Question re: FITREPs at a Joint Command

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Question re: FITREPs at a Joint Command

Postby Sum1 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:23 am

1. I found out when I checked into the J3 admin folks that my Reporting Senior for FITREP purposes will be the O-6 heading up J39/J36 (IO/Cyber). Right now that individual is an Army Colonel. I was previously advised my Reporting Senior would be the first flag in my CoC (who at the moment is the Admiral running the J3), but was told here that only applies to O-4s and above. Are there any different nuances I need to be careful/cognizant of because the bottom liner on my FITREP is Army? Any best practices not intuitive to the normal fitrep process?
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Re: Question re: FITREPs at a Joint Command

Postby Schlag » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:37 am

Based on what I've read on Sailor Bob, I'd make sure you don't soft-kill yourself by being below his RSCA.

Even though he's Army, he has a RSCA whether he knows it or not. If he's ever cut a FITREP for a particular paygrade, then he's established one.

That said, might not be a bad idea to find out what it is for your paygrade. If he doesn't know, he can call NPC/BUPERS and find out what it is.

Besides that, no idea as I haven't had that pleasure yet.
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Re: Question re: FITREPs at a Joint Command

Postby Tommy Boy » Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:48 pm

Having spent three years at a Joint Command I found our sister service officers interested in writing Navy fitreps correctly and willing to take advice on how to manage their averages, etc. As Navy Element OIC, I brought Army and Air Force field grades into the ranking board process for LT fitreps and explained the nuances of our eval system to them. I also found Army and Air Force O6s interested in doing the right thing and they were willing to take advice and most of them also had Navy contacts outside the command who they would bounce fitrep questions off as well so my opinion was validated. Hopefully someone is doing the same where you are at. If not, don't let this Army officer end up setting too high of an average or write fitreps where you are below the cumulative average. Take charge of the process. I have seen Army officers submit fitreps on Navy officers with misspelled words, low averages, etc. All of this could have been avoided if the officer involved had taken an active interest in their fitrep.
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Re: Question re: FITREPs at a Joint Command

Postby Arkad » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:55 am

I find this policy troubling. We miss (and sometimes run from) opportunities to enable hard breakouts. By compartmentalizing RSs, too many 1 of 1 FITREPs result, making the jobs of promotion board members unnecessarily difficult. I have been lobbying for a change at the joint command to which I am assigned and will contine to do the same. I know for a fact that all Navy O6s at our joint command share a reporting senior (and therefore receive hard breakouts). It's the right thing to do. If it's right for them, why not the rest of the team? One of one FITREPs, where you are likely the only person the COL has ever served as RS for (making you the average) are of very little value.

Recommend you talk with a mentor at the command and allow him/her to educate the COL on your behalf.
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Re: Question re: FITREPs at a Joint Command

Postby yoshi » Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:46 pm

My command, while not Joint, suffered from the same problem. When I arrived, we had something like 13 IW LTs, but the largest summary group numbered only 4 officers. Additionally, all but two IW LTs were assigned to the exact same office code. In this way, the CAPT in charge of that code essentially determined the FITREPs of the IW LTs, as the groups consisted of 1810s only. Being one of the two IW officers outside the 'collective' was not a comfortable feeling, and it did impact my first two FITREPs at this command. However, with everyone IDC in the same summary groups, changes to incoming officer distribution (not all 1810s in one code), and a command decision to go away from compartmentalizing (which I think is done for "protection"), things have improved across the command - and not just officers' equities. I think productivity from the LTs and LCDRs is much higher and the dinstinction of the strongest officers is much more easliy made. More importantly, the efforts and initiatives of ALL officers seem far more visible across the command, rather than being seen only by the immediate boss (not the senior rater). Finally, the JOs have truly become the action officers and taken ownership of work center efforts in most cases.
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Re: Question re: FITREPs at a Joint Command

Postby Wolfpack » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:10 pm

Arkad wrote:I find this policy troubling. We miss (and sometimes run from) opportunities to enable hard breakouts. By compartmentalizing RSs, too many 1 of 1 FITREPs result, making the jobs of promotion board members unnecessarily difficult.


There is a balance here. I agree that we should always strive to make competitive tours where we can. But, if the only way to do that is the J3 actual, that may just be to hard. From the J3's POV, there may be a large number of O3 that report to the officer. I would be he/she want to do right by all the officers that work for him, and in the end, that may not really help anyone. Also, if there are O3s in his/her front office, you can bet they will get the top nod, no matter how good the officers are (seen this WAY to many times). So, the Army/Air Force O6 signing your FITREP is not bad, but not great either. So, for the good LT who wrote this, if you end up with one of ones, make sure you get those soft break outs - at a minimum. But, choose your next tour very carefully. Make sure that you have several good competitive FITREPs when you come up for LCDR.
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Re: Question re: FITREPs at a Joint Command

Postby Sum1 » Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:17 pm

I'll probably be coming in zone during my last year or just after my last year at the COCOM. So, if the FITREPs here end up one of one for these three years, that'll be what I have sliding into the board.
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Re: Question re: FITREPs at a Joint Command

Postby Tommy Boy » Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:13 am

This is why you should strive for a soft breakout in a 1of 1 position. It gives the board something to weigh besides a simple 1 of 1 hard breakout fitrep.
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Re: Question re: FITREPs at a Joint Command

Postby Sum1 » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:01 am

I managed to get those in one way or another on the ship, but it wasn't as clear-cut as "3 of 12 LTs" ... more like phrases such as "one of my top three of 20 division officers" and "a top five performer of 11 Lieutenants on board"

I wasn't able to convince either of my SWO COs to break it out anymore clearly than that. I've only met two other O-3s under the my reporting senior, and both are Air Force folks who I believe actually work under the J36 vice J39 (my reporting senior heads up both divisions in the directorate).

It's all good... I'm going to keep my head down and look for ways to contribute.

One off-topic paradigm I've been thinking about lately is how the COCOM staff is so completely different than anything else I've ever done. My reporting senior is the division chief of J36/J39, and he's Army, right? So I was considering... what is my motivation (aside from personal growth) to take on a bunch of Navy-related collaterals or service-specific duties if no one in my FITREP chain is Navy? I think in this case, good staff work prevails, but let me know if I'm narrowing my focus a little too much, too early.
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Re: Question re: FITREPs at a Joint Command

Postby Tommy Boy » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:39 am

I would recommend a balance between your regular duties and Navy collateral duties. Have some fun while assisting those Sailors assigned with remembering The Battle Of Midway, Navy Birthday, etc. Be a sounding board for Navy issues and assist with the care and feeding of any enlisted Sailors and fellow junior officers. Attend the sister service birthday balls. This tour will also show you what we do well in the Navy and what we need to work on. Mailing paper fitreps to PERS, why are we the only service still doing this? The key thing is to maintain balance.
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