The Department of the Air Force announced it is establishing policy to comply with the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2020 and newly released DODI 1320.14 requiring all services to furnish adverse information to promotion boards considering officers for promotion to the regular grades of O-4 and above, and to all reserve active status promotion boards to the grades of O-6 and above.
In addition, as prescribed by the Department of Defense, adverse information that received significant media attention or is of interest to the Senate Armed Services Committee must be presented to promotion selection, special selection, and federal recognition boards for promotion to the grades of regular O-3 and reserve O-3 through O-5.
The new law, DOD policy, and subsequent Air Force policy requires all adverse information to be filed in the officer’s master personnel records group and Officer’s Selection Record for consideration by both regular and reserve promotion selection, special selection, federal recognition, and selective continuation boards to the grade of O-4 and above, to include promotion processes to the grade of O-3 that involve adverse information that received significant media attention or is of interest to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Department of the Air Force will apply the changes to all regular and reserve selection and federal recognition boards and processes convening on or after March 1.
“As we, in the Department of the Air Force, work to comply with the new law and DOD policy, we must ensure we are promoting leaders of character and competence,” said Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. “This additional mechanism in the promotion process will promote transparency and accountability for everyone, especially those we entrust with leading our Airmen and Guardians.”
The new policy is applicable to all officers serving in the regular Air Force, the Air Force Reserve, the Air National Guard and all components of the U.S. Space Force.
Any adverse information issued to officers will be provided to applicable selection boards. Furthermore, select historic adverse information previously issued on or after Jan. 1, 2012 will now be filed in an officer’s selection record. Company grade officer and field grade officer adverse disposition varies.
In addition, subject to retention rules, “extraordinarily adverse,” Article 15s, and approved court martial findings dating prior to Jan. 1, 2012 will also be filed in an officer’s selection record for both field grade and company grade officers. Officers are not required to furnish historic adverse information on themselves. Required historic adverse information will be furnished by the Department of the Air Force Inspector General to the Air Force Personnel Center and the Air Reserve Personnel Center.
Previously, the services were only required to furnish adverse information to boards considering officers for promotion or federal recognition to the grades of O-7 and above.
Adverse information for this purpose includes, but is not limited to:
- Any substantiated adverse findings or conclusions from an officially documented investigation or inquiry, regardless of whether command action was taken as a result.
- Approved court-martial findings of guilt (Court-martial Orders).
- Non-judicial punishment pursuant to Article 15, Uniform Code of Military Justice.
- Letters of Reprimand.
- Letters of Admonishment.
- Notices of Relief of Command (for cause).
- Letters of Counseling related to a substantiated adverse finding or conclusion from an officially documented investigation or inquiry.
Wing commanders and other issuing authorities can no longer exercise discretion to place adverse information in or direct the removal of adverse information from the officer’s selection record.
“We anticipate concerns on behalf of our officers and commanders regarding the impact these changes might have on promotion opportunity,” Kelly said. “We often hear about it being a one-mistake Air Force which really has not been true. The reality is our selection boards and the Senate have consistently shown the ability to objectively review adverse information and when appropriate, recommend and confirm officers for promotion provided the incident is indicative of a mistake and not a character flaw and the totality of the record shows high performance levels. We expect this to continue.”
Kelly also noted, “This change increases our accountability and demands we hold ourselves to a higher standard. The resulting transparency and associated accountability will ultimately improve our development and make us a stronger force.”
Members should always review their records in the Personnel Records Display Application to ensure the accuracy of their records prior to meeting selection boards.