Here is my situation:

When I returned from my deployment and returned to TPU status, I transferred units and became a low-density MOS within an MP unit. Things were OK for about 6 months. Then, with the new fiscal year, I began having problems with my squad and first line leaders (if detailed information would help answer my question, let me know. I will fill you in). So, I transferred back to the unit I deployed with.

My problem is that in today's mail, I received a copy of my NCOER from the MP unit. Under section f (responsibility and accountability), I was given a Needs Improvement (some) rating and 2 very negative bulletin comments. My overall rating for this NCOER was a 4 (fair).

I was never counseled regarding my apparent lack of responsibility. (Specifically, I missed 4 battle assemblies due to personal problems at home. My leadership was well aware of my personal situation). I am an E6 an have never had a negative anything in any of my previous NCOERs. Also, I was never counseled regarding this negative comment, which, from what I understand, is mandatory.

I have done some research on this and can't seem to find anything to help me out. Perhaps someone out there can shed some light as to what course (or courses) of action are available to me. I would at some point like to make SGM, and I would really rather not have this blemish in my record. Thanks.
Original Post
Are they really "unfair" bullets!! You state that you are a Staff Sergeant, and I must assume that you have several years of service. With your rank and position comes some inherited duties and responsibilities. As a Staff Sergeant you are in the "know better zone". Do you really need to be counseled in writing to know that your conduct or performance was not up to standard! I think you already knew better. You state that you missed 4 battle assemblies due to personal problems. Being around the Army for 1/2 a century this type of behavior is nothing new to me or the Army and I must assume there is more to just the 4 missed assemblies. Bottom line -You could not fulfill your responsibilities to the Army because of "your" personal problems and issues, and that is suppose to be OK. However, when the Army does its job and holds you accountable and responsible for "your" failure to meet Army established standards, policies, and procedures, it's unfair. Don't think so. Sounds to me like someone is failing to accept accountability and responsiblity for their actions, and it looks like someone is looking for a loop hole in the regulation to get out of it instead of being a Soldier and an NCO and realizing they need to make some improvements. You state that some day you would like to make SGM and that is great. However, right now the Army is doing what it is suppose to do in telling you (in writing) that you have some areas that need work in order for you to move up and on to increased positions of responsibility and someday hopefully SGM. Spend your time not looking for a loophole in the regulation, but on re-evaluating yourself and then look to see where and how you can improve on yourself to ensure this does not happen again in the future.
Yes, SGM, they are unfair bullet comments. I've been an NCO for only about 6 years; and an E6 for about 18 months. I have nearly a decade in the IRR, which accounts for most of my time in service. When I was promoted to E5, the unit I was in at the time was NCO heavy and there weren't many opportunities for me to get leadership experience. Believe me, I tried. I was promoted to E6 in January of 05, right before we deployed. Again, there was not much leadership experience out there for me to get. I refuse to put my promtion packet in until I get more experience under my belt. I refuse to be a half-a$$ leader.

And it's so nice to see that I'm judged right away simply because your "experience" leads you to think that I'm some hack NCO looking for a loophole. With respect, SGM, I have NEVER encountered the type of treatment I received from my squad & first line leaders. I KNOW what my responsibilities as a SSG are and do my best to live up to them. However, as a single parent, there are occasionally situations that do not allow me to attend drill. And yes, I do have a family care plan.

My squad leader would leave a message on my cell phone, knowing full well that the phone was in my ex-husband's name and that he and I were having some major problems. He took great delight in being able to turn it on and off at his whim. I cannot afford a cell phone of my own and used it strictly for emergencies and for the kids to be able to talk to him. She never once attempted to reach me at my home number. She told me, point blank, that one message to my cell phone was enough and that if I didn't call her back, I was blowing her off. Tell me, was she fulfilling her responsibilities as my squad leader? I certainly don't think so. If one of my soldiers is having personal problems, and I can't reach them by one method, you can bet I will try something else until I get a hold of my soldier.

For one of the battle assemblies I missed, my primary child care, the Monday before drill, remembered that they were going to a wedding, out of state. I spent the next 2 days on the phone with friends & other relatives to try & find some one else to watch my children. My ex had moved to VA by this time and was unable to watch the kids. On the Wednesday prior to drill, I notified my squad leader and detachment sgt. what was going on. I told them that I was going to continue to look for someone to watch my kids, but that it wasn't looking good. They gave me an unexcused absence for that drill.

All of the other units I've been a part of would never have given me a poor NCOER simply because of the personal problems I was having. I tried desperately to work with the people in my unit, however, my immediate leadership refused to help me. I have yet to talk to someone who thinks my missing drill because of my child care situation should have been unexcused. It was not something I could control and I made every effort to find alternate child care.

Bottom line, SGM - I TRIED to fulfill my duties as a soldier and an NCO to the best of my ability. I was going through a very rough patch and needed some flexiblility on my leadership's part. I did not get it. Perhaps you missed the part of my post where things were fine up until the end of the fiscal year? I did not miss a single battle assembly. My first drill with this unit, I volunteered to take a PT test Saturday instead of Sunday because they needed scorers. I passed with a score of 210. When the test was administered on Sunday, approximately 1/4 of the soldiers were wearing MP3 players during the run. I was the ONLY ONE to stop them and correct them. My drill weekends were routinely spent walking around the unit, trying to find something to do - asking people if they needed help with anything. My first line leader, an E7 with almost 30 years in, couldn't be bothered to make on-the-spot corrections when soldiers were out of uniform and told me several times that I was crazy for wanting work to do on the weekend. Did you also miss the part where I mentioned that that I have never received a negative comment on any of my previous NCOERs?

Would you, SGM, honestly, not try to work with one of your soldiers who was having a tough time and was an otherwise excellent soldier? I sincerely hope so.

I really didn't post that comment looking for someone to pass judgment on me, especially without knowing my full story. I simply wanted to know what recourse was available to me. Had I known that I would have been crucified like this, you can bet I would never have come here looking for assistance.

It seems a series of unfortunate events have occured to lead you to a poor rating. Mind you it is not the end of the world for one as it was only on one section of your NCOER. If followed with subsequent strong NCOER's it will likely be discounted at the board as a learning process.

Let me also remind you that for lack of child care you are at fault. Your family care plan should have been prepared accordingly. Read the fine print of the counseling with the FCP. The FCP is not only for deployment, it is also for TDY, ADSW, drill weekends, and basically anytime the Army needs you. If you failed to properly select the person(s) on your FCP for taking care of your child, you let them down as well as your unit, command, and yourself.

Lastly, your approach with the SGM leaves something to be desired. If you approached my 1SG or CSM with that tact, you'd have lost 10 pounds of your gluteus right there. Remember your creed in your daily conduct... "No one is more professional".
First I would like to say to all those that have replied to this plea for answers and support. This site was created as a tool for NCO's to support and help eachother not as a forum and oppertunity to attack and tear down. This Soldier simply asked what could be done to help correct what they felt was an unfair NCOER, instead they have gotten all the reasons it was "deserved" when we as NCO's can no longer go to eachother with out the fear of being torn down then where can we go? We all know that sometimes, just some times things do not always go according to the best laid plans..Sh** happens that we can't always plan for. It is my understanding that this solier was going to a unit over 75 miles from their residence and according to regulations was NOT required to attend drill outside of a 50 mile radious but DID got the extra mile to attend drill, also the soldier had made contact with their 1SG and gotten a verbal excused drill for each occation and did make those drills up by performing RST and ADSW for the unit. The problem was that the 1SG retired and feel victim to the "short timer syndrone" The soldier had just re-deployed from overseas and was hit with a divorce, custduty battle and fincal hardship but was still driving the 75 miles to perform drills when they where not required to do so. They soldier has since found a unit closer to home and has resummed drills. But I can only "assume" that those Sr. leaders took the time to contact the soldier and find out the whole truth instead of judging so quikly.
Remember we are supposed to help and support eachother her not tear each other apart we have CNN for that. Good luck troop.
Judge not lest ye be judged and many other proverbs. There is a problem the soldier is having. From the transfer of units, it is hopefully resolved.

Currently I am on my second instance of a SM who lives a considerable distance from the unit often unable to make the commute for BFTA. Understandably, I help them to make arrangements where they can RST with a more conveniently located unit, reassign, or attach out are options too.

My interventions start as soon as the problem is noticed. Where I would like to retain the soldier for numbers to suit my needs, Jiminy Cricket hops on my shoulder to help them find the solution to preserve their career and well being.

From the brief analysis, she does have my sympathy for the poor leadership she encountered. However, being an adult, and a former NCO, I am reminded that I am the master of my destiny. Oddly today I counseled a MAJ for an unexcused absence. Poor judgement comes from all levels at times. I have had my share and have faced the consequences for it. For that my ratings and counselings reflected that.

Hopefully somewhere along the way, she will find a good mentor to model herself afer and get guidance to help her career. But in assessing the fairness of the bullets with what information we have been given, they do seem justifiable. Could things have happened better for her in the previous unit? Likely. Hopefully she has gained something from this experience, if nothing more, perhaps a better unit with which to develop.

Good luck soldiermom.

I still advise to mind your P's and Q's with SGM's and seniors at all levels.
One other missing piece of the puzzle... were the 4 MUTA's missed from a mandatory drill? Mandatory U in most cases and with some exceptions.

Also consider that missing 4 battle assemblies a packet would have been submitted for separation. After missing 9 MUTA's my unit, if not all, start the process for separation. Good soldiers we will try to salvage as best possible. I have recovered 2 that have started down this path and they are doing well.

A good leader will hopefully find the reason for the first U, work out issues with proactive and productive counseling, and retain the soldier. If the soldier fails to hold up their end of the deal.... you know the rest.
I will never ask for assistance on this site again. Nor will I advise anyone with a problem to post a question on this site. The circumstances around my missed drills were not the issue; whether or not I was truly fulfilling my duties & responsibilities was not the issue; and I don't understand why missing a mandatory BA would have anything to do with the help I asked for. All I wanted was some assistance on how to proceed. I had been told that if you receive a "needs improvement" rating on any section of your NCOER (with the exception of the APFT), you are to be counseled as to why you did not meet standards. Not once did anyone ask me if I had ever been counseled on anything. My pay grade is beside the point on this issue - whether I'm an E1, E6, or E8, there are times when you will need counseled. Nor did anyone ask what specifically the bullet comments were and why I felt they were unfair(I do NOT blame others for my own shortcomings); even so, the actual content was not the issue.

For greywolf - thank you for that link.
For hnd2hnd - thank you for asking for more details, the advice, and the support.

This is my first, and quite possibly last, experience with this community. As I said earlier, I will not ask for assistance again on this site and I will strongly discourage others from doing so also, lest they run into the same treatment I received.
Well, thanks for stopping by.

Unfortunately, it's not the Army's problem that it and you're personal life conflicted. The onlything it could do was counsel you accordingly, whether it was fair or not. In all seriousness, REUP SGM's response hit it on the head. And he did give you what recourse was available.

Originally posted by REUP SGM:
Spend your time not looking for a loophole in the regulation, but on re-evaluating yourself and then look to see where and how you can improve on yourself to ensure this does not happen again in the future.

It doesn't get any better than that.

This discussion forum really isn't that different from the actual Army. Nobody's going to baby you, and you're going to get advice and opinions alike. Take it as you will and with a grain of salt.
I'm gone for a day and this happens?

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