Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by iceman2018, Apr 15, 2013.
It's about time or bad idea?
Military Peer Review for top brass
About time. Hopefully it filters down to field grades. That is where the trouble can be first found. Most important part is not the peers but the subordinate reviews.
Not enough details to comment about the "peer review."
Me being cynical, it will be a contract hiring some PhD's and retired military personnel to come up with a plan, a few years of study, than nothing or some lame system that has no bite.
Rank wise military are full of peers, but a brigade commander Colonel is not the same as a staff Colonel.
The Army has something called MULTI-SOURCE ASSESSMENT AND FEEDBACK (MSAF) PROGRAM. You ask bunch of your superios, peers, and subordinates to "rate" you and you get a system generated feedback. I ignored it as it I don't know my strengths and weaknesses by now, I am beyond help.
Peer reviews aren't valuable although I certainly would have appreciated "I'll grade you and you grade me" in school. Maybe my GPA would have been higher.
Maybe I shouldn't be surprised that many people in the military scoff at the idea of peer reviews. They are fairly common amongst the most successful private sector companies, but still fairly new to our military where "top-down" remains the standard for most things.
360 Reviews and the like give you a chance to see yourself as others see you. That can be incredibly valuable. Though it does take a certain amount of courage and acceptance to realize that to spite your best efforts, others may percieve your actions/approach differently.
One of those axioms that I heard for a long time but never quite came to understand the import of until later in life.... "Perception IS Reality".
Does CGA not do peer rankings? At USNA all mids rank their peers and the underclass as you move up in rank, which was taken seriously and done with the proper gravitas by about, oh, 25% of mids (same thing happened with "spear evals" at TBS). It was always fun playing the "okay, what jerk gave me 'sleepy?!'" game.
In all seriousness though, I'm not sure how effective training to ensure that senior officers are "fully aware of military regulations" really would be in reducing misconduct. I'd be willing to bet that a lot of these guys bending the rules are already "fully aware" and know pretty well what they're doing. Maybe I'm just cynical, but how anonymous are the subordinate reviews actually going to be? I'd like to think that most officers are honest and have enough integrity to say to their boss what they actually think of him...but at the end of the day he's the guy that signs off on your FITREP.
I remember peer reviews from my 4/c year. We also ranked each other. Even in a company of outstanding 4/c, someone always had to be last. Most people didn't look at the results, some took it as an opportunity to absolutely rip their classmates up. I saw mine, some of it made me sad, and at time, probably caused me to change my ways. The reviews and the rankings affected our standing.
I don't remember doing it again after my 4/c year, and I don't know if that's because it was a 4/c thing or if it was completely done away with.
Of course, each year we evaluated our subordinates, but that's probably how it is everywhere.
Flag and general officers occupy a tiny space. There are only so many O-7 through O-10 positions. If they're evaluating each other, will it be much different than the CGA 4/c system? HOPEFULLY!!!
I don't know what we would gain at that point though. It MAY help as a 4/c to get feedback on how you carry yourself. At 30-35 years of service... I think the old dog has had his fill of old tricks.
Granted I have only worked at two place since leaving the military, but I haven't seen 360 feedback widely used, which is too bad, because I would have LOVED to have given some feedback to a woman I worked with at the time (she was the reason I left for a new job).
I agree though, 360 feedback takes courage. I'm not sure if it can be taken to the extent that it would be in the private sector to the military.
ANONYMOUS peer reviews and even subordinate reviews can be helpful but only as far as the individual being reviewed is willing to listen honestly. From what I saw, the farther up the ladder one gets, the more removed from reality they become. It's not all their fault though, I saw more than one O5/O6 who swept reality under the rug for the "benefit" of the FO.
Agree. And you could allow for the extremes "General XXX never does anything right" from his "enemies" and "General XXX can do no wrong" from his best friends. Somewhere in the middle is the truth.
Of course, doing so anonymously takes away the responsibility of one's actions, and isn't that what they're trying to get across, being responsible for ones character and conduct?
Not sure how I'd feel about "Respect your flag officers, but understand that they're too scared to use their names when they review each other..."
i don't think it's about them being scared, I think anonymity puts the focus on the content of the peer review and removes the tendency for the reviewed to attach bias to the validity of the review based on the reviewer. Even if the review is exactly on point but comes from someone the reviewed doesn't like, they would be likely to discount it because their feelings were hurt. Anonymity removes that in my opinion.
I understand what you're saying and I partially agree. I do think the reviewed will attach bias either way, but one way they'll be sure who they're attaching it to.
I do think there is less accountability if it's anonymous.
Both approaches have their positives and negatives. I have no idea which way would be better. A bad review would be painful whether you know who it is or not.
I don't think discounting it is the issue, but preventing retaliation (there is probably a better and somewhat less strong word I could use here).
Separate names with a comma.