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Thread: EPR Changes

  1. #111
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    Re: EPR Changes

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    Like you said, nothing much changes...so where is the improvement?
    Actually, I'm not sure I would consider it improvement. I was just thinking "out loud" (as it were). The question is, if we remove promotion points from the rating politics, does it reduce inflation? Or does it matter, given that 5s are the standard for awards, special duties, etc.?

    No matter what angle I come at this from, I end up in the same place...that it's WAPS, as a system, that has a problem...not just EPRs. I don't see how we "fix" inflation without reforming WAPS processes as a whole.

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    Re: How APRs/EPRs have evolved over the decades....

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    Without doing the math here...I can tell you that 5,5,5,5,5,4 will get less points than 5,5,4,5,5,5.
    Just because you've made some good points and that this argument would be hard to follow for folks that don't do this everyday, I'll point out that you transposed you're rating strings. 5,5,5,5,5,4 gets MORE points than the other.

    OK. I think our promotion system is the best of all the services. Ask an Army guy if there is a good old boy system or if someone that looks a little dumpy in their uniform has as good a chance getting promoted as someone who is otherwise the same but has a better appearance in the eyes of whomever is on the board. In many cases doesn't the cream rise to the top regardless of EPR ponts impact? Usually, don't squared away folks know their jobs better, study harder and get promoted ahead of dirt bags? Sure there are folks that you'd love to see not wearing the rank, but the impact of having those folks in the workcenter is not a WAPS problem necessarily, rather a leadership issue. We should ask ourselves if fixing that problem weighs more than the people we are going to hurt in the process of trying to find a fair rating system. Which as has been pointed out, nobody has, civilian sector included.

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    Re: EPR Changes

    As a civilian supervisor I wrote many EPRs (mostly junior enlisted) and civilian appraisals before all this complicated scoring so don't have a lot of input, but do know that objective standards are tough. I would like to say that I hope whoever is considering these changes will take a good look at the comments on this forum. There has been a lot of excellent input.

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    Re: How APRs/EPRs have evolved over the decades....

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    A subjective system is good and necessary.

    I tell you, I've been accused of having "favorites" in my day...I probably did...they were my favorites because they came to work on time, with a good attitude, worked hard and knew their jobs. The people who came in late, with shitty attitudes, did the minimum necessary and knew only the basics...often complained they were not in 'the good ol' boy' club.



    I guess I wasn't raised in the "everyone gets a trophy" generation.

    Not everyone has to have one.
    Neither was I, unless they all deserved it. Were you raised in the generation where somebody MUST get a trophy? That's what a quota system does. Even if nobody is exceptional, some will still be given a top rating.

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    Re: EPR Changes

    My question: why do we tie ourselves to a 5 point system? The only choices you can now give a troop one of 5 percentages/grades:

    5 = 100% or A grade equivalent
    4 = 80% or a C (and as we all know is death for any SNCO)
    3 = 60% which academically is an F which ironically the AF considers "average".
    2 = 40% (again an F)
    1 = 20% (has anyone seen one of these for someone who didn't just get court martial-ed?)

    We need to consider adding a percentage point to the existing system. The new scale would be 1.0 to 5.0. This would give supervisors more options and a better scale to evaluate. Before you say “Then everyone would just get a 5.0!”, it would have to come with quotas – something along the lines of only 5 % of a unit could get a 5.0, the next 10% could a 4.7 to 4.8. Any rating 4.6 and below wouldn't have limits. Yes, there would be politics as there always was and always will be (I don’t see the AF declaring a “zero-tolerance” for politics anytime soon).

    If you’re a supervisor looking at EPR history, seeing 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5… on a RIP really doesn't tell you much with current inflation. With the above suggestion, 4.9,4.8, 4.9, 4.7… would reveal this person is a high performer, while 4.6, 4.5, 4.5, 4.4… would more likely indicate an above average troop and so on.

    With this change, special duty specialties would be required to abandon their “all 5’s only” policy for applicants (maybe they need to do it anyway as it's already fueling inflation). I would also suggest the awards AFI be amended with something along the lines of “Commanders will approve awards and decorations based on merit and not set minimum EPR ratings for consideration”.

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    Re: EPR Changes

    I don't think anything we do will get rid of the inflation as long as the EPRs are involved in test scores and tied to special duty selection. My thoughts are that we should remove the 135 WAPS score and make the EPR a no retain, retain, or pormotion ready system. Then make the WAPS test score be negativly impacted by things like Art 15's (ie...minus 20pts for 2 test periods). Getting in trouble is most often what really causes a low EPR score anyhow.

    I also think PT scores should be added to WAPS in like a 30 or 40 point scale. then we no longer waste time trying to kick people out for being fat and lazy. If they don't raise their score (similar to PFE testng) they will not promote and HYT will take care of them.

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    Re: EPR Changes

    Quote Originally Posted by Filterbing View Post
    I don't think anything we do will get rid of the inflation as long as the EPRs are involved in test scores and tied to special duty selection. My thoughts are that we should remove the 135 WAPS score and make the EPR a no retain, retain, or pormotion ready system. Then make the WAPS test score be negativly impacted by things like Art 15's (ie...minus 20pts for 2 test periods). Getting in trouble is most often what really causes a low EPR score anyhow.

    I also think PT scores should be added to WAPS in like a 30 or 40 point scale. then we no longer waste time trying to kick people out for being fat and lazy. If they don't raise their score (similar to PFE testng) they will not promote and HYT will take care of them.
    The problem with this is that not all Article 15s are created equal. When I worked base level finance I recieved a copy of every single article 15 from legal. This was necessary to make sure pay adjustments were made. One month I recieved the following Article 15s. A Medical Technician failed to properly sterilize surgical equipment. An A1C recieved a DUI. A Major shoplifted from the BX. A recruiter had an unprofessional relationship and violated a no contact order. A SSgt violated a lawful order (failure to go).

    Now look at those 5 Article 15s. Are you advocating that someone who fails to perform their job up to standards should be recieve the same WAPS deduction as someone who slept with a recruit? Does the the guy who was late to work (failure to go) deserve the same deduction as the DUI guy? Would it change your opinion if the DUI guy blew a .081 after sleeping at a friends and driving home the next morning? You have to remember that Article 15s are supposed to be rehabilitive tools. If you attach a -20 WAPS requirement you will have some units who will not do an Article 15 because they do not want to hurt the Airman's chances of promotion.

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    Re: How APRs/EPRs have evolved over the decades....

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    Yes...did you ever play in a little league or other competition where at the end they said...well, none of you deserve to win, so no trophy?? What kind of place/time did you grow up?

    They should have done that in the NFL last year...okay, Ravens you won the Super Bowl, but you didn't really have that great a year, so no Lombardi trophy this year

    LOL...

    But, no, seriously...a quota system would be a maximum #....so they don't have to give any 5s.
    I did play little league. The difference being that little league was a competition. EPRs are not. They are a feedback for the individual. That's like saying only one person can score 100 on the PT test. Anyone who runs slightly slower, even if they beat the minimum time, can't possible also be 100 because they aren't as fast as the fastest person. Did 80 pushups? Too bad. That guy did 82. He's the only 100.

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    Re: How APRs/EPRs have evolved over the decades....

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    Whatever, dude...

    I'm not going to continue arguing nonsense with you...as mentioned, any quota system would be only a MAXIMUM number of high ratings, not a mandatory number. EPRs ARE competitive...you are supposed to be rated against your peers...read the damn form.
    Don't need to read the form...I'm retired!!!!

    If troops are going to be rated against their peers, they need to have 1 person rating them. It's impossible to rack and stack with separate supervisors. I might think my troop is better while you believe yours is.

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    Re: How APRs/EPRs have evolved over the decades....

    I shouldn't have to sell you on any premise. Our little fusillade here is mostly for the benefit of the reading audience. Keep in mind that there is a good reason that this topic keeps rearing its ugly head every decade or so in the Air Force. They couldn't solve it 40, 30, 20, or even 10 years ago. What makes you think the arguments are any different today? They're not.

    Before the advent of WAPS testing in 1971, promotions were earned in one of two ways. The first was an allocation of stripes each year to bases and units where the commanders decided who got promoted. The second method was where a commander would bust a troop via the Article 15 process and give that stripe to someone else in the unit. Once again, it was always the commander's choice. In the mid-eighties, commanders rolled out with the STEP promotion process where, in fiscal year 1986, 386 stripes were handed out Air Force-wide for the SSgt through MSgt grades. Back then, no one I knew liked this process either. Why do you suppose that these promotion systems were considered undesirable by the masses? This system fostered an abundance of brown nosing where, more often than not, those who might otherwise be undeserving got preferential treatment as well as the promotions.

    What might make your assertions more amenable is if you were to explain precisely how this numerically dependent quasi-quota system would make the Air Force better. Thus far, you haven't presented anything remotely persuasive. At best, a mere 10% of the enlisted corps would enjoy a new special social status that would give them preferential treatment on many considerations including promotions. The rest, well, would just be castigated as average dopes who would be fortunate to receive any scraps or leftovers that the 10% did not want. I cannot imagine anyone wanting a service that reflects this image including many of those who would be fortunate enough to find themselves in the top 10%. In the end, the top 10% would find themselves only competing against a much smaller segment of population - themselves.

    I laid out for you a rough framework for what potentially would be a more equitable system for ratings assessment in the promotions process and you obstinately rejected all of it outright in support of this pro-quota mantra. Your arguments are those of the standard establishment from the past who simply desire to make changes for the sake of change in what they believe or hope would somehow result in a more perfect Air Force. No one knows for sure if it will actually work, whether it will impact morale or retention, or whether the truly best will benefit from this scheme. The underlying tone in your posts suggests that you would be more likely than not to directly benefit from such a change.

    As I mentioned from the onset, the only cheerleaders for this scheme are those who have already made chief and are no longer subjected to promotions as they have reached the apex of their careers. It sure seems easier to support the promulgation of new policy when you know it will NEVER apply to you. It would be far more relevant if we were to see a quantifiable number of rank and file enlisted personnel from all grades supporting this process. They never have and most likely never will.

    When you read through this entire thread, you can see there are no shortage of complaints or fear of inequities in the ratings process. This is because the ratings process is a human process and most of us, being familiar with the ways of the world, know that something that can go wrong usually does. If you were honest, you would agree that there are inequities built into the system but it is unlikely that you, yourself, have never fallen victim to them.

    The quota system, on its surface, would be nearly harmless for WAPS purposes when testing for grades E-5 through E-7 because there is no board(human element) and any deficiencies as a result of EPR ratings can simply be overcome with HIGHER TEST SCORES. But a career isn't expected to end after successfully being promoted from SSgt through MSgt. For grades E-8 & E-9, an additional human element of a promotion board is inserted into the process which makes selection practically impossible or nonexistent for anyone with just one EPR less than a '5' in the past ten years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    Without doing the math here...I can tell you that 5,5,5,5,5,4 will get less points than 5,5,4,5,5,5. There is a "time-weighted" factor to the EPR score...so that a more recent 4 counts more heavily "against you" than a more distant past 4 does. So, the math gets a little more complicated than a 4 equated to 3 points.
    I stand corrected. I was using a formula from the last time I tested for promotion in the mid-eighties and was unaware of this 'time weighted' factor which seems acceptable. Even then, presuming a chronological sequence for both parameters with the newest EPR to the right, the "5,5,5,5,5,4" results in a composite score of 129.00 while the "5,5,4,5,5,5" series results in a 130.80. The stark difference here is the under the old APR system, ratings were based on 1 through 9 and without the time weighted factor so the resulting math would be less punitive in the scoring arena. Nonetheless, one would only need to outscore their peers by a mere 6 points to compensate for the '4' EPR.

    Yes...the EPRs can be overcome, for sure...you also get 8 points per year in TIG+TIS...so figure at worst, after 3 years an "All 4s" candidate is nearly caught up to an "All 5s" candidate.
    Yes, but ALL of your COMPETITORS also receive TIG & TIS points, some more than others. For promotions from E-5 through E-7, all of the disadvantages of these other WAPS factors can easily be overcome through higher test scores which count for more than half of all WAPS factors combined. This even includes deficiencies with EPRs. You'll get no complaint from me here.

    Sure i can. Assuming for the moment that the "quota" of 5s is going to be the top 10%. Last year's CMSgt selection rate was around 20%...if only 10% of SMSgts are getting 5s, I can guarantee that many who got 4s would get promoted with a 20% promotion rate.
    No, boards don't do the lazy man's approach...I don't buy that premise.
    That's not really true...I don't believe the board gives a whole lot of weight to a 4 earned in 2004.
    What you offered isn't a guarantee as much but rather an admission that the promotions to E-8 & E-9 are stacked in favor of ONLY those with perfect 5's in their EPR history. This approach further supports my contention in two ways. One, you conveniently left out E-8 promotions. Before one can test for E-9, they must first make E-8. Second, if we examine the latest available E-8 & E-9 promotion cycles, we can plainly see the crux of the argument. Below are the statistics with the supporting links from AFPC.

    The one glaring number that stands out in these two promotion cycles is the AVERAGE EPR SCORE which is a perfect 135.00 for both promotion grades. Second, the selection rate for SMSgt is a mere 10.65% versus the convenient "20%" that you cited for promotions to CMSgt. Using the same rationale you applied for CMSgt, and your assumption that a quota system would result in only 10% of the eligibles having a perfect 5 EPR history, there aren't many stripes left for the balance of the eligibles which includes those that have a less than perfect EPR history in the prior ten years. We can also draw two additional conclusions. One, that the average EPRs for the CMSgt eligibles is notably higher than it is for the SMSgt eligibles because the herd is always thinned during the E-8 promotion process, and two; the less then perfect EPR scores for the E-9 cycle eligibles indicates a likelihood that some 'Cream of the Crop' E-8s who were promoted have since received a less than stellar EPR since attaining that grade. In all likelihood, those E-8s will never be promoted to CMSgt.

    I can count on one hand over decades where I have seen the APR/EPR average for selection to E-8 or E-9 less than 135. I have seen a 134.99 on a couple of occasions to E-8 as well as a 134.98 once. These are the exceptions rather than the rule. It is generally a perfect 135.00.

    If the boards are NOT using the lazy man's approach by striking all promotion folders with a less than perfect EPR history from consideration as you believe, then how can one reconcile this coincidence in the scoring statistics? A quota system would be tantamount to providing priority promotion advancement to all eligibles who are fortunate enough to have achieved a perfect EPR history while reducing all other eligibles to some secondary status, fair or unfair, for having a lone 4 EPR as far back as 10 years prior to the cycle. You essentially admitted to this in your response.

    For promotions to E-8 & E-9, the board score makes up more than half on one's total WAPS score. For promotion to E-8 & E-9, the board score differences between selectees and non-selectees are incredibly lethal to the point that overcoming the deficit is mathematically impossible. It's painfully clear that the board relies heavily on the numeric EPR history in thinning out the folders they have for consideration. But for promotion to E-8 & E-9, the board should be focused on the whole man concept instead of instantly eliminating all of those who might have only an errant 4 EPR in their history.


    CYCLE 12E9: AF AVERAGES
    -------------------NBR-------PCT------EPR-------BOARD SCORE
    AF AVG ELIGIBLES---1,981--------------134.92----359.28
    NONSELECT----------1,527-----77.08----134.89----350.10
    SELECTEE-------------454-----22.92----135.00----390.18


    CYCLE 13E8: AF AVERAGES
    -------------------NBR-------PCT------EPR-------BOARD SCORE
    AF AVG ELIGIBLES--12,834--------------134.22----332.97
    NONSELECT---------11,467-----89.35----134.12----325.56
    SELECTEE-----------1,367-----10.65----135.00----395.11

    USAF CYCLE 12E9: AF AVERAGES -- http://www.afpc.af.mil/shared/media/...121108-009.pdf
    USAF CYCLE 13E8: AF AVERAGES -- http://www.afpc.af.mil/shared/media/...130228-009.pdf

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