Nearly eight years after the Air Force switched to standardized “static” closeout dates for its enlisted Airmen’s performance reports, it is now poised to do the same for most of its officer corps.
Starting in October 2022 and extending into 2023, officers from O-1 to O-6 will transition to static closeout dates, the Air Force announced Feb. 17.
The change will start with first and second lieutenants, with the first static closeout date of Oct. 31, 2022. Colonels will be next on Feb. 28, 2023, then lieutenant colonels and majors on May 31, 2023, and captains on Aug. 31, 2023.
Static closeout dates “deliver improved predictability to our officers, raters, and units, while also providing a synchronized comparison of performance within peer groups,” Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel, and services, said in a statement. “This arms officers with a more complete understanding of their performance assessment, their strengths and weaknesses, and where they stand amongst their peers. This is essential to ensure we give Airmen an opportunity to fully develop to their capabilities and excel at the Airmen Leadership Qualities they’ll need to be successful in the future.”
While the first closeout dates aren’t for another eight months, the transition process will begin much sooner than that. Officers will continue to complete any OPRs already scheduled to close out six months before the first static closeout dates.
From there, any officers whose last performance report was closed out more than 16 months before the first static closeout date will receive a transition OPR six months in advance of the first static closeout date to ensure that first static OPR will cover a sufficient period of time.
All officers with promotion-select status will align their OPR with the closeout date of their selected grade.
With the new static dates, “officers receive clearer feedback and are given a more complete understanding of where they stand amongst their peers,” Col. Laura King, director of the Air Force talent management innovation cell, said in a statement. “Key talent management decision bodies, like promotion selection boards, also become more informed with a consistent delineation of performance documented within officers’ records.”
The switch will also mean the end of change of reporting official EPRs—CRO evaluations will be eliminated in phases “several months prior” to the first static closeout dates, the Air Force said. This will eliminate the need for roughly 29,000 CRO reports annually and also ease the load on raters.
The Air Force transitioned to static closeout dates for the enlisted force back in 2014, with officials saying at the time that they would ensure a level playing field for Airmen and free up time for raters. As far back as 2018, leaders said they were contemplating a similar change for officers.
The transition comes now as the service is working to overhaul its evaluation systems for both enlisted Airmen and officers. In September 2021, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass said EPRs would transition from bullets to narrative-style reports. In December, the service announced that it would begin integrating the 10 Airman Leadership Qualities into feedback for all ranks.
The change to static closeout dates will apply to all Active-duty, Reserve, and Guard Airmen, but it will not affect the Space Force, which will “maintain current evaluation policy” as it develops its own evaluation and appraisal system, according to the department.