Some technical sergeants will receive two enlisted performance reports this year, as the Air Force implements sweeping changes to the enlisted evaluation system that include fixed dates for each rank.
The Air Force announced Aug. 8 that all technical sergeants with an EPR closeout between Aug. 15 and Nov. 30 will switch to a Nov. 30 closeout to align with cutoff dates for the promotion cycle.
Technical sergeants who had EPRs close out before Aug. 15 will have another EPR close out on Nov. 30, the Air Force Personnel Center confirmed Monday in response to questions submitted five days earlier by Air Force Times.
“What that means is evaluation periods during this initial crossover phase will range from 12 to 15 months. Annually, after that, all technical sergeants will have the same EPR closeout and will be assessed for the same number of days,” said Will Brown, chief of the Air Force Personnel Center’s Evaluation and Recognition Programs Branch, in the Aug. 8 news release.
The dates when technical sergeants will next test for master sergeant are pending approval, AFPC spokesman Mike Dickerson said in an email Monday.
In future years, all active-duty technical sergeant evaluations will close out Nov. 30, he said.
All other enlisted closeouts will move to a fixed date in the coming months, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody told Air Force Times in early August.
Level playing field
Fixed closeout dates for each rank will level the playing field, since all airmen will be assessed for work done during the same time period, Brown said in the news release.
“When all airmen in a unit are assessed for accomplishments during the same time frame, factors like special events or increased workload will not unfairly favor one airman over another. Quality of performance then becomes the primary focus,” he said.
Fixed dates also will enable raters, commanders and support staffs to plan for and schedule the workload, Brown said.
“EPRs take a lot of administrative time. Under the current system, leaders at every level work a constant flow of evaluations, which affects their ability to dedicate time to other mission requirements” he said. The fixed dates “will enable supervisors, raters and commanders to plan ahead, clear the deck, focus on the evaluations, and then turn to other duties.”