The Department of the Air Force in January promised to launch a modern app as the centerpiece of an effort to transform how troops are judged on their work each year. Instead, airmen and Space Force guardians got poorly tested, confusing and erratic new software called myEval.
Nine months into the myEval rollout, senior leaders are delaying other updates to officer and enlisted evaluations. They vow to fix the program’s shortcomings.
“I think everyone would say it’s not as well-executed as it could be,” Gen. David Allvin, the Air Force’s vice chief of staff, said Thursday. “We own that.”
Allvin and the Air Force’s top enlisted official, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass, discussed the rank-and-file’s hatred of myEval in a live Facebook chat Friday.
“When it achieves what it was intended to, it’s going to be awesome,” Allvin said.
The Air Force and Space Force wanted myEval to replace the former system, known as vPC, as a more automated, cloud-based database for performance evaluations.
It would offer features that have become standard in commercial software, like click-to-sign functionality. The system is also supposed to automatically pull in information from the centralized personnel data system and other programs like myFitness, which tracks airmen’s fitness test scores.
Officials told airmen and guardians to start logging performance feedback in myEval starting Feb. 4. As of May 31, all evaluations were supposed to run through the new system.
But it’s still causing headaches. One person asked Allvin and Bass for more formal myEval training, like a set of screenshots showing how to move through the process, rather than telling airmen to figure it out as they go.
Maj. Dan Ryan, a C-17 Globemaster III pilot, voiced concerns on Twitter that myEval woes, plus changes to when officer reviews are due, could end up hurting airmen’s careers if the kinks aren’t worked out.
“Right now most people don’t have [user] rights, certain things needed don’t exist and it is now mandatory,” Ryan said.
One Reddit user, Pocketwallet, questioned what problems myEval was meant to fix. They’re concerned the system is creating new issues instead of resolving old ones, like the delays caused by involving too many people in each review.
“Let’s stop looking at a turd and telling ourselves it has potential,” Redditor 3ASYW1N added. “Too much time and resources are being absolutely wasted on this god-awful website that was not run through any testing prior to rollout. It’s making work miserable.”
In the future, the Air Force aims to process all evaluation paperwork through myEval.
It’s expected to become the hub for a new generation of performance reviews that judge airmen against a set of leadership traits the service wants to foster. Enlisted airmen will begin writing narrative-style summaries of their work, a change that leaders hope will make reviews clearer and more descriptive.
An updated version, myEval 2.0, is coming soon. The people tasked with improving it have crowdsourced feedback on what to fix, and those changes will precede other ideas in the works, Bass said.
Some changes, like the move to narrative enlisted performance reports, will follow once myEval is less buggy. That’s slated for Oct. 1, Bass said.
In addition to the changes already underway to modernize performance reviews, Bass said the Air Force is brainstorming what those evaluations should look like in the future.
She suggested moving to a one-page report for enlisted airmen and shrinking the number of people involved in evaluations to just two: an airman’s direct supervisor and the higher authority that reviews their performance report. Hashing out those details will take time.
“We want to do things right and consider the second- and third-order effects,” Bass said.
Rachel Cohen joined Air Force Times as senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in Air Force Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), the Washington Post, and others.