Written by Master Chief Petty Officer Jason Vanderhaden, Command Master Chief for the Deputy Commandant for Mission Support
The new Enlisted Evaluation System (EES) is finally here! Now that it’s up and running in Direct Access, there are a lot of important changes you need to know about.
The new evaluation system has many benefits over the old system. The new EES should save you time, give you a more effective evaluation tool, provide you more guidance on how to evaluate members, and give the Coast Guard better oversight over the enlisted evaluation system. A lot of effort over the course of several years went into this important update that provides an improved tool to effectively evaluate our enlisted members.
Many people ask me if we changed the forms because of marks inflation. Although there may be some inflation in certain ratings and rates, the marks averages have not increased in the past 10 years overall. The main reason the forms were updated was to align evaluations with what was being taught in the recently-mandated enlisted leadership continuum. Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steve Cantrell pushed hard for an enlisted leadership continuum where one course builds on the next. The new evaluations also build on each other based on performance expectations that are taught in the leadership schools. I encourage you to read the Commandant’s Leadership Development Framework COMDINST 5351.3 and use it as aid to help you prepare evaluations and counsel your members on their performance.
For those of you who evaluate enlisted members (and those writing bullets for their marks), the change you may appreciate the most is the 40 percent reduction in the number of competencies. Hopefully, this reduces the time it takes you to complete a set of marks. Reducing the competencies allowed us to remove some of the redundancies and clarify the wording in the description blocks. We also reduced the lines of text available to describe performance for a mark of 1, 2, 3 or 7. This might be a challenge for some of you, but I’m confident it will save you time while still informing boards and panels about your members’ performance. A change you should be aware of is the new requirement to provide comments for a “3.” This may seem like more work, but it is important information to counsel your members and to inform boards and panels.
We wanted the new system to continually improve and evolve as needed, so the Coast Guard created an EPM-3 directorate who will give quality assurance to the evaluations and make updates as necessary to policy or guidance. EPM-3 has their own CG Portal Page with lots of great information that will continually be updated. On the EPM-3 site you will find the new forms, unit-level briefing information, FAQs, and the most updated policy documents. Please visit their page and look for resources that can make your life easier and make your evaluations effective feedback tools for your people. I encourage you to visit EPM-3’s Portal Page to learn more about the potential block, “not ready” versus “not recommended,” and other changes.
We hope you enjoy using the new EES; please give us feedback through your Chiefs’ Mess if you have ideas for improvement.