AR20160000359

BOARD DATE: 22 March 2016

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20160000359

BOARD VOTE:

_________ _______ ________ GRANT FULL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT PARTIAL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT FORMAL HEARING

___x_____ __x______ ___x_ DENY APPLICATION

2Enclosures
1. Board Determination/Recommendation
2. Evidence and Consideration

BOARD DATE: 22 March 2016

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20160000359

BOARD DETERMINATION/RECOMMENDATION:

The evidence presented does not demonstrate the existence of a probable error or injustice. Therefore, the Board determined the overall merits of this case are insufficient as a basis for correction of the records of the individual concerned.

___________x______________
CHAIRPERSON

I certify that herein is recorded the true and complete record of the proceedings of the Army Board for Correction of Military Records in this case.

BOARD DATE: 22 March 2016

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20160000359

THE BOARD CONSIDERED THE FOLLOWING EVIDENCE:

1. Application for correction of military records (with supporting documents provided, if any).

2. Military Personnel Records and advisory opinions (if any).

THE APPLICANT’S REQUEST, STATEMENT, AND EVIDENCE:

1. The applicant requests removal of a DAForm67-9 (Officer Evaluation Report (OER)) covering the period 4January 2012 through 15November 2012 from his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF).

2. The applicant states, in effect:

a. The ratings given by the senior rater and the rater in the OER in question failed to be congruent with their respective narrative statements. The senior rater comments in PartVIIc (Comment on Performance/Potential) as in “promote to captain immediately” and “he will excel” do not correspond to a rating of “Fully Qualified” in PartVlla (Evaluate the Rated Officer’s Promotion Potential to the Next Higher Grade).

b. Similarly, the rater comments shown in PartVb (Comment on Specific Aspects of the Performance, Refer to Partlll, DAForm67-9 and PartIVa, b, and PartVb, DAForm67-9-1) of “impressive performance” and “great performance” do not equate to a rating of “Satisfactory Performance” in PartVa (Evaluate the Rated Officer’s Performance During the Rating Period and His/Her Potential for Promotion).

c. Throughout his time as a platoon leader, he never received a single negative counseling statement. He was never counseled, either verbally or in writing, on the possibility of obtaining a non-left justified OER at the end of his platoon leader service. The senior rater never gave him an OER counseling. The rater did give him an OER counseling. During that counseling session, the rater verbally stated that he did a “great job” and praised his performance and the dedication he put into his work as a platoon leader in the same manner the rater stated in PartVb. The rater also applauded the fact that despite being foreign-born-and-raised, he was able to overcome language and cultural differences and he was able to lead professional Soldiers in the U.S.Army. The rater never explained or suggested that a non-left justified OER could potentially put him at risk of non-selection for promotion or have any other negative consequences.

d. As evidenced by the third-party supporting statements, he demonstrated the necessary skills to be an excellent platoon leader during the few months he spent as the assistant training officer in the 11thEngineer Battalion staff just prior to assuming platoon leadership. Due to such performance, he was selected from a large pool of lieutenants to become a platoon leader in the subordinate unit 362ndEngineer Company (Multi-Role Bridge).

e. His performance as platoon leader in the OER in question met and exceeded all expectations from his senior officers as evidenced by the third-party supporting statements. He led his engineer platoon through engineer field training exercises at the company and battalion level. He led his platoon in the execution of weekly bridge construction and bridge assessment exercises. He led his platoon in the unique opportunity to train a newly-formed U.S.Army Reserve multi-role bridge company in the construction of improved ribbon bridges and rafts for wet gap crossings, operation of the bridge erection boats, and construction of the dry support bridge. He had the extraordinary undertaking of working with a contractor to produce videos for the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program, where his platoon set up a mock forward operating base and his platoon Soldiers performed as deployed Soldiers under enemy attack inside the forward operating base. Up to the present day, the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness videos that were produced assist in the resiliency and performance enhancement of every Soldier in the Army as part of the Global Assessment Tool.

f. Evidence of two of the aforementioned achievements of his platoon leadership are shown in two newspaper articles he wrote. Those articles were revised and approved by his company commander and battalion executive officer and were published in the FortBenning Bayonet and Saber. The articles clearly demonstrate his ability to accomplish the mission, lead Soldiers, and coordinate with outside agencies. Those articles helped to increase the image of the battalion on the installation and in the entire Army.

g. He was awarded an Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM) for his performance throughout his assignment in the 11thEngineer Battalion as a platoon leader in the 362ndEngineer Company and assistant operations officer in the battalion headquarters. Among other statements, the ARCOM reads “outstanding service while serving in positions of increasing responsibility,” which leaves no doubt that his work was exemplary and worthy of recognition.

h. He believes his request to remove the entire OER in question is justified by his proven achievements during his rated time as platoon leader, by the statement of the third-party letters of support, by his ARCOM awarded during the rated period, and by the complete lack of evidence of any substandard performance.

3. The applicant provides:

* DAForm67-9 covering the period 4January 2012 through 15November 2012
* statements of support
* two articles from the FortBenning Bayonet and Saber
* DAForm638 (Recommendation for Award)

CONSIDERATION OF EVIDENCE:

1. Title10, U.S.Code, section1552(b), provides that applications for correction of military records must be filed within 3years after discovery of the alleged error or injustice. This provision of law also allows the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) to excuse an applicant’s failure to timely file within the 3-year statute of limitations if the ABCMR determines it would be in the interest of justice to do so. While it appears the applicant did not file within the time frame provided in the statute of limitations, the ABCMR has elected to conduct a substantive review of this case and, only to the extent relief, if any, is granted, has determined it is in the interest of justice to excuse the applicant’s failure to timely file. In all other respects, there are insufficient bases to waive the statute of limitations for timely filing.

2. Having prior Regular Army enlisted service, the applicant was appointed as a secondlieutenant in the Regular Army on 16December 2010. He was promoted to firstlieutenant effective 16June 2012.

3. The contested OER is an 11-month change-of-rater OER covering the period 4January 2012 through 15November 2012 for duties as a platoon leader for the 362ndEngineer Company, FortBenning, GA.
4. He was rated “Satisfactory Performance, Promote” in PartVa (Evaluate the Rated Officer’s Performance during the Rating Period and His/Her Potential for Promotion) by his rater. His rater commented:

1LT [Applicant] put forth an impressive performance during this rating period. Upon taking over he immediately led his Soldiers through a rigorous company FTX [field training exercise] in which his platoon was validated on IED [improvised explosive device] lanes. [Applicant] then led his Soldiers through a deployment to FortLeonardWood, Missouri, where his platoon performed admirably on fixed bridge training. [Applicant] displays great managerial qualities, as he was instrumental in coordinating high visibility training with a reserve bridge unit on the fundamentals of float bridging. Always putting forth great effort, he worked tirelessly to streamline platoon operations and successfully kept his Soldiers qualified on all weapons systems. [Applicant] displays great loyalty and dedication to whichever unit he is serving as is evident by the two articles he wrote and published in the FortBenning Bayonet newspaper. Great performance by a motivated leader.

5. He was rated “Fully Qualified” in partVIIa (Evaluate the Rated Officer’s Promotion Potential to the Next Higher Grade) by his senior rater. “CENTER OF MASS” was entered in partVIIb (Potential Compared with Officers Senior Rated in Same Grade) by his senior rater. His senior rater commented:

1LT [Applicant] is a motivated young officer who performed well and adapted very quickly to the fast-paced demands of a bridge company platoon. He already has established himself as a Soldier that [sic] is extremely capable in all facets of leadership. His forethought and hard work significantly contributed to his company’s success on the battalion FTX and multi-component bridge training with a reserve unit. Whether individual or crew-served weapons ranges, or training events at the platoon or company level, [Applicant’s] platoon could always be counted upon to accomplish the toughest mission to standards that exceeded every expectation. [Applicant] has tremendous potential; promote to captain immediately and send to the career course. He is ready to take on positions of greater responsibility where he will excel.

6. He provided a DAForm638 showing he was awarded the ARCOM as a permanent change of station award for outstanding service during the period 23September 2011 to 15April 2013 by 11thEngineer Battalion Permanent Order Number196-007, dated 22July 2013.

7. He was promoted to captain effective 6October 2015.

8. He provided two third-party statements in support of his request for removal of the subject OER.

a. A statement from the Commander, Task Force Ready (130th Engineer Battalion (Echelons Above Brigade)), 2dCombat Aviation Brigade, dated 22October 2015, states he was the Battalion Executive Officer and Battalion Operations Officer, 11thEngineer Battalion, FortBenning, GA, during the period 4January 2012 to 15November 2012. He closely observed the applicant’s performance before, during, and after his rated time as a platoon leader. The applicant worked under his supervision as an Assistant S-3 before becoming a platoon leader. He was diligent, aggressive, and asked questions when guidance was unclear, which are great leader character traits. Upon his arrival to the battalion, he made an immediate impact as a member of the battalion staff. He clearly demonstrated the physical and mental abilities necessary to lead an engineer platoon before assuming the role. He stated the applicant’s leadership potential on his very first OER for which he was the rater. Numerous achievements accomplished by the applicant as a platoon leader were featured in two articles published in the Fort Benning Bayonet and Saber increasing the image of the battalion on the installation as well as the entire Army. To his knowledge, the applicant’s performance as a platoon leader was well above standard and he believes he should have received a left-justified OER for that rated time period. He deserved “Best Qualified” and “Outstanding Performance” ratings.

b. A statement from a lieutenant colonel assigned to Headquarters, 8thTheater Sustainment Command, dated 10November 2015, states he was also the Battalion Operations Officer and Battalion Executive Officer, 11thEngineer Battalion, FortBenning, GA, during the period 4January 2012 to 15November 2012, reiterates the same information contained in the above-mentioned letter.

c. Two newspaper articles written by the him and published in the Bayonet and Saber describe 362ndMulti-Role Bridge Company training at FortBenning.

9. A review of the applicant’s OMPF on the interactive Personnel Electronic Records Management System revealed a copy of the OER in question is filed in the performance folder. There is no restricted folder in his OMPF.

REFERENCES:

1. Army Regulation623-3 (Evaluation Reporting System) states an evaluation report accepted for inclusion in the official record of a rated Soldier’s OMPF is presumed to be administratively correct, to have been prepared by the proper rating officials, and to represent the considered opinion and objective judgment of the rating officials at the time of preparation. The regulation also states the burden of proof rests with the applicant. Accordingly, to justify deletion or amendment of a report, the applicant will produce evidence that establishes clearly and convincingly that: (1)the presumption of regularity will not be applied to the report under consideration and (2)action is warranted to correct a material error, inaccuracy, or injustice.

2. Department of the Army Pamphlet623-3 (Evaluation Reporting System), paragraph2-10, provides guidance for the senior rater’s evaluation of the rated officer’s performance and potential and is intended to capitalize on the senior rater’s additional experience, broad organizational perspective, and tendency to focus on the organizational requirements and actual performance results.

a. Based on the rated officer’s duty performance, the senior rater assesses the rated officer’s potential to perform duties and responsibilities at the next higher grade compared with all other officers of the same grade and then places an “X” in the appropriate box in PartVIIa.

b. The senior rater makes an assessment of the rated officer’s overall potential in comparison with all other officers of the same grade the senior rater has previously senior rated or has currently in their senior rater population. This potential is evaluated in terms of the majority of officers in the population. If the potential assessment is consistent with the majority of officers in that grade, the senior rater will place an “X” the “CENTER OF MASS” box. If the rated officer’s potential exceeds that of the majority of officer’s in the senior rater’s population, the senior rater will “X” the “ABOVE CENTER OF MASS/CENTER OF MASS” box. In order to maintain a credible profile, the senior rater must have less than 50percent of the ratings of a grade in the top box. Fifty percent or more in the top box will result in a “CENTER OF MASS” label.

3. Army Regulation600-8-104 (Army Military Human Resource Records Management) prescribes the policies governing the OMPF. AppendixB (Documents Authorized for Filing in the Army Military Human Resource Record and/or Interactive Personnel Electronic Records Management System) states OERs will be filed in the performance folder of the OMPF.

DISCUSSION:

1. An OER accepted for filing in the OMPF is presumed to represent the considered opinion and objective judgment of the rating officials when it was prepared.

2. The applicant’s contentions and the statements of support he provided were carefully considered. However, the contested OER filed in his OMPF appears to have been prepared by the properly-designated rating officials and is properly filed in his military records in accordance with the governing regulation.

3. He has not provided sufficient evidence to show the OER in question did not represent the considered opinion and the objective judgment of the rater and senior rater at the time of preparation.

4. There is no evidence that it was improperly prepared or filed. Further, this OER is not unfavorable.

//NOTHING FOLLOWS//
ABCMR Record of Proceedings AR20150000953

Enclosure 1

ARMY BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) @#!CASENUMBER

2

ARMY BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Enclosure 1

ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20160000359

7

ARMY BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Enclosure 2