5 ways to bulletproof your next EPR

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton
  • 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs
Action, impact, result - when it comes to enlisted performance reports those three words can be the bane of many Service members. Every year, Airmen struggle to find just the right words to accurately fill the 15 lines comprising their EPRs.

With the static closeout for staff sergeants right around the corner, Jan. 31, followed by senior airmen and below March 31, supervisors are looking for the best way to implement the Enlisted Evaluation System and Weighted Airman Promotion System changes within any given EPR.

To help take some of the guesswork out of what makes a strong EPR, here are some words of wisdom from a few senior noncommissioned officers throughout the 501st Combat Support Wing.

1. "Tell it how it is. Be honest and truthful."

Chief Master Sgt. Michael Odgen, 423 Air Base Group superintendent, said one of the most important factors he considers when reviewing EPRs is honesty. As one of the U.S. Air Force's core values, integrity is essential when crafting a strong performance report. Odgen encourages Airmen to be realistic and not stretch the bullets they craft.

2. "Complete the things you have the power to control."

Airmen are entrusted with incredible responsibility every day, and encouraged to perform their missions admirably, said Master Sgt. Nathan Pollard, 423rd ABG first sergeant. Whether it is a certification, college degree or even a physical training test, he advises Airmen to excel at the things they can control in their professional lives.

3. "Look at involvement outside your work center."

Seeing the bigger picture is something leadership at all levels strives for. Senior Master Sgt. Bradford Blake, 422nd Communications Squadron plans and resources flight chief, advises Airmen to be a mentor and a leader across boundaries, and look for ways to develop a higher level impact.

4. "Do the things no one else wants to do."

Master Sgt. Rocky Casto, 423rd ABG first sergeant, recommends Airmen actively look for off-duty opportunities to better themselves and their community. To ensure Airmen are set apart from the crowd, Casto said they need to put forth the effort toward enhancing these relationships that benefit the Air Force.

5.  "Know your leadership potential."

Understanding what the mission is and how it is accomplished is absolutely essential, said Mark Gagnon, 422nd Air Base Squadron deputy commander and retired chief master sergeant. Evaluators look at EPRs for future leadership potential. Gagnon said Airmen must know what the Air Force asks of them, how successful they are at accomplishing those tasks and what was the overall impact of those accomplishments.

While not turn-by-turn directions to a "firewall five" EPR, these senior noncommissioned officers agree Airmen must take ownership of their careers and find innovative ways to set themselves apart from the rest of the force.