02 and 03 FITREPS are just around the corner. As per BUPERS INST 1610.10D they are scheduled to be completed and signed not later than the last day of Jan (for 03) and February (for 02). After they are signed each command has 30 days to debrief them and submit the signed Officer FITREPS to BUPERS.
Since your FITREP must go through your Department Head, XO and CO, then be boarded by the CO this means that your Department Head will probably start asking for them a month or two months prior to the due date.
In order to be ready, and get the best FITREP markings possible here is what you need to know.
12-6 months Prior:
Most Evaluation rankings are based on three things: How are you doing in your primary job? are you taking any extra collateral duties or extra jobs? Check you attitude? Regardless of your performance, an officer with an negative attitude will never break out over one with a good attitude. If you are doing well on all three counts you have little to worry about. However; if you are doing poorly in your primary job, don’t have any collateral duties, or are getting into trouble changing things 12-6 months out from your FITREP gives you enough time to turn things around.
Open up your Brag Sheet and start updating things. As you volunteer for projects, do exceptionally well on an inspection or get a BZ on a task note it in your brag sheet. It will keep you from forgetting.
If you want to buy an EVAL or FITREP writing guide, now is the time to do it, The Navy Writer just published a 265 page book on How to Write Evals and Awards.
6-3 Months Prior:
While your chain of command may not yet be asking for your Eval or Brag Sheet yet now is the time to start working on them. Most people let their FITREP catch them buy surprise, don’t let this happen to you. Plan ahead and be ready to present your Department head with a good product.
2-3 Months Prior:
Four to Eight weeks prior to the required signing date is generally the time period your Bragsheet and Draft FITREP is due. Your Department Head generally has a few weeks to review before they are boarded by your Commanding Officer and Department Heads. This means that it’s not just your Department Head that you need to impress, rather it is all the DHs in your command that will be voting on your performance and providing input to your FITREP. Be sure none of them have reason to give you low marks.
How to be Debriefed
Most people have no idea how to be debriefed. They generally quickly look over their Navy FITREP / Eval, get a few positive words from their CO, sign the Eval/FITREP and go on with their day. For a document that is so critical to your career this is a poor strategy, below are a few things you must check:
- Dates: Verify your dates of the last Evaluation and the current FITREP/Evaluation match up exactly; if not this will create problems with your record down the line.
- Recommended next Assignment: You want something more challenging that what you are doing now.
- Promotion recommendation: Ideally your should be progressing from Promotable to Must Promote to Early Promote. Not progressing or moving backwards is a red flag that you need to ask about.
Additionally, if you are serious about your career you need to be armed with a few questions. Be sure to show your Chief you are serious about the Navy and Serious about getting better. Ask some of the below questions.
- How could I do better next time?
- What would you suggest for improvement?
- What additional responsibilities could I take on?
- I would like to do _______ in the Navy; What steps can I take to do that?
- Would you suggest I apply for an Officer program?
- What can I do to get an Early Promote recommendation next time?
If you disagree with your Evaluation/FITREP and Want to Submit a Statement?
First of all do not become argumentative or bring up you issues during the debrief. Simply thank your debriefer for his/her time and request a few days to review your Navy FITRP/Eval before signing. By instruction you have up to 10 days after debriefing and adverse eval to submit a statement. Review the instructions, talk to your mentor and consider carefully if you wish to make a statement. I’ve never seen a statement make a real difference in someone’s record. However, if you wish to make a statement and would like help I can assist. You can purchase my services on my Services Page.