Military services working to remove all identifying information from promotions processes

| September 25, 2020

CJCS General Mark Milley

ninja sends us this article from Stars and Stripes. 

Top leaders for each of the Defense Department’s military services are working to remove all personal identifying information from promotions packets, the top U.S. military officer said Thursday.

The top uniformed officers and the civilian secretaries of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force have agreed to remove not just official photographs but also other personal identifiers from promotions packets, such as name, gender and racial information, said Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The changes come as the Pentagon has faced criticism that its highest ranks lack diversity, and the military works to promote inclusion.

“We are the world’s biggest meritocracy. We take great pride in that,” Milley said during a virtual town hall session at the Pentagon alongside Defense Secretary Mark Esper and the military’s top enlisted service member, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Ramon Colon-Lopez. “Certainly, we have areas to improve in, but on balance, we recognize that knowledge, skills, attributes and the content of your character are what should advance you in the system, not any particular personal identity or characteristics.”

The hope is that removing identifying information from the promotions packages will remove any biases based on racial or ethnic traits that might be reflected in a name or photo.

I’ve always said the military was one of the most colorblind places I ever worked. This should make it even more so.

More at the source; Stripes

Category: Air Force, Army, Big Pentagon, Coast Guard, Guest Link, Marine Corps, Navy, ninja

Comments (64)

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  1. Sapper3307 says:

    How will the Army have quota promotions without that?
    Perhaps a secret marking, like when Free Masons go to promotion board.

    • SFC D says:

      Shhhh they’re listening… and that secret decoder ring sure does grease the wheels of the promotion train.

    • Ret_25X says:

      dude…most of the time just looking at the name is all you need….

      If the military does away with photo requirements, does that mean that everyone who got selected for retirement based on no photo now has a case against them?

      After all, this is an admission that the photo standard was arbitrary…

  2. Slow Joe says:

    Yaaayyy. No more DA photos!

  3. Slow Joe says:

    When they find out that the people getting promoted are disproportionate white, they will go back to the photos and statistical information.

    Does any mofo really think the identifying information on the promotion boards benefited anyone other than minorities?

    • Andy11M says:

      When someone see’s that X percentage of this year’s promotions were not at least insert race/sex, they will lose their mind and demand that the Army “do something”.

  4. ninja says:

    “top uniformed officers and the civilian secretaries of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force have agreed to remove not just official photographs…”

    Brought back memories of all of us getting our Black and White DA Photos made BEFORE the digital age.

    Class A Uniforms clipped with Alligator clips or were scotched taped to hold down flaps, open areas, etc.etc.

    A 30 or more minute process for a 5 minute photo shoot.

    I remember observing a Photographer clipping, scotch taping a very obvious Overweight Soldier, trying to “fix”, angle him so that his Santa Belly did not stick out.

    The Soldier asked the Photographer if there was anyway the Photographer could “shadow” or angled him so that the Soldier’s 3 chins were not exposed.

    We still have our old Black and White DA Photos that have our SSNs with our names on the name plate placed at our feet.

    Have seen a couple of old DA Photos that had the Soldier facing the camera versus side angle.

    The funny thing about those photos was that some some Soldiers DID get caught wearing Awards/Tabs/Badges they were NOT entitled to wear by someone on a Promotion Board…which now makes me wonder if Military Decoration information will be deleted as well.

    This may take alot of work with Soldier’s evaluations reworked to eliminate name, MOS, gender, possibly height/weight, age…anything else I am missing?

    It’s a trap. We will be replaced by Robots.

    😉😎

    • Slow Joe says:

      Yes, at some point we will replaced with robots.

      Though I would call them machines rather than robots, since robots have a cultural perception of being designed as humanoids, and these machines are much more likely to be job specific and designed for optimized performance, and therefore not resembling the human body.

      Besides, what really matters is the artificial intelligence that will control the machines. Robots are the body, AI are the brains, and one AI is capable of controlling many robots or machines.

      That’s why I think the best bet for humanity is to merge with the AIs through BCI (brain computer interfaces) and expanded artificial memory.

      Otherwise humans are going to be left behind.

      • ninja says:

        Robots are supposedly genderless, colorless, don’t have a mind of their own, obey orders (well, in the movies, they ARE starting to rebel), expendable, inexpensive to max manufactured, possible low maintenance (don’t have to feed, clothed em as well as give them EEO or Diversity Training), etc. etc.

        Gee Whiz…does this seem as if this is the road we are heading or perhaps already there?

        It’s a Trap.

        • I thought that Robbie the Robot was the real deal: Danger Danger Will Robinson. And now my heart is broken because I was going to buy a Robbie the Robot Platform type that can say Danger Danger AJ Fukin squared Away LPH 3 A Gang Snipe, grab your Springfield XDe 9MM 3.2 inch barrel, 9 RD Mag. DANGER DANGER POSSIBLE HOME INVASION. BELAY last order, it’s an Amazon drop off at the front door.

        • Ex-PH2 says:

          Genderless? Unemotional? You gonna hurt Data’s feewings, you meanie!!!

          • ninja says:

            😆😅🤣😂!!!

            Yep..That is Why the Younger Generation can do Video Games so well so they can control those Robots in the next Battlefield…

            😉😎

      • KoB says:

        Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!

        Long haired freaky people…need not apply!

    • Andy11M says:

      So glad I blew off getting my DA photo done. All those sternly worded AKO emails I got reminding me that I needed to get one just made me more resolute not to get one.

    • rgr769 says:

      My Army issue wife has my official full length photo stuck to the side of the fridge along with her photo as Nancy Nurse sitting at a nurses’ station in Cuttler Army Hospital. My pic is the only pic of me in Greens with full bling we have.

  5. Slow Joe says:

    Full disclosure:

    I recently saw a female NCO make E8 in 13 years, and get a 1SG slot in-unit, without having to PCS. A very subpar performer, but she had a APFT score of 300 in the female scale. And she is minority.

    • ninja says:

      Sadly, we had “Buffed”, 300 APFT troops that physically looked good, but could not do their job in their MOS.

      • SFC D says:

        A 300 APFT, membership in Audie Murphy / SGT Morales, few Soldier of the month boards, you’re set. Duty performance is irrelevant.

        • Ret_25X says:

          until you showed up to work for a certain retired 25X….suddenly, your ability to perform your job was everything and your ability to do push ups was interesting, but unimportant.

          One of the greatest challenges the Army has in Sr NCO selection is the lack of objective standards to assess potential from.

          There is only one, really…APFT. Max that you are a “stud”. You might be the dumbest SOB on earth, but you are going to be top block, first on OML, and promoted quickly.

          That way our most technical and trained soldiers can be lead by morons who don’t know that electronics requires electricity and generators must be used, or that trucks run on JP8 and fuel must be requested. One was so dumb he did not know how to run a key and lock program at Company level….because Army FMs are sooooooo hard to read…oh…wait…he could not read!

          sigh…so happy to be retired now…

          • SFC D says:

            That crap carried no weight with a certain retired 25W either. You could win every board and have an autographed picture of Jesus himself, if you couldn’t do the job commensurate with your rank, your NCOER reflected it.

    • Claw says:

      Katrina Moerk? As for being a minority, I didn’t think being Sweadish counted./s

  6. Claw says:

    Only ever took one DA Photo. Six ribbons and a set of enlisted flight wings. Took about a total of five minutes all together. BAM!! Picked up the following year for SFC out of the secondary zone. Didn’t stick around long enough to have to take a picture for MSG./s

    • ninja says:

      “Picked up the following year for SFC out of the secondary zone.”

      Well deserved as well, Claw…Well Deserved…

      Best Supply Daddy Ever.

      P.S. Took time last night to read TAH about Baby Killer Killam …that was one of the BEST blogs on a Phony Viet of the Nam POW…

      Still waiting for Killer’s DD215 and VA report on that shotgun wound to the leg from the 1st SEAC.

      And of course, THIS, from the 1st SEAC:

      “Oh, by the way, since you do not personally know me, NEVER QUESTION MY DEDICATION TO MY VETERANS AGAIN. Are we clear?”

      https://valorguardians.com/blog/?p=63422&cpage=1#comments

      • Claw says:

        “Best Supply Daddy Ever.”

        Thanks, but a disclaimer is in order. I never received any formal schoolhouse education on any of my Supply/Logistics MOS’s until a year had passed after making SFC.

        OJT/OJE was the word of the day./s

        • ninja says:

          OJT..

          Yep…It’s called “Midnight Requisitions…”

          😉😎😆😅🤣😂

          You have been knighted the Best Supply Daddy Ever by some of us TAH Miscrants…

          Claw: Keeper of The Whiz Wheel, The Covenant Book of Firsts and the TMs for those NSNs…

          Well Deserved Promotion!

          😉😎

    • 26Limabeans says:

      I have my photo from Basic. That NDSM looks awesome.

  7. ninja says:

    Soldier who was caught wearing unauthorized awards/tabs/badges in DA Photo.

    Poor Guy.

    NOT.

    “Reservist Gets Prison For Lying About Medals”

    https://www.deseret.com/2008/2/20/20071762/reservist-gets-prison-for-lying-about-medals

    “In the pictures, U.S. Army Reserve Maj. Anthony Angelo Calderone stands proud, sporting medals and bars for distinguished service and trainings in the Special Forces, for fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia.”

    “The truth is, he never earned most of them.”

    “I don’t know how to express how sorry I am about this,” Calderone said as he was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Salt Lake City to 5 months in prison. He was ordered to surrender to federal authorities in April.”

    “Calderone was indicted in March 2007 on charges of unauthorized wearing of military medals, official false statement and fraud. According to the indictment, Calderone wore numerous medals and badges he didn’t earn, including a Special Forces tab and a coveted Silver Star — the third highest medal of valor in the military.”

    “In personnel records, Calderone included the awards, decorations and listed tours of duty and military training that he never did, the indictment said. Federal prosecutors said Calderone marched with the medals on and told members of his Army Reserve Unit in Utah about his adventures overseas.”

    “Calderone continuously advised unit members that he had been with the Special Forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s training rebels to fight the Soviet Army,” assistant U.S. attorney Rob Lund wrote in court papers. “Calderone also advised members of the unit that, as a member of the 19th Special Forces Group, he had fought in the battle of Mogadishu in Somalia with Task Force Ranger in October of 1993 for which he earned a Silver Star.”

    “In reality, the 19th SFG said none of its members were in Afghanistan before 2002, no member was at the battle of Mogadishu, and no member has ever received the Silver Star.”

    “According to papers filed in federal court, Calderone served as an Army reservist at Fort Douglas since being released from active duty in 1988. Calderone’s defense attorney said he did receive awards for his work and was in the process of completing some of the Special Forces courses, but “voluntarily withdrew for an unstated reason.”

    “In 2005, then-Capt. Calderone submitted a promotions packet, including a photograph of himself with the decorations. He got a promotion and a pay raise, federal prosecutors said. Calderone signed forms listing medals that he wasn’t actually authorized to wear.”

    “Your resume is worn on your uniform,” Lt. Col. Randy Watt said. “To falsify yourself by displaying awards and citations you don’t have is dishonorable to the soldiers who came before.”

    “Finlayson said Calderone has been “disgraced,” lost his job and Army career. As the judge pronounced sentence, Calderone’s head slumped to the table and he began shaking. He buried his head in his lawyer’s lap and cried.”

    “If I go to jail it will probably save my life, but my soul — it’s already been destroyed,” he told the judge. “I’m ashamed. I’m humiliated.”

    • Green Thumb says:

      Career destroyed?

      Maybe. But keep you chin up man and your lips off your attorney’s pole.

      Your new career at All-Points Logistics is about to start!

    • rgr769 says:

      Got to wonder if he earned that Ranger Tab. He should have come up with more believable stories of daring do. There were no SF advisors in A-Stan in the ‘80’s; and there were no SF units in Somalia during Blackhawk Down, especially the 19th SFGA, which had never been deployed until after 9/11. He is lucky
      he only got five months. He should have been convicted on the multiple fraud charges.

  8. 26Limabeans says:

    So essentially when one goes before the board they wear a hood over their head.
    What color hood will be used and who will decide that?
    Can their language nuances be covered by computer generated speech?
    How about we just mail it in like voting.

    I always tell a new primary care person to not go looking for something
    that isn’t there and don’t try to cure me of something I don’t have.

    • Mason says:

      I was part of an interview process where we interviewed the candidates in groups of four. It was kind of a rapid fire round table style. To avoid all the names, introductions, and hand shaking, we had the candidates randomly pull out of a bucket a card with a color on it. We were then to use the color as their name for the interview.

      I was very uncomfortable saying things like “Mr. Black” or “Miss Yellow.”

  9. Sapper3307 says:

    I always liked the idea of a DA photo in PT shorts and shirt while standing on a digital scale with a large readout over your head.

  10. Roh-Dog says:

    But…

    I was in for 11 years and traveled quite a bit. Even the Infantry is a small place in some ways, bumped into people all the time.

    Imagine sitting on the board and a packet comes across with a photo you recognize, a NCO from your company that was ‘taking care’ of a Private’s wife.

    …, what if you could do something about a turd from a SNCO track?

    They’re trying to fix a system that can’t possibly be broken at this point, it’s been 245 f**king years! Ffs

    • Sapper3307 says:

      “This guy used my parking spot in 1992”.
      NO/NOGO

    • Ret_25X says:

      I don’t have to imagine it…in theory you move the packet along, but in practice…hard to say.

      It is important to note that the board members do not actually select for promotion. What they do is review and score the packet.

      Everyone gets a sequence number based on scores once they are added up, racked and stacked, divided by primary and secondary zones, etc.

      The admin weenies do that part.

      Once the packets are sequenced, the flesh peddlers decide how many promotions will be allowed per MOS based on projected end strength needs.

      This is where the diversity part occurs if if is needed. I don’t know how this is done, but any decision to promote based on demographics requires a non-promote…because promotions are a zero sum operation. Every mercy promotion, diversity promotion, good old boy promotion, etc is a win/lose for the NCO ranks.

  11. stoutguy says:

    I remember in the 90s a new E-6 to my unit ended being an E-4 who doctored up his 201 file during his PCS move.

  12. TheCloser says:

    The Navy’s enlisted promotion boards (E7,8,9) haven’t used pictures for about 20 years. In order to completely mask identity, it would take a lot more than redacting the name and pronouns that might reveal gender (race is not on anything seen by the board, but I always assumed it was probably considered during the approval process of the board results). The person’s unit, commanding officer, position, and at least one other person in their chain-of-command is on each of their evals which are clues to their identity.

    Next the leftists will be claiming that documenting doing a good job was only an attempt to sway the promotion results and should be redacted.

  13. Green Thumb says:

    Keep the photo.

    That way you can promote the hot chicks.

  14. Stacy0311 says:

    So I’m gonna have to take my first name off my board file.

    On the other hand, if I leave it, it’s a sure EO promote to LTC. Seriously a female Armor officer? I’ll be on the cover of Army times….

  15. steeleyI says:

    Soooooooo, here’s the deal:

    Sure, selection boards will now have to make selections without knowing the ethnicity or gender of the candidate. Frankly, I don’t think it has been a real factor in many years.

    That said, the demographics of board results will still be compared to the demographics of the service, the branches/career fields, the country, etc. There is some wiggle room, but if there is a disparity the board will be told to deliberate again, or a new board will be convened.

  16. timactual says:

    I am pretty sure the “old boys’ network” doesn’t need that personal information, so it will continue to work its magic.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hey, how do we know who’s been promoted then? Life’s strange when it beats the Duffle Blog.

  18. Charles says:

    Are the services also going to edit/redact all efficiency reports, award citations, Letters of Commendation, etc. to remove gender specific pronouns?

    “CPT xxxxx performed well, HE he managed a flight line … HE also demonstrated good initiative by …“

    and so on.