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Coast Guard Personnel Service Center

Officer Personnel Management Division

Officer Evaluations Branch (CG PSC-opm-3)


  Frequently Asked Questions

Topics Administrative Retirement/Separation
Promotions/Transfers/PCS Technical
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ADMINISTRATIVE

Who can I call to get copies of past OERs?
The Coast Guard Personnel Service Center's Military Records Branch handles all requests for copies of your official record. They require a signed and dated request (fax copy is acceptable) to send you a copy of any portion of your record.
Contact them at the following website: http://www.uscg.mil/psc/adm/adm3/

I am the Reporting Officer (RO) on an OER. Where can I get my RO comparison scale history so I can provide it to the Reviewer?
You can access it by logging into Direct Access and going to the following pathway: Home> Self Service> Employee> View> Off Comparison Scale Summary

My Supervisor was disqualified from carrying out their rating chain responsibilities. What is the next step for my unit?
If any member of your rating chain was disqualified or is unavailable per COMDTINST M1000.3A, Article 5.A.2.e., the Commanding Officer or next senior officer in the chain of command shall designate an appropriate substitute who is capable of evaluating your performance. An e-mail notification informing OPM-3 of the rating chain exception shall be sent to ARL-PF-CGPSC-OPM@uscg.mil with a copy to the Reported-on Officer and new rating chain members.  For Reserve Officers, contact RPM.

Do civilians need formal training before being added to a unit's rating chain?
There is a requirement for formal OER training for civilians per COMDTINST M1000.3A, Article 5.A.2.c.(2)(h). Commands are reminded that OES rating chain responsibilities must be incorporated into the civilian employee’s core competencies. CG PSC-opm-3 will prepare training certification letters for civilians who complete the training. A civilian rating chain member can read Chapter 5.A. and review the CG PSC-opm-3 OES power point presentation to meet the current training requirements. Once the command is comfortable that the civilian staff member understands the OES process and can carry out their responsibilities, the command can notify CG PSC-opm-3 that the training requirements have been completed.

Do you have a listing of OER comments that are written to convey hidden messages?
There is no such thing as a listing of OER comments that are written to send "hidden" messages. More importantly, we do not want people to write OERs with what they think are hidden messages. Your OER, and any other writings for that matter, are read and interpreted by a variety of readers – assignment officers, and board and panel members. We cannot stress enough the importance of taking the time to paint a clear and succinct picture of the Reported-on Officer’s performance and potential in OER comments to avoid inaccurate (or unintended) interpretation.

I don’t understand why OERs are returned for abbreviations and acronyms?
Besides making the document awkward to read, OER readers consist of an occupationally diverse group who may not be familiar with the "language" of your community. Many times, a ROO’s achvmts are lost i/the o/use of hard to interp abbrvs/uncom acros specif to partic pgms, i.e. MODU, iot save OER space. Don’t sacrifice clarity for brevity.

What do you consider to be a well constructed OER comment?
A well constructed comment will be clear, concise and easy to understand. It should discuss how well the task was done and report the result achieved. Most importantly, it should indicate the impact of the officer’s conduct or performance on the unit’s ability to meet its mission objectives. You can see examples of this format in OPM-3’s OER Training Presentation.

I thought the OER was supposed to be gender neutral. Can I use gender pronouns like "he" or "she?"
There is no intention to make the OER "gender neutral." There is no prohibition against using gender pronouns like "he" or "she". However, we recommend limited use of all pronouns, where appropriate, in order to write in bullet format and to save space. There are restrictions upon emphasizing gender when documenting performance or behavior in an OER. COMDTINST M1000.3A, Article 5.A.7.f.7 directs that members of the rating chain shall not "expressly evaluate, compare, or emphasize gender, religion, color race or ethnic background." Additionally, Article 5.A.7.f.8 prohibits placing emphasis "upon a third party by gender, religion, color, race or ethnic background (e.g., Catholic lay minister, wrote award recommendation for African-American female civilian)."

I’m reviewing an OER that contains a comment to support the "Looking Out for Others" block ... it says "the member volunteered to take on additional duties to allow another member to stay at home & care for an ill family member." I know we’re pretty strict about medical comments -- is the statement prohibited?
The comment is acceptable, as long as it is clear that it referred to another person’s ill family member. The restriction in COMDTINST M1000.3A, Article 5.A.7.f.5 prohibits the mention of a medical or psychological condition (factual or otherwise) about the Reported-on Officer and family members. Documenting good performance demonstrated by a Reported-on Officer to deal with the illness of another’s family member is not prohibited.

Can the Reviewer complete the comparison scale block when optional Reviewer Comments are submitted with the OER?
No. The Comparison Scale (W2 to O5) or Rating Scale (O6) portion of the Reviewer Comments form (CG-5315(series)) is only to be completed when mandatory Reviewer comments are prescribed. COMDTINST M1000.3A, Article 5.A.2.d.(4)(b)[2] requires a mandatory Reviewer Comparison Scale/Rating Scale mark only when the Reporting Officer is not a Coast Guard commissioned officer, civilian member of the Senior Executive Service (SES), or a PHS flag officer assigned to the Coast Guard as the Director of Health and Safety. Additionally, the directions in the Comparison Scale or Rating Scale box of the Reviewer comments form indicate, "Mark only when Reviewer comments are mandatory."

What can I put in the Primary Duty block?
Provide the Reported-on Officer’s Primary Duty title. This is defined in the unit Personnel Allowance List (PAL) as shown in Direct Access and is the position indicated on the Reported-on Officer’s orders and their Employee Summary Sheet. Officers performing duties other than those assigned should start the Description of Duties with "Actual duty assigned:", e.g. Actual duty assigned: Command Duty Officer.

What are the most common OER errors?
The primary duty not matching the officer's actual assigned duty is the most common OER error seen by OPM-3.  There are two performance dimensions that most commonly do not have adequate comments to support a mark other than a '4' and those are Evaluations, and Health and Well-Being. 

Where can I find current OER forms?
OER forms are available at http://www.uscg.mil/forms/oer.asp.  You can find the current CG-5310 A/B/C/D version 09-15 form revision here.

What do I put in the EMPLID (Employee Identification) block if I don’t have one?
Non-Coast Guard members of the rating chain will not have a seven-digit CG Employee Identification (EMPLID) number. In those cases, leave the EMPLID block blank; an employee identification number will be assigned within Direct Access upon receipt at CG-PSC.

Where can I find more information and guidance on OER policy and procedures?
The Officer Evaluation System policy can be found in Chapter 5.A of the Officer Accessions, Evaluations, and Promotions Manual, COMDTINST M1000.3A.  Procedures for completing an OER can be found in PSCINST M1611.1B.

 the Reported-on Officer’s Primary Duty title. This is defined in the unit Personnel Allowance List (PAL) as shown in Direct Access and is the position indicated on the Reported-on Officer’s orders and their Employee Summary Sheet. Officers performing duties other than those assigned should start the Description of Duties with "Actual duty assigned:", e.g. Actual duty assigned: Command Duty Officer.

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TECHNCIAL ISSUES

How do I get the name and date to auto populate on the top of pages 2-3?
Try first by using a new form available here: http://www.uscg.mil/opm/Opm3/opm-3OERForms.asp.  If that still does not work, select Edit from the tool bar, then select Preferences, select JavaScript from the categories on the left, make sure that "Enable Acrobat JavaScript" box is checked. Once the JavaScript is enabled, delete and re-enter the name and date data and continue to hit tab all the way to the end of the document. If these methods do not work, call or email PSC-opm-3 for assistance.

I'm having problems with the spacing on the name line on the CG-5315 (Reviewer Comments) form.
In order to get the proper spacing between your last name and initials, insert an underscore character. Example: Coastie_A_D. The underscore will not show on the final printed form.

PROMOTIONS/TRANSFERS/PCS

I am frocked to LCDR. Do I complete a LCDR or LT OER?
Your OER must reflect your current pay grade and not your frocked pay grade. If your pay grade is LT, then you complete a LT OER.

I’m the Reporting Officer for five officers at my unit and I’m due to PCS this year. What can be done to ease the burden of having to write five OERs on the occasion of my departure while I’m busy trying to get things ready for my move?

Generally, there is no way around it, but COMDTINST M1000.3A, Article 5.A.3.b. offers some relief. For example, you would not have to complete an OER for an officer on a semi-annual schedule if less than 92 days has elapsed since the end of period of their last OER. So if you were departing in June, and you had an Ensign on your staff that was last evaluated in March, then a Detachment/Change of Reporting Officer OER would be optional.  Additionally, you can set an end of period date prior to your last working day to allow sufficient time for signatures and internal processing of the OERs; e.g. the Reporting Officer is due to PCS on 15 April, which triggers a Detachment/Change of Reporting Officer OER.  The Reporting Officer can opt to choose 31 March as their last working day and the end of period of report for Detachment/Change of Reporting Officer OERs.

Why are in and above zone candidates for the Lieutenant Selection Board required to end their semi-annual reporting period in June rather than July?
All LTJGs in or above zone are required, by policy, to submit their semi-annual OERs with an end of period no later than 30 June. This provides sufficient time for the OER to be reviewed at CG PSC and, if necessary, corrected and entered into the record prior to the convening date of the LT Selection Board. Please see COMDTINST M1000.3A, Article 5.A.3.a.

I’m a LT that is in-zone for W-4. Do I have to submit an annual LT OER?
Yes, you still have to submit your annual OER. Per COMDTINST M1000.3A, Article 5.A.3.a.(2), OERs shall not be delayed for officers above and in zone for promotion as specified by ALCGPSC promulgated by Commander (CG PSC). Reported-on Officers with an approved retirement or voluntary resignation letter on file may extend the period of report to coincide with the discharge date. A regular or continuity OER may be completed.

I am a Lieutenant transferring in July and my OER is due at the end of May. I am up for the LCDR Board in August. Can I delay my regular OER to my departure date?

No. Those officers above zone and in zone for promotion as specified by ALCGOFF promulgated by Commander (CGPC-opm) shall not delay their regular annual or semiannual OER past the scheduled due date. Please see COMDTINST M1000.3A, Article 5.A.3.a.2.

I am a Lieutenant transferring in July and my OER is due at the end of May. I am NOT in zone for promotion.  Can I delay my regular OER to my departure date?
Yes. Officers are authorized to extend their OER period of report to coincide with their PCS departure date if the regular reporting period ended within the last 92 days for officers on semiannual submission schedules, or within the last182 days for officers on annual submission schedules.  For specific details, please see COMDTINST M1000.3A, Article 5.A.3.c.

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RESERVIST

Where do I send Reserve OERs?
These OERs are prepared for Coast Guard Reserve Personnel under the Inactive Duty promotion list and should be addressed to the Reserve Program Management Branch at ARL-PF-CGPSC-RPMOER@uscg.mil.

RETIREMENT/SEPARATION

I’m planning to retire. What do I need to do about my OERs until then?
Please take a few minutes to read COMDTINST M1000.3A, Article 5.A.6 concerning OERs submitted for continuity purposes. Officers with an approved retirement or separation date within 18 months (annual schedule) or 12 months (semiannual schedule) of the last regular OER submission, and who have met the expected high standards of performance during the period, may be eligible to submit a Continuity OER as their final OER. If you prefer to complete an OER documenting your recent work experience for “job hunting” purposes, you may want to submit a fully documented OER to coincide with your last day on active duty, as long as the period of report does not exceed 12 months for officers on a semiannual OER submission schedule, or 18 months for officers on an annual OER submission schedule.

Remember, for OER purposes, the end-of-report period will be your last day of active duty, not the day before beginning terminal leave. The Reporting Officer's and Reviewer’s signature dates cannot precede the Reported-on Officer’s last day of active duty.

What are the OER submission requirements for officers on Retired Recall?
OER submission is optional in all cases. An OER submitted for one of these officers will go through the normal review process destined for the member’s HQ PDR. No effort will be taken to remove or replace Continuity OERs to present an unbroken record of documented performance. Please see COMDTINST M1000.3A, Article 5.A.7.b.

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Last Modified 1/12/2016