Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody has a message for raters writing enlisted performance reports for their airmen: No more so-called "veiled promotion statements."

For years, these statements have been used to subtly imply airmen ought to be promoted — usually by saying that a staff sergeant, for example, has been doing the job of a technical sergeant. That kind of a statement can improperly send a signal that the staff sergeant should be promoted.

But in a Chief Chat video posted on the Air Force's webpage Tuesday, Cody said that under the new EPR system which is now in the final stages of being rolled out, veiled promotion statements should not be used.

"We've been very, very detailed in what you can and what you can't say, so there aren't veiled promotion statements," Cody said. "That doesn't mean we don't have airmen of a lesser rank filling in positions of a more senior rank. But to be honest, we're not expecting them to perform at the level of the person that would be at that higher rank."

Cody said that force support squadrons and the Air Force Personnel Center are watching evaluations to make sure raters haven't slipped in any veiled promotion statements. If they have, the EPRs will be kicked back to the rater to be rewritten, Cody said.

And since space is limited in the new EPR, Cody said, raters shouldn't use the few words available to them on something that will ultimately get stripped out.

"We've reduced the amount of lines on the report," he said. "That can be just a wasted line when you can actually be talking about something the airman did, and the impact that had."

Cody also reiterated in the video that raters are not to give airmen who are not up for promotion a blanket performance assessment of "meets expectations" on their EPR. Last December, Cody sent an email to the service's command chiefs that blasted some for improperly tying performance assessments of airmen to their promotion recommendations. In that email, Cody called the practice "absolutely unacceptable" and counter to Air Force policy.

In Tuesday's video, Cody said top Air Force officials have put out more guidance to the field spelling out how the process is supposed to work. Cody also said force support squadrons are watching for these kinds of improper performance assessments.

"It just doesn't work that way," Cody said. "Performance influences a promotion recommendation. A promotion recommendation or a lack thereof does not influence how an airman is performing."