New wording in a block on the enlisted evaluation form is separate from a major overhaul coming later this year.
As of Jan. 1, enlisted personnel report forms add “organizational climate” to primary and additional duties assessed. Here, supervisors rate airmen on how well they contribute to a workplace free of discrimination and harassment .
Some airmen posted on the Air Force Times online forums that they were confused when they saw the new words because they thought the form was the revised EPR form that is slated to be introduced later this year as part of widely expected changes to the enlisted evaluation system. Those changes are aimed at identifying the Air Force’s top performers and curbing EPR inflation.
But the recent change is not part of the overhaul. Instead, it is a result of a directive from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who told the services to figure out how to evaluate whether service members are maintaining a healthy organizational climate, said Chief Master Sgt. Brandy Petzel, chief of the Enlisted Force Policy Branch.
“This change required immediate implementation and could not wait for additional changes to the enlisted evaluation system projected to occur in calendar year 2014,” Petzel said in an email Wednesday.
No date has been set for when the changes to the enlisted evaluation system will be announced, but they are expected later this year, said Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Col. Laurel Tingley.
These changes come as the Air Force may have to cut up to 25,000 airmen over the next five years, so the service is looking at how to determine which airmen to hold on to. Some of the changes being considered include having technical sergeants face a promotion board to advance to master sergeant and whether airmen should continue to be awarded promotion points for time in service and time in grade.
“If you’re going to be an airman in our Air Force in the future, you’re going to have to be good at your job,” Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody said in a Dec. 9 interview. “I think that’s always been the case but in previous years we might have had the luxury of allowing more airmen to do better over time than we may be able to in the future.”