Rebut and Appeal a Negative Military Evaluation

negative evaluation

Service members should consider rebutting or appealing a negative military evaluation to avoid lasting effects on their careers.

Performance Evaluations

The military uses performance evaluations to determine the best candidates for future service.  Additionally, the evaluations ensure the promotion of qualified personnel.

Types of evaluations are:

  • OERs
  • NCOERs
  • EPRs
  • OPRs
  • Fitness Reports

The evaluations allow service members to continue to move forward in their careers.  Evaluations also ensure competitive pay rates based on the number of years of experience and the levels of technical skill.  However, a negative review can have a lasting effect on a service member’s career.  A referred evaluation can cause the military member to be passed up for promotion and even face administrative separation proceedings, such as the United States Army Qualitative Management Program (QMP). An unfavorable evaluation could cost the service member thousands of dollars in lost pay and benefits even though they may not be in danger of being separated from the military.

There are protections in place.

There are several protections in place for when a service member receives a negative evaluation.  Each service branch allows the member to rebut the negative evaluation before being filed in their military records.  When notification of a possible negative evaluation is received, the service member should speak with an attorney about disputing the evaluation, even if they think it may be correct.  The service member may use various arguments to challenge the referred evaluation. The service member should use every opportunity to preserve their career and integrity.

Branch Boards

Each branch offers its members the chance to appeal a negative or referred evaluation once filed in their military record.  Specific boards receive the appeal submissions such as the:

or the more general boards such as:

Service members should consider appealing a negative evaluation.  An appeal could ensure the service member’s career and military retirement remain secure.


If you or someone you know may receive or may have already received a referred evaluation, contact the experienced professionals at Crisp and Associates for a free consultation about your options.