FORT KNOX, Kentucky (May 26, 2017) - The executive officer of the Department of Army Secretariat for Selection Boards addressed the ins and outs of Board File preparation in a U.S. Army Human Resources Command hosted live Facebook outreach to the field May 16.
Capt. Mike Hebert began his presentation with an overview of the 90 centralized boards conducted annually at the Maude Complex, HRC's headquarters complex at Fort Knox.
"We conduct all centralized boards in the Army, for the regular Army and the Reserve component," he said Hebert.
Those include Promotion Selection Boards (PSB), Command Selection Boards (CSL), Separation Boards (OSB and SERB), school boards and special boards.
"As you can imagine, we get a lot questions from the field and people are very curious about the selection system," he said.
Hebert explained what specific documents and information voting board members see when reviewing a file, the importance of an up-to-date and regulation compliant DA photo, and the critical importance of the candidate's evaluations and records brief, depending on grade.
"The voting members will always have the record brief up on one of the two monitors so they'll be able to cross-reference your file. Your record brief is essentially your resume, it's extremely important and it serves as a reference point for voters," he said.
"There is a misconception out in the field that they will only be able to see your last three or your last five - that is totally not true. They will be able to see every evaluation," Hebert said.
He also elaborated on the commendatory, disciplinary and restricted components of a Soldier's Army Military Human Resource Record, or AMHRR, that document the candidate's education, awards and any non-restricted disciplinary records, which are by design placed as the last item in the record.
Hebert emphasized the importance of Soldiers reviewing their official records well in advance of an upcoming board, and working with their unit S-1 to ensure that all necessary changes and updates are made in a timely manner.
"You really have to start planning this well in advance," said Sgt. Maj. Raymond Rodriguez, The Adjutant General Directorate sergeant major, who hosted the live online event for HRC. "Get to the left of it when it comes down to these promotion boards."
Hebert went on to explain that HRC does not release rankings by which Soldiers can see how they compare to their peers. The feedback Soldiers need to assess their standing, and improve their chances for promotion, come instead through the evaluation process with unit leadership and in communication with HRC branch managers and career counselors.
"You need to communicate with your leaders and your branch managers," said Rodriguez. "How do you prepare yourself? Do some reading, talk to some senior leaders and from that point I think you'll be better prepared. Make sure you are reading those MILPER messages so you fully understand the Army requirements we're looking at."
He reiterated that Soldiers need to become knowledgeable and engaged to be successful in steering their own career growth.
"Team, I'll tell you, it's really about engaging into the changes that our Army has. Every year, as the guidance comes out with the MILPER messages, we're talking about Army readiness when we're looking for the potential for promotions."
Soldiers can find links to all HRC MILPERs, an archived video of the entire Town Hall event, as well as detailed professional development and mock board videos for both enlisted and officer ranks, on the HRC home page and YouTube sites.