Military members know that a single number can affect their career for either good or bad — a five helping and a one leading to separation.
The number on the enlisted performance report may be the one thing most people are concerned about, but it’s not the only thing that can impact a career.
“It is important for enlisted members to review EPR information, when given the chance, because it will become a permanent matter of record,” said Staff Sgt. Evan Bang, 56th Force Support Squadron force management supervisor. “The EPR and officer performance report are used to illustrate characteristics of duty performance to determine current and future supervision and leadership.”
The Air Force Instruction governing the EPR program, AFI 36-2406, says the officer and enlisted evaluation system has varied purposes.
“The first purpose is to provide meaningful feedback to individuals on what is expected of them, advice on how well they are meeting those expectations and advice on how to better meet those expectations,” the AFI 36-2406 states. “The second is to provide a reliable, long-term, cumulative record of performance and potential based on that performance. The third is to provide officer central selection boards, senior NCO evaluation boards, the Weighted Airman Promotion System and other personnel managers sound information to assist in identifying the best qualified officers and enlisted personnel.”
Because errors can happen and can affect a person’s career even years later, there is a way for military members to correct a report.
“If a report has been determined as being submitted in error and has already become a matter of record, the identifying party, whether it is the individual’s rating chain or MPS, can initiate a request for correction to the member’s report,” Bang said.
Military members who find errors can go to the Virtual MPF to initiate the correction process themselves. To start the process, go to the VMPF, click on “Most Popular Applications,” then click on “Evaluation Appeals.” Follow the instructions provided to initiate an appeal.
“All information to assist a member with correcting a possible incorrect evaluation is outlined in AFI 36-2401; Attachment 1; Appeal Guidance for Applicants,” Bang said.
At Luke few reports need any type of correction.
“In our office we only deal with about one or two reports per month that require correction after they have already become a matter of record,” Bang said. “With an average of nearly 500 reports processed each month, the percent of those reported requiring correction is less than one.”
There are resources for those who believe there are mistakes or errors in their reports. AFIs 36-2406 and 36-2401 can both help members understand the rules of reports and making an appeal. There is also the force management office.
“The force management office is here to help members of all ranks,” Bang said. “If you believe you may have received a report with incorrect or inconsistent data, we are available for walk-ins 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. We can also be reached by calling (623) 856-7852.”