The Air Force on Thursday announced that it is eliminating enlisted performance reports for most junior enlisted airmen.
From now on, the Air Force will no longer evaluate active duty airmen in the ranks of airman first class or below with less than 36 months time in service, as well as reserve component airmen who are A1Cs or below.
Supervisors will still give those airmen performance feedback and Airmen Comprehensive Assessments, the Air Force said.
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright first said the service was considering eliminating A1C evaluations in an August interview with Air Force Times. Conducting formal evaluations for airmen so early in their careers was of little use, he said.
“Essentially, they go in a file and we don’t ever use them again,” Wright said at the time. “They’re not up for promotion, they can’t be used for senior airman below-the-zone consideration, they really can’t be used for any specific purpose. And so the question becomes, why write them?”
In the Thursday announcement, Air Force personnel chief Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso said the change will give airmen more time to learn their primary skills and missions before an EPR formally records how well they’re doing their job.
Active-duty airmen will now get their first EPR when they hit their first March 31 static close-out date after they are promoted to senior airman, or after they complete at least 36 months time-in-service, regardless of grade. Reserve component airmen will get their first EPR when they reach their first March 31 static close-out date after becoming a senior airman.
Under the old system, airmen first class typically got their first EPR at 20 months. But if a junior airman’s performance is particularly sub-par, commanders will still be able to conduct a Directed By Commander evaluation to document the problems any time after that airman reaches 20 months time-in-service. After such an evaluation, the airman would be re-evaluated the following March 31.
Grosso said the change will also cut out an unnecessary administrative requirement, and push frontline supervisors, raters and commanders to talk with their airmen face-to-face more often.
“While the Air Force values the contributions of all enlisted personnel, the requirement to document performance in a formal evaluation prior to the grade of senior airman is not necessary,” Grosso said. “Instead, the Air Force has additional means available to document an airman’s performance and to ensure he or she is meeting the training, developmental and experiential skills required to perform as professional airmen.”
The Air Force said that under the new system, whenever an airman gets a new supervisor, that supervisor will conduct an initial feedback session within 60 days. The airman will then get another feedback session every 180 days, until their first EPR occurs.