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Officer Promotions

The promotion process demands high standards and a fair and equitable review. To be competitive, records must clearly demonstrate to the board that the officers are fully qualified to handle the responsibilities of the next higher grade. The Secretary of the Air Force sets a promotion quota for each grade. Members of the ANG and AFR compete in separate categories with separate quotas. The quotas are based on the needs of the ANG and AFR, and cannot be exceeded.

The importance of a strong and consistent pattern of performance, appropriately documented in the officer’s record, cannot be overemphasized. Rating officials, and those in the chain of command, must accurately document officer performance, as well as their leadership and professional qualities. Eligible officers must make sure they take initiative to demonstrate they have the ability to serve successfully in the next higher grade.

Officers meeting a promotion selection board must meet eligibility requirements based on date of rank/time in grade. Please note, certain categories of the Individual Ready Reserve will meet mandatory promotion boards. For more information please visit myPers, and select Officer Promotions. Preparation for promotion should begin as soon as an officer is notified they are eligible for a board. It is the officer’s responsibility to ensure their Officer Selection Record is accurate and up to date. Officers are encouraged to get a copy of their Officer Pre-selection Brief by contacting their MPS and verifying its accuracy.

Personnel Records Display Application (PRDA) is the official system for records. Members must ensure all evaluations and decorations are located in PRDA. Officers can view their online records in PRDA via the Air Force Portal, It is important for officers to review PRDA on a regular basis. The electronic Officer Selection Record (eOSR) application will document discrepancies found in eligible officer’s records; however officers have the best insight and understanding of what should be in their records. If information is missing or is in error, officers must ensure corrections are made prior to the board convening date. Additionally, all eligible officers are authorized to write a letter to the board president, explaining any discrepancies in their records. To learn how to electronically submit a letter to the board, visit myPers and select “Officer Promotion”. Follow the instructions “Writing Letters to a Promotion Selection Board.”

Promotion recommendation comments are limited to a maximum of two lines in bullet format. In these comments, the senior rater should provide a performance-based differentiation and/or characterization of the eligible officer’s potential to serve in the next higher grade. Endorsements for promotion are based upon an officer’s demonstrated character and competence as detailed in the Secretary of the Air Force’s Memorandum of Instruction for promotion boards. The two-lines are an opportunity for the senior rater to tell the Central Selection Board why they should (or should not) promote this officer. This should NOT be a summary of information already contained in the record of performance. Comments or pushes for items that are decided through other processes or means (e.g. developmental education, jobs, assignments) are NOT authorized.

Officer stratification is defined as quantitative comparison of an individual’s standing within an authorized peer group and within a specific evaluators’ scope of rating authority. Officer stratification statements on the promotion recommendation form provide a current period, performance-based differentiation of officers to assist Central Selection Boards. Two types of stratification statements may be provided by senior raters as part of their comments on the promotion recommendation form. 

For more guidance on stratifications, click here. The AF 709 can be found here or by accessing Air Force e-publishing site.

Special boards are held to consider officers who did not meet a board or who were improperly considered by one or more boards. These boards are held due to: Missing information, an administrative error, the board acted contrary to law, the record contained material error of fact, or material administrative error. Errors left uncorrected could have a negative effect on promotion opportunity. Officers will not be considered by a Special Selection Board (SSB) if, actions were not taken to correct discrepancies in a timely manner, prior to the board convening.

Officers who would like to know post board statistics can access information on myPers. The “recent board statistics” are listed for each rank below the calendar year for the board. These stats are published approximately one week after public release. Once selected for promotion, officers can retrieve a copy of their promotion orders from their servicing MPS. In addition, post board counseling may be available for members who were not selected for promotion. Members may request non-select counseling online by visiting myPers, promotions page-Guard and Reserve non selections counseling.

An accelerated promotion process applies to Reserve of the Air Force officers. An officer on a promotion list as a result of selection for promotion by a AFR mandatory promotion board (I/APZ) or active duty selection board (10 U.S.C. Chapter 36), Special Board or SSB, may be promoted to fill a vacant position (10 U.S.C. Section 14308). This program does not apply to those selected on a Position Vacancy board. Promotions under this program maintain a balanced force by giving commanders the means to nominate exceptionally well-qualified candidates to promote in an accelerated manner (AFI 36-2504, chap 6, para 6.5).

Some of the key eligibility criteria are as follows:
-- Selected for promotion to major, lieutenant colonel, or colonel by an I/APZ promotion board
-- Have an outstanding record, with at least 50 participation points as of the most recent R/R year posted to the officer’s retirement account
-- Nominated by member’s commander and endorsed by the senior rater in the rating chain
-- Senior rater can request acceleration to take place at public release or Senate confirmation, whichever is later, as the pin on date, or any date prior to projected pin on
-- Meets the eligibility criteria outlined by the Position Vacancy program (AFI 36-2504, ch 2)
-- Nominee must be the incumbent, not overage, of a valid, fully funded (for 1 year), higher graded position

To submit an accelerated promotion, please refer to the published ARPCM board release message for specific instructions. For ANG specific acceleration requests, please contact NGB/A1.