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New rules force officers to opt in for key billet boards

Jul. 18, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
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Army Competitive Category lieutenant colonels who want to compete for command and key billet positions that become vacant in fiscal 2015 must formally “opt in” for the boards that meet in August and September, under new rules that apply to the command selection system.

The same rules will apply to the ACC colonel-level command and key billet boards that meet in January. The Army has not yet defined rules for the special branches command boards.

Opt-in requests for the upcoming lieutenant colonel boards should be made using the Command Preference Designation tool, which will be available Aug. 1-21 at The tool also can be used to submit preferences for units and subcategories.

Officers who opt in for the upcoming boards will compete in all categories and subcategories for their skill area.

Officers can prioritize the subcategories for which they are eligible, as well as units projected to have fiscal 2015 vacancies for those subcategories.

Officers who decline consideration by not opting in will remain eligible for command should they decide to compete before a future board, provided they are in that board’s zone of consideration.

However, officers who opt in for battalion command consideration, and who subsequently are selected as a principal or alternate but decline a command or key billet assignment, will forfeit eligibility for future consideration at both the lieutenant colonel and colonel level.

Additionally, their Officer Record Brief will be annotated with a stamp to indicate the command declination.

In another major change to the selection process, officers will be limited to three, rather than four, selection opportunities each for command and key billet assignments at the ranks of lieutenant colonel and colonel.

Under past procedures, selection boards assigned a unique score for every subcategory in which an officer chose to compete. Officers then were designated as a principal in the subcategory in which they had the highest score.

Future command boards will give only one score for each officer based on their leadership potential. This means an officer’s board score and subcategory preference will determine their placement on the order of merit list for that subcategory. Scores that are not high enough for selection as a principal but qualify for alternate selection will result in the officer being placed on a consolidated alternate order-of-merit list by category.

The alternate list will be used by Human Resources Command to fill unexpected vacancies.

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