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Magazine Articles

Naval Reserve Promotion Selection Process

September 2003 NRA News

by CAPT Tom McAtee, USNR (Ret)

Not to make light of a situation, but I once overheard a recently failed-to-select officer say, "I'd compare my record to any of those guys who got selected!" As a former director of Reserve officer promotions, I felt like saying, "That's exactly what the selection board did!"

The promotion selection board process from start (establishing zones) to finish (assignment of date of rank) is a somewhat complicated, highly controlled string of events. But the process of competitive comparison of records is a straightforward, factual, decision-making process.

When you peel back all the mystique of selection boards, the two long poles of the tent are PATTERN OF PERFORMANCE and CAREER PROGRESSION. Simply, constant high ranking, superior performance, and progressive, challenging billets/assignments that follow (as practical) a designator career path makes the decision of a selection board to place a record in the "select" category very easy. Guess who has the biggest percentage (90%) of control over performance and career? Right, the individual Reserve officer.

Who has the remaining ten percent? Undeniably, it is each and every reporting senior, Because each reporting senior is charged with the responsibility to reflect honestly and accurately the performance of duties of those serving under them.

Any lessening of responsibility by either the individual officer and/or reporting senior will obviously add to the risk of making a record less competitive in the eyes of a selection board when compared to peers. With that said, the remainder of the article is devoted to what the individual officer should be responsible for and have a working knowledge of regarding promotional opportunity.

Officer Responsibilities

All of us, throughout our Naval careers, will be eligible for and considered by the Navy's promotion selection board system. Understanding the elements of the selection system and understanding your responsibility for maintaining the accuracy of your official record are the essential steps in managing each and every promotional opportunity that arises.

Responsibility #1. Know when you are eligible for consideration for promotion to the next higher grade. Since all officers are eligible for consideration for promotion by virtue of date of rank, you must know your date of rank (DOR). SECNAV promulgates an ALNAV message annually specifying the promotion zones for each competitive category and for grades O-4 through O-6. This message provides the senior/junior in-zone with date of rank, selection board convening dates, and informs all officers of their right to communicate with the selection board. Normally, the Reserve zone message is released the first week in December. Caution: promotion zones vary among competitive categories; the zone for an unrestricted line officer may differ from that of a Supply Corps officer even though they are being considered for the same rank.

Responsibility #2. Review your official service record at least four months prior to the board. Knowing what is included (or missing) in your record will give you the best insight on how board members will view your record. Although all records are in an electronic military personnel records format, you may request a copy of your record, in microfiche form, by writing or faxing to Navy Personnel Command, PERS-313C; 5720 Integrity Drive; Millington, TN 38055. Request must contain rank, full name, designator, SSN, mailing address, and signature. A fax request may be made to (901) 874-2664.

Responsibility #3. Analyze your Officer Summary Record (OSR)/Performance Summary Record (PSR). The OSR/PSR is an administrative tool utilized by each selection board. Specifically, the OSR is the top sheet and numerical summary of fitrep grades, comparisons, and rankings from the old fitrep format. The PSR reflects the fitrep grades and numerics from the new performance system. Although initially confusing to read, an explanation sheet is provided when ordered from Navy Personnel Command (NPC). You may request a copy of your OSR/PSR at the same time you order your record. If only requesting your OSR/PSR, you may obtain it on-line at <>.

Responsibility #4. Understand that if you are eligible to be considered by a selection board, you have the right to communicate with that selection board. Your communication must be addressed directly to the president of a specific board and may contain information you desire to be considered by the board. Refer to MILPERSMAN A rticle 1420-010 for amplifying information concerning communicating with a selection board. No other individual may communicate directly with a selection board. However, a third party letter may be made as an enclosure to the officer's communication to the board.

That 10% Charged to Reporting Seniors

Each time a reporting senior signs his/her name to a fitness report, it impacts a career. Needless to say, some careers are disadvantaged by fitness reports submitted by uninformed reporting seniors. It may sound cruel to use the adjective " uninformed," but some reporting seniors have not even looked at the Navy Performance Evaluation and Counseling System instruction (BUPERSINST 1610.10) before signing and submitting reports. The negative results are:

  • Not using the Early Promotion (EP) option because early selection (BZ) is not afforded to Reserve officers.
  • Poor write-ups which leave a board reading between the lines what the reporting senior is trying to convey.
  • Utilizing word for word the write-ups from the officer being reported on causing the record to show similar wording or even whole write-ups signed by different reporting seniors.
  • Errors in reports that must be returned, which in turns skew cumulative averages.
  • Non-submission of most recent regular fitness report.
  • Grades higher than the forced break-out would dictate, hurting superior performers and not helping average performers.
  • Neglecting to reflect correct promotional status (regular, frocked, selected) on report, resulting in comparison group errors .

Reviewing Your Official Record

Many Reserve officers have found the value in reviewing their official service records, via microfiche, as evidenced by the increase in communications sent to selection boards (letters to the board). Common missing items discovered during reviews include fitness reports, advanced education degrees, personal awards, and outdated/no photograph. Reviewing the microfiche copy of your record, in advance of a selection board, provides the OPPORTUNITY to:

  • SEE your record as a board will see it: a whole record since commissioning and the patterns of performance the record projects through rankings, promotion recommendations (EP, MP, P) and position relative to summary average and reporting senior cumulative average. Remember, selection boards do not judge a single record as good or bad; but rather, they compare records of peers to evaluate those most competitive for the next higher grade.
  • EVALUATE your strengths and/or possible weaknesses. Numerical ranking of officers is very important.
  • UPDATE your record if there are missing documents that are currently authorized to be part of your official service record .
  • COMMUNICATE with the selection board, via letter, regarding missing documentation or call to the attention of the board any matter you consider important which may not be reflected correctly in your record. Don't leave questions for the board to answer on their own.
  • When reviewing the microfiche, do not unnecessarily confuse yourself. Keep your rev i ew focused. The most import a n t aspects of any record being rev i ewed by a selection board include the following:
  • CONTINUITY OF FITNESS REPORTS . Ensure that all fitness reports are in the record. Periods of time not covered by fitness reports, normally over six months, may be explained in your letter to the board, such as periods of non-participation following release from active duty or periods due to personal/professional conflicts.
  • OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH. Ensure that a photograph within current grade is ava i l a ble to the selection board. Requirement is three-quarter view, full length, in summer khaki. Refer to MILPERSMAN Article 1070-180 for other details.
  • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. The achievement of Additional Qualification Designations (AQD's), NOBC's, war college participation, correspondence courses, and advanced education degrees should be documented.
  • PERSONAL AWARDS. Award citations provide factual information concerning the award. To get missing awards into record, send documentation to:

Navy Department Board of
Decorations and Medals
Attn: N09B13
Navy Pentagon 2000
Washington, DC 20350-2000
Tel. (202) 685-1770

  • CURRENT NAVAL RESERVE QUALIFICATIONS QUESTIONNAIRE (NRQQ). The NRQQ provides up-to-date billet/mobilization assignments and personal data that may not be reflected elsewhere in the record.
  • ORDERS. Unit assignment or Annual Training orders may be used by selection boards to verify annual training or to clarify past unit assignments when fitness reports are missing from the record.

Upon completion of review and the identification of missing documents, if any, you must be sensitive to the time remaining before the convening date of your selection board. Additionally, updating your record and communicating with a selection board are two separate and distinct actions. The proper procedures for updating your official service record can be found in BUPERSINST 1070.27A and may be accomplished at any time. However, for an approaching selection board, it is highly recommended to retain a copy of each missing document and to forward these documents as enclosures to your letter to the selection board.

Forwarding missing documents, in a letter to the board, will virtually guarantee that the board will have access to all the documents, even if the official Electronic Military Personnel Records System (EMPRS) record has yet to be updated.

When communicating with a selection board, refer to MILPERSMAN Article 1420-010 for proper submission. It is especially important to remember that communicating with a selection board is not just a method to present missing documents. It, also, provides an officer the opportunity to address any matter(s) to the selection board which he/she considers important. Extreme care should be taken to present only factual information and not to criticize any off icer or reflect upon the character, conduct, or motive of any officer. Communications with a selection board must arrive prior to the convening of the board. When forwarding your letter to the board, utilize the following address:

President, FY-0X Reserve (Grade) (Competitive Category) (Line or Staff) Promotion Selection Board Board # XXX
Navy Personnel Command
5720 Integrity Dr .
Millington,TN 38055

To verify receipt of your communication, go to <> and click on “Customer Service Center.”

Equitable Comparison

The Navy, far more than any other armed service, divides its officer corps into numerous formal competitive categories.

Currently, the Naval Reserve officer corps is divided into 26 separate competitive categories. By virtue of designator, a Reserve officer becomes grouped into a specific competitive categ o ry which will, upon becoming eligible for promotion, provide that officer equitable comparison among peers with similar training and skills when competing for promotion. An officer's competitive category (designator grouping) plays a key role in each officer’s Naval career and is a major element in the Navy's promotion selection system. To provide that desired "equitable comparison" and fair consideration based on experience and p erformance, the Navy's competitive category policy governs:

  • FITNESS REPORT COMPARISON. Only officers within the same competitive category, rank, and promotional status may be compared in Block 43. Simply stated, you cannot compare an Intelligence officer (1635) with an Unrestricted Line officer (11XX/13XX) nor compare a LT selected for LCDR to a LT not in a select status. Refer to BUPERSINST 1610.10 for additional information concerning fitness report comparison.
  • PROMOTION ZONES. Annually, promotion zones are established by competitive category and promulgated Navy-wide. The Naval Reserve, using the running mate system, establishes promotion zones identical to our active duty counterpart zones. Therefore, the zone size is determined by the needs of the active duty force, not Naval Reserve needs, in each competitive categ ory. Since Naval Reserve promotions are not vacancy based, the majority of Reserve competitive categories select more officers than needs dictate, whereby increasing competition for senior billets. Promotion zones will vary, so ensure to refer to the promulgated zones by your correct competitive category.
  • PROMOTIONAL OPPORTUNITY PERCENTAGE . The SECNAV approved promotional opportunity percentage determines the maximum number of officers a selection board m ay select from each competitive categ o ry. Example, if 150 officers are eligible for promotion to CDR with 100 of those officers "in-zone” (IZ) and SECNAV prescribes a 75% promotional opportunity, the board may select a number equal to .75 times the number of IZ (100) officers, which would equal 75.
  • SELECTION BOARD MEMBERSHIP. Each competitive ca t eg o ry has specific membership requirements dictated by SECNAV instruction 1401.3. The main requirement is at least one member must be from the competitive category being considered. In smaller communities, the number of members from a particular competitive category is determined by the number of records to be considered. Board members are picked for what they can contribute rather than for their title or grade alone. Each board is comprised of a combination of experienced and first-time membership.

Grade Promotion Plan

Under statute law, the Secretary of the Navy shall prescribe the number of officers, in each grade, who may be promoted in that year to the next higher grade. However, when prescribing such numbers the Secretary must provide for (1) an equitable opportunity for promotion among succeeding groups of Reserve officers; and (2) an adequate strength of Reserve officers in an active status. In other words, if the Navy is going to hold promotion selection boards for Naval Reserve off icers, the system should maintain a relative equal promotion opportunity in each grade throughout the years and promote to the needs of the Naval Reserve. This balance between statutory law and requirements of the Naval Reserve is accomplished through a fiscal year grade promotion plan for the Naval Reserve. In actuality, there are two separate grade promotion plans. One is for flag officer promotions, and the other is for promotion to the grades of lieutenant commander through captain. These grade promotion plans are staffed and forwarded to the Secretary of the Navy for approval prior to the start of each promotion cycle. Remember, grade plans and promotion boards are named for the fiscal year in which a selected officer would reasonably be expected to receive a date of rank.

Since a grade promotion plan establishes the procedures and implementation guidance to administer promotion selection boards, it is the starting point for each promotion cycle. The following summarizes the contents of a typical captain and below grade promotion plan:

  • Establishes selection board convening dates.
  • Establishes eligibility for promotion based upon the running mate system to the grades of lieutenant commander through captain.
  • Establishes eligibility for promotion of chief warrant officers to CWO3 and CWO4. Complements criteria found in SECNAVINST 1421.7B.
  • Establishes assignment of date of rank for ensign to lieutenant (junior grade) promotions. Complements criteria found in SECNAVINST 1421.4D.
  • Establishes assignment of date of rank for officers screened to the grade of lieutenant (i.e., first day of the first month following the month in which the officer completes two years of commissioned service computed from his/her lieutenant (junior grade) date of rank).
  • Establishes the promotion opportunity percentage for each grade and competitive category. This percentage is an integral part of every precept and is used to determine the maximum number of officers who may be recommended for promotion by each board.
  • Establishes below-zone eligibility for those chief warrant officers, CWO2 and CWO3, competing for promotion to CWO3 and CWO4 respectively.
  • Contains specific skill guidance, if necessary, for incorporation into the precept for any specific grade/competitive category. Contains zone descriptions.
    • Above-Zone - Consists of officers who have previously been considered but not selected to next higher rank.
    • In-Zone - Consists of officers who are considered for selection to next higher rank for the first time.
    • Admin In-Zone - Consists of officers who are senior by virtue of DOR to the senior officer "in zone" and who are being considered for selection to next higher rank for the first time due to one of the following reasons:
      • Administrative error.
      • Transferee from another service.
      • Failed selection to next higher rank one or more times while on the active duty list.
      • Failed selection to next higher rank previously which was voided by action of the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR).

The Running Mate System and Assignment of a Register Number (Precedence Number)

The term "running mate" has been heard by almost every Reserve officer. However, the systematic use of the running mate system is usually never completely understood. The assignment of an active duty list running mate to each Reserve officer, in an active status, is a requirement of law, specifically, 10 USC 14306. The section reads: "While in the grade of lieutenant (junior grade) or in a higher grade, each of ficer in an active status in the Naval Reserve who is not on the active duty list has a running mate of the same grade from the active duty list who shall be assigned under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Navy." Those prescribed regulations are contained in SECNAVINST 1427.1C and state: "A reserve officer shall have assigned as a running mate the next junior officer on the active duty list in the same competitive category having the same grade and date of rank." Since many officers, within the same grade and competitive category, have the same date of rank, relative seniority is determined by applying criteria contained in SECNAVINST 1427.2B. Ties created by officers having the same date of rank history are broken in the following manner to determine seniority:

  • Percentile of class standing if no class standing was calculated, that officer becomes junior to all those with the same date of rank having a class standing; if same or no class standing.
  • Date of appointment; if same.
  • Date of birth; if same.
  • Ranked alphabetically by last name.

The running mate system is used to establish promotion zones and for the assignment of date of rank (DOR) following selection. By using the running mate system, the Naval Reserve mirror images exactly what occurs for active duty list (ADL) officers of the same grade and competitive category with regard to promotion zones and assignment of DOR.

Seniority List

The same criteria mentioned above are also how relative seniority (precedence) is established among all Reserve officers regardless of competitive category. Once relative seniority is established, a register number is assigned. This eight digit number remains with the Reserve off icer as long as a specific grade is held and equates to the lineal number assigned to ADL officers. If promoted, the register number will change based upon seniority of selection to the next higher grade. A Reserve officer may obtain his/her register number by going to Reserve officer promotions located on the BUPERS Web site at: <>.

One important comment about running mates, do not call Reserve Officer Promotions to ask the name of your active duty list running mate. No individual list of running mates is maintained. Exact running mates are determined only to establish "junior in-zone" officers and “junior eligible to be promoted” each month by competitive category.

So, who is senior among running mates, the ADL officer or the Reserve officer? The Reserve officer is always senior to his/her ADL running mate.

Establishment of Promotion Zones

As previously mentioned, Naval Reserve promotion zones are established based upon the promotion zones promulgated for ADL officers and the running mate system. Therefore, ADL promotion zones must be established first. ADL promotion zones are determined based upon need (requirement) within a specific rank and competitive category. For example, if the active duty force planners establish a need for 50 Unrestricted Line (URL) captains to be selected for promotion and SECNAV intends to provide a promotional opportunity of 50 percent, then the upcoming board needs to consider 100 URL officers in the grade of commander. These 100 URL commanders, who are being considered for the first time to the rank of captain, comprise the ADL in-zone URL captain promotion zone.

Following tentative approval of the ADL promotion zones, the Reserve Officer Promotions Branch obtains the promotional history of each officer who is considered as the "junior eligible" for each rank (CAPT through LCDR) and competitive category in order to determine the Naval Reserve officer running mate. Once this has been completed, the junior eligible in-zone officer has now been identified for the Naval Reserve . The "senior eligible" in-zone is simply identified as the officer most senior, not having been previously considered for promotion. Remember, the promotion zone only determines those officers who are eligible for consideration for promotion for the first time. Officers senior to the "senior in-zone" officer are considered "above-zone." The combination of "in-zone" and "above-zone" officers comprise all eligible officers. In total, the Naval Reserve establishes over 80 zones each fiscal year for promotion to the rank of captain through lieutenant commander. The number of officers within each zone does not need to equate to the number within ADL zones.

Below-Zone Consideration

Other than for Chief Warrant Officer selection boards, below-zone (BZ) consideration for Naval Reserve officers, including full-time support officers, to grades O-4 to O-6 is not authorized. Why? First, until the enactment of ROPMA (1 October 1996) BZ promotion for Reserve officers was not provided for in Title 10 United States Code. Second, even though ROPMA provided for the BZ consideration of Reserve officers, the Secretary of the Navy, through each fiscal year grade promotion plan, has not authorized BZ consideration for Naval Reserve officers.

The active component has it, why not the Naval Reserve? The essence of BZ promotions within the active force was, and still is, to nurture ADL flag officers. If top-notch career performers were not promoted ahead of normal promotion flow points, those making flag officer would not be able to function at the O-9 and O-10 level for any reasonable amount time due to statutory cap on years served in grade O-8 and above. Recently, statutory changes regarding ADL O-9 and O-10 grades have been eased; but BZ remains part of ADL promotions.

Since the Naval Reserve officer promotion board rank structure ceases at rear admiral (O-8), there is no compelling requirement to nurture flag officers or to provide accelerated promotion to a program that is other than full-time.

Preparation of Records Prior to Board Convening

Record preparation and auditing is one of the most critical functions performed at Navy Personnel Command (NPC) to ensure a successful promotion selection board. The recorder and assistant recorders obtain custody of EMPRS records for eligible officers a minimum of one week prior to the convening date of the board. During this "prep week" phase, the official eligibility list is audited to ensure that each officer's EMPRS record and OSR/PSR are available and ready for recorder review. Each record is then reviewed by an assistant recorder to ensure that the EMPRS record and the OSR/PSR are inconsonance. Each record is checked to verify the existence of regular periodic fitness reports for at least the last five years. Missing fitness reports are recorded and requested daily. NPC personnel immediately determine if the report is "in-house" or verified as not received. If not receive d, NPC will solicit the report from the officer concerned or from the officer's command at the time the duty was performed. Remember, only missing regular fitness reports are requested; the accuracy of remaining portions of the record is the officer's responsibility and should have been reviewed prior to the selection board. In addition to verifying fitness reports, the assistant recorders annotate or correct on the OSR portion, if required, personal awards and current unit assignment.


Promotion selection boards are convened by a "precept" originating from the Secretary of the Navy to the president of a specific board. The precept is in letter format and normally contains four-to-five paragraphs in addition to two enclosures. Each paragraph within the basic precept addresses a specific aspect of the selection process while providing guidance to the board. Normal composition of a precept includes:

  • Convening location, time, and date.
  • Statement concerning function of board.
  • Guidance mandating that selection standards will be applied uniformly to all eligible officers.
  • Promotional opportunity percentage for each competitive category. This percentage, times the number of in-zone eligible officers, determines the maximum number of officers who may be recommended for promotion.
  • Guidance requiring the board only to consider official the record provided by the Chief of Naval Personnel and the communication from the eligible officer.
  • Instructions for preparing the report of the board (Record of Proceedings).
  • Enclosure (1) listing designated board numbers.
  • Enclosure (2) containing supplemental guidance.

Despite the occasional folklore floating around the field, precepts expressly provide strict instructions to the board to consider each officer's record of performance equally and to recommend those officers best qualified for promotion to the next higher grade. Additionally, within the unrestricted line (URL) competitive category, the "best qualified" standard is applied without regard to designator. No URL designator quotas have ever been promulgated in a precept.

The Tank – Briefing and Voting

The selection (briefing and voting) process takes place in a darkened mini-theater with several large white screens in front, call the "tank.” Each officer being considered will have his/her OSR/PSR projected on the screens with annotations made by the reviewing officer. While listening to the reviewing officer summarize the record, the remaining board members prepare to give the record a confidence level via secret voting. Registering a confidence level is accomplished by each board member inserting a hand into a closed device with five confidence keys – 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, and zero. After all board members have registered a conf idence vote, the computer averages the votes and assigns an overall confidence level to the record. After all eligible records are briefed and have a confidence level recorded, the membership is presented with a "scattergram" of confidence levels. From this information, the board makes tentative selects (from the highest levels) and removes records from further consideration (from the lowest levels). At this point, the remaining records repeat the review and selection process, with the reviews performed by a different reviewing officer. The board again will meet in the tank and make tentative selects and remove records based on a new confidence vote. This process continues until all selections have been made. The term "crunch officer" applies to those officers not selected on the first round of voting and who must continue to compete in succeeding voting rounds.

Board Approval Process

Why does the approval process t a ke so long? Before TAILHOOK and ROPMA (1991 and 1996, respectively), Reserve selection board results were released to the public after the Secretary of the Navy signed the Record of Proceedings. This would take about a week. Now, each selectee's name is checked through other personnel databases which hold information not available to the selection board. This process lengthens the time to public release.

Currently, following selection board deliberations, the Record of Proceedings (report of the board) is prepared, along with summary board statistics in preparation for the "chop chain.” The precept requires that the report of the board must be forwarded via the Chief of Naval Personnel; the Judge Advocate General of the Navy; and the Chief of Naval Operations; the Secretary of the Navy; the office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD); and, finally, to the President of the United States for approval. At any point along the chop chain, a selectee’s name can be removed (with cause) from the list of officers recommended for promotion. After the Secretary of Defense signs and forwards the report of the board to the President for approval, SECDEF may release the results of the board to the public. This entire screening and approval process normally takes 12-to-15 weeks following the end of the board. Do not expect the results any sooner.

Senate Confirmation

Senate confi rmation is a key element in the actual promotion of some, but not all, Naval officers. Who is required to be confirmed by the Senate? Active component officers in the grade lieutenant commander through admiral (O-10) and Reserve component o fficers in grades captain through vice admiral (O-9) must be confirmed. How is verification of Senate confirmation made known to the field? Notification of Senate confirmation, by board name, is promulgated by a numbered NAVADMIN message. Any NAVADMIN message may be viewed by going to <>. By law, any officer who requires Senate confirmation may not be frocked or promoted before the day of confirmation. This is not a waiver issue.

Assignment of Date of Rank (DOR)

The actual assignment of a DOR to those o ff icers recommended for promotion by a selection board closely resembles the establishment of promotion zones. First, the active force must determine which ADL officers are going to be promoted, by rank and competitive category, on any given month. Once determined, the Reserve Officer Promotions Branch obtains the promotional history of the most junior ADL officer being promoted, for each rank and competitive category, in order to determine the Naval Reserve running mate. All officers senior to the Reserve officer designated as the ADL officer's running mate, with the same rank and competitive category, will be slated to appear on the Naval Reserve promotions NAVADMIN for that particular month. An important factor to consider is that the active duty force planners can only promote to actual vacancies. They do not determine numbers to promote until about the second/ third week of the month. Therefore, the Naval Reserve must quickly establish the Reserve officers to be promoted during the third/fourth week of the month. As with promotion zones, this requires the manipulation of over 80 separate rank/competitive category combinations. Seniority of selection (relative seniority) is promulgated on every ALNAV announcing selection board results and is represented by the three-digit number following the last four digits of the Reserve officer's SSN. Knowing this number will help you figure out when you will be promoted.

Date of Rank – When?

Soon after the release of the ALNAV announcing selection board results, the favorite question of, "When will I get a date of rank?" arises. Since officers are selected over a year prior to p r omoting them, determining a date of rank (DOR) is somewhat of a calculated guessing game. However, here is the process flow from estimate to actual DOR:

RULE OF THUMB. Over the years, this rule of thumb has prove n to be quit accurate. As previously mentioned, the Naval Reserve is connected to active duty promotions by the statutory running mate system. Since active duty promotes to vacancies, this means that when a active duty officer is promoted to fill a vacancy, a Naval Reserve officer is also promoted regardless of whether there is a vacancy in the N aval Reserve. When does active duty fill vacancies? Historically, active duty fills (or promotes) the first 40% of selectees in the first eight months of the FY year (Oct. through May). The remaining 60 percent are filled (promoted) evenly in the last four months of the FY year (June, July, Aug., and Sept. – each at 15 percent). Therefore, if a particular board selected 100 officers, the most senior 40 would be promoted between Oct. and May, with the remaining 60 being promoted at a rate of 15 per month for June, July, August, and September. If you were number 80 of 100 selects, based upon an equitable distribution of seniority among selectees, you could estimate receiving a 1 August DOR.

Authority to issue a DOR is promulgated via a monthly NAVADMIN message that is normally sent out the last week of a month for DOR's occurring on the first of the following month. When promulgated, the NAVADMIN message can be viewed on the BUPERS site. This is the official authority for the promotion of Naval Reserve officers.

Special Selection Boards

The enactment of ROPMA, on 1 October 1996, entitled Reserve officers, for the first time, to special selection boards if warranted and approved by SECNAV. Naval Reserve officers, in or above the zone, may request a special selection board based on strict circumstances:

  • Not being considered for selection for promotion due to administrative error;
  • Considered but not selected due to material error; and
  • Board acted contrary to law.

Anyone contemplating a request for a special selection board should discuss his/her situation with PERS-801C at: <> or call (901) 874-2322.

Information At Your Fingertips

The Navy Personnel Command Web site at <www.bupers.> has a vast amount of information available to Reserve officers. By clicking on “Reserve Officer Promotions,” you can retrieve the following:

  • Monthly promotion NAVADMIN message
  • Fiscal Year Grade Promotion Plan
  • Fiscal Year Zone message
  • Copy of your OSR/PSR
  • Register Number (Precedence Number)
  • Selection Board Schedule
  • Specific selection board information:
    • List of eligible officers
    • Membership after board convenes
    • Precept
    • Status of Approval Process
    • Selection message upon release
    • Senate Confirmation for O-6 and above

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