the existing enlisted evaluation and civilian appraisal closeout periods to improve evaluation planning and tracking across the Air Force. Additionally, the selected approach minimizes excessive exceptions to policies or undue workload shifts, while still delivering relevant officer performance data to a variety of talent management selection boards.
“While many talent management factors related to close out dates were considered and we optimized recency of the close out date to associated promotion boards, we also recognize no SCOD date is 100% perfect, but we believe the established dates provide the best options for our Air Force considering all factors,” said Kelly.
Like the enlisted SCOD policy, officer SCOD OPRs will use accounting dates to establish the officer’s assigned unit and the rating chain responsible for processing and signing the evaluation on the SCOD. Accounting dates will be approximately 120 calendar days before each SCOD and established as the third day of the month (like enlisted Airmen) in order to provide consistency across all evaluation accounting dates.
The implementation of officer SCODs will occur in phases for Regular Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard Airmen. The first SCOD for officers will begin with first and second lieutenants on Oct. 31, 2022, followed by colonels on Feb. 28, 2023, lieutenant colonels and majors on May 31, 2023, and captains on Aug. 31, 2023. All SCODs will repeat annually thereafter. Those in a promotion-select status will align their OPR with the SCOD of their selected grade.
Similar to the enlisted transition to SCODs, the Air Force developed an officer transition plan that provides accelerated and equitable steps to begin the first SCOD for each grade. The transition plan ensures no officer’s first SCOD OPR is less than six-month reporting period or exceeds a 16-month reporting period. The transition plan standardizes reporting periods during the SCOD implementation for each grade and maximizes equitable time to assess all officers’ performance before the first SCOD. For Regular Air Force colonel-selects and major-selects who already met promotion boards in 2021, AFPC will provide special instructions to ensure that all promotion-select officer evaluations closeout with equitable reporting periods.
Introducing SCODs into the officer evaluation system also eliminates the need for CRO evaluations. CRO evaluations will be eliminated in phases for each grade several months prior to the occurrence of their first SCOD. This change eliminates the need for nearly 29,000 Airmen CRO reports annually and removes the unscheduled workload associated with CRO evaluations.
Officer SCODs further eliminate the need to maintain other legacy evaluation products like education & training reports (TRs) and letters of evaluation (LOEs), as the Air Force transitions to a more agile and digital data-based evaluation system. Instead, the new myEvaluation (myEval) application will include a feature called “Education & Training Input,” that will be used to document academic and training accomplishments on the SCOD OPR.
“SCODs allow us to further strengthen the effectiveness of recent changes to our officer evaluation system, similar to the new officer stratification guidance and Airman Leadership Qualities announced last year,” said Col. Laura King, the director of the Air Force talent management innovation cell. “With SCODs, officers receive clearer feedback and are given a more complete understanding of where they stand amongst their peers. Key talent management decision bodies, like promotion selection boards, also become more informed with a consistent delineation of performance documented within officers’ records.”
When Airmen transition to the new officer SCODs process, the Space Force will maintain current evaluation policy and will not implement the Air Force changes while they continue to develop their new performance appraisal system.
Additional information and in-depth articles on each of the major changes will be released prior to each program’s implementation. For more information go to myPers > Officer > Evaluations pages for each Active Duty AF, Air Reserve, and Air National Guard.