1. Roles for rating officials:

Rater: The rater’s primary role is that of evaluation, focusing on performance and performance counseling. Rater will:

a. Counsel the rated NCO on his duty performance and professional development at least quarterly throughout the rating period. Define and discuss the duty description for part III of the NCO-ER with the rated NCO during these sessions.

b. Prepare a separate DA Form 2166-8-1 for each rated NCO. The form will be used together with a working copy of the NCO-ER for conducting quarterly performance counseling.

c. Assess the performance of the rated NCO using all reasonable means.

d. Prepare a fair and accurate report evaluating the NCO’s duty performance, values/NCO responsibilities, and potential.

Senior rater: The senior rater’s role is primarily that of evaluation, focusing on potential, over-watching the performance evaluation, and mentoring. Senior rater will:

a. Use all reasonable means to become familiar with the rated NCO’s performance throughout the rating period. This includes a periodic review of the counseling checklist to ensure initial and quarterly counseling is being accomplished.

b. Prepare a fair, accurate report evaluating the NCO’s duty performance, professionalism, and potential.

c. Obtain the rated NCO’s signature in part II of the NCO-ER. Ensure the rated NCO is aware that his signature does not constitute agreement or disagreement with the evaluations of the rater and senior rater.

Reviewer: The reviewer is responsible for providing rating safeguard and over-watch. He may comment only when in disagreement with the rater and/or senior rater. He will:

a. Ensure that the proper rater and senior rater complete the report.

b. Examine the evaluations rendered by the rater and senior rater to ensure they are clear, consistent, and fair in accordance with known facts. Special care must be taken to ensure the specific bullets support the appropriate “excellence”, “success”, or “needs improvement” ratings.

c. Indicate concurrence or nonconcurrence with the rater and/or senior rater by annotating the appropriate box with an ‘X’ in part II and adding an enclosure (not to exceed one page), when the nonconcurrence box is marked.

2. Tips for Rating Officials:


• The best advice to all NCOs and officers who rate NCOs is get a copy of the Counseling Checklist/Record, read it, use it, keep it.

• Before counseling, a little extra time spent writing or reviewing the duty description will pay off. If you have a hard time understanding it, then you know the rated NCO will have trouble, so keep it simple.

• The hardest part of counseling is setting standards for your subordinates. For help, start with the examples of standards in the checklist. You can use them as they are or adjust them to fit your situation.

• When you counsel, spend most of your time talking to the future, what should be done, or what should be done better. Don’t dwell on the past. Don’t forget to get the rated NCO’s ideas – then listen.


• Follow the rules for bullet comments. Reports that don’t follow the rules will be returned.

• A ‘NO’ in Part IVa of the NCO-ER is serious since all NCOs are expected to adhere to the values. Don’t use a ‘NO’ as an attention-getter. When you put a ‘NO’ on an NCO-ER mean it and give a clear description of why the value/responsibility was rated ‘NO’.

• Excellence ratings should be clearly articulated as something above the ordinary, something quantifiable, and accomplished during that rating period. Measure the accomplishment against a quantifiable or qualitative standard. The bullet used to justify the excellence should be up front (the first bullet in the block).

• If a soldier’s conduct warrants an Article 15 or Memorandum of Reprimand, clearly he/she should not receive a rating of “among the best” by the rater or ‘1/1’ by the senior rater.

• A rated NCO with all success ratings in Part IV can be rated “among the best” in part Va.


• The better you know the rated NCO, the better you will do your duty as senior rater.

• Check early to see that the rater is counseling and has a checklist for each rated NCO. This will be a matter of command and inspection interest, don’t get caught short.

• When it’s time to rate, make sure rater’s bullets follow the rules, especially double spacing, and no more than two lines per bullet. Also check to see that an excellence rating in Part IV is fully justified by examples. If it isn’t, get with rater and offer help.

• Your primary mission is to evaluate potential, so make sure your bullet comments include recommendations for the future. If you don’t, you could disadvantage the rated NCO.

Example potential bullets sought out by board members:

– promote now/immediately

– promote to SFC with/ahead of peers

– promote if room

– do not promote

– send to ANCOC now

NOTE: Board members tend to view “now” as a stronger statement of potential than “promote ahead of peers.”

• Read carefully the definitions for box Xs. Either a ‘1’ or a ‘2’ represents a very good performance by the NCO and a strong recommendation for promotion.

• senior rater will address the rater’s evaluation of marginal potential. This is meant to force a dialog between these two raters. The senior rater will place one bullet that indicates agreement or disagreement with the marginal rating. If the senior rater agrees, a bullet is necessary that identifies the ratee’s shortcoming. Example: his lack of training skills is responsible for his tank to fail three times to qualify.

• Failure to address potential can send a strong, often unintended, message to a selection board member, e.g., no bullets must mean this NCO has marginal potential. A lack of comments on promotion potential may be interpreted as keep in the same grade.

• IAW AR 623-205, the senior rater obtains the rated NCO’s signature on the NCO-ER.


• Consider yourself in charge. It is your responsibility to see that the evaluation on the NCO-ER is accurate, fair and serves the best interests of the Army. Feedback from the NCO Corps indicated a strong desire to have a reviewer to over-watch the evaluation process – don’t lose the trust.

• Step in as soon as you see something going wrong, try to correct problem with rater and senior rater before report is processed. You can’t force them to change an honest evaluation, but often discussion will resolve the issue.

• When you are unable to resolve the problem, express your nonconcurrence with an enclosure. Only use an enclosure when you have a significant disagreement. Selection boards do not want a third agreement – that wastes everybody’s time; (EREC will reject unauthorized enclosure).

• Remember to check to see that performance counseling is happening. Good counseling will result in better performance, is essential to leader development, and therefore is a subject of command and inspection interest.

• When a report is submitted to you for signature, check to see that any excellence ratings by the rater are fully justified by bullet examples.

Leave a Comment