Ethically, what would you do? The annual merit boards


Warrant Officer Paul Detton has been anxiously waiting for his supervisor, Major Sue Pinkus, to schedule a meeting to discuss the upcoming formation-level ranking boards. As in the past, WO Detton knows that each year at this time the major asks him to review his past career information and achievements. Once completed, his supervisor will be able to speak confidently at the boards about his past demonstrated work performance and potential.

The outcome of these boards will ultimately result in a recommendation for a Section 6 ranking on his Personnel Evaluation Report (PER), along with comments from Maj Pinkus on his potential for future leadership positions and professional development.

In WO Detton’s unit, a description of tasks is required, which outlines demonstrated skills such as leadership, communication in both written and verbal formats, and planning and organizational abilities. Professional development information, such as language profile and academic and military course advancement, is also required.

At the ranking boards, these and other factors are compiled by the formation supervisors into a scoring matrix, which is used to determine a numerical value for an individual’s PER Section 6 ranking. This numerical value will be reviewed and approved by Maj Pinkus. WO Detton knows that substantial justification would be required to achieve high scores in these areas at the ranking boards.

With the ranking boards only a week away, WO Detton approaches Maj Pinkus and asks if she needs any information from him to prepare his file for the boards. With some embarrassment, Maj Pinkus acknowledges she had completely forgotten about the boards. After pondering for a moment, she moves to her computer and pulls up the ranking scoring matrix.

“You’ve accomplished a great deal this year,” said Maj Pinkus. “I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t ensure this matrix was filled out to your advantage. I’ll tell you what, I’ll email it to you so you can complete it for me, and make sure you score yourself high in the leadership sections. We want you to be promoted,” she said, looking at WO Detton.

“Yes ma’am, I’ll start right away,” said WO Detton.

As he leaves Maj Pinkus’ office, he can’t help but reflect on the old adage, “you’re your own best career manager,” and thinking he really isn’t sure this was how it was meant to be applied.

What would you do in WO Detton’s situation?

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