My Coast Guard

Reserve OERs in a nutshell

By By Lt. David Holden and Petty Officer 3rd Class Juan Pablo Duque Valencia

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We are honored to serve as your Reserve Officer Evaluation System (OES) managers, among other titles.

We validate all Reserve Officer Evaluation Reports (OER), and are the last reviewers of all Inactive Duty Promotion List (IDPL) OERs before they are turned over to Military Records. We ensure your OER follows policy and gets validated into your official military record before your respective Board or Panel convenes. Therefore, we are required to understand OER rules and regulations (both Active Duty and Reserve). It’s important that you also have an understanding of Reserve OER policy.

After reviewing nearly 4,000 OERs, we’ve found that a significant number of submissions do not follow policy. This guidance will help ensure your OER meets policy requirements to expedite validation and entry into your EIPDR.

With the addition of staff last summer, we were able to complete a DA gap report of all known OERs for every Reserve officer. As a result, you may notice some random changes in your record or an extra validated OER sent to you from Military Records. We also implemented minor policy changes to help ensure complete records, and we are trying to clean up records for the entire Reserve force. Please note, we recommend that you check your records often to ensure they are correct. You care about your career more than anyone else, so please exercise your due diligence and review your record.

As per policy, “The Officer Evaluation System documents and drives officer performance and conduct in accordance with Service values and standards. This information is used to support personnel management; primarily selection boards and panels, retention, and assignments.”

But who should be paying close attention to policies that govern the Officer Evaluation System?

We do, on a daily basis, and we want every Reserve officer to understand the policy as well. We know that the policy is challenging and detailed, but we can help provide clarity and insight.

Now, on to the important stuff. Our goal is to be less intrusive to you and your command. During OER submission season, we send about 20-30 emails weekly highlighting issues that need to be addressed because someone overlooked a portion of policy. We all make mistakes from time to time, but 50% of Reserve OERs received by RPM-1 (which are reviewed and signed by at least three people) contain minor oversights.

Here are our top things for you to remember before sending an OER to RPM (side note – these also work for OPM, but they don’t have a magazine for the active component).

This is anything (outside of the block 1 information) that provides personal information about you that could potentially bias a board member or assignment officer. Prohibited subjects include (but are not limited to): your gender, marital status, parental status, race, ethnicity, civilian employment, religion, medical condition, pending litigation, etc. These prohibitions also apply to any third parties mentioned in your OER.

We take pride in validating your OERs and helping each of you ensure your record is complete and accurate in order to put your best foot forward in the boardroom. Remember, these are just some of the most common issues found in the OER process. This article does not replace or supersede applicable Coast Guard policy. Please ask questions; you can find us at the RPM-1 OER inbox.

Top 5 things to remember before sending your OER:

1. BLOCK 5a: 
If you are a Reporting Officer, mark that you “Concur, Do not concur, or RO is supervisor” in block 5a. To get your comparison scale from Direct Access, and mark that you provided it to the reviewer. (Comparison scale – log on to DA; click Self Service; Employee; View; Off Comparison Scale Summary). Roughly 50% all OERs are returned because this is overlooked.

2. BLOCK 1:
Specifically, look at Block 1j, 1k, and 1l. These need to be filled out with counseling date from within the period, a counselor name, and a signature from the member. Roughly 20 % of all OERs are returned because of these blocks. ‚Äč

3. BLOCK 1c:
Make sure that start date is the day AFTER your end of period from your last validated OER (validated means there is a signature in the top right corner and it is within your EIPDR). The end date should match the occasion for report (biennial due date, RO departure date, etc.)

4. Chain of Command:
All IDPL members O-5 and below need at least on ADPL and one IDPL member in their chain of command, unless they are at a unit with more than 50% reserve positions. This can be waived by RPM with appropriate documentation. 

5. Signature Dates:
When signing, the supervisor is the only member allowed to sign within the period of report and the other members should all sign in chronological order after that (or the same day).