NCOER: Non-Commissioned Officers Evaluation Report. Basically, your performance review. These and the OER (Officer Evaluation Report) are apparently the whole reason the Army exists– to keep these things moving. A lot of emphasis is put on these things. It makes things tricky because you are told to quantify things like “leadership” and other values, which aren’t tangible, and can be open to interpretation. If you don’t make a subordinate look good– if he or she is “damned with faint praise”– then you can negatively impact a person’s career. On the other hand, you also can’t engage in a lot of excess praise.
The end results are, the NCOERs and OERs tend to be very stylized and formulaic, the end result being (in my opinion) to render them almost meaningless.
Meanwhile, poor ol’ Joe Rock has reached that point where he realizes that the cool position or job he wanted has a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy attached; definitely not the kind of stuff that you see on TV, movies, or in comic books. Just this comic, right here.
Ironically, as I did this, I realized that, yes, I am behind on an NCOER. Crud.