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Enlisted promotion system changes continue with weighted factor adjustments

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- -- WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- This January, changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System (WAPS) will continue with adjustments to the scoring model for promotions to technical sergeant and below, all designed to help ensure job performance is the most important factor when evaluating and identifying Airmen for promotion.

The current WAPS enlisted performance report calculation model for technical sergeant and below uses the last five years of enlisted performance reports (up to 10 EPRs total) with a maximum value of 135 points. The revised system places increased emphasis on job performance, specifically relative to recent performance.

The weighted EPR points will increase to 250 points and only the most recent closed out EPRs (up to three) when an Airman is promotion eligible at each grade will be considered. In other words, an Airman's EPR calculation will reset to zero after each promotion.

The first EPR produced on the static close out date after an Airman becomes promotion eligible for the next higher grade will be the first weighted EPR used for WAPS points. Airmen will continue to accumulate weighted EPRs until they are selected for promotion to the next higher grade; however, points will only come from the three most recent EPRs. Any EPRs in excess of the maximum three will not be considered.

Those Airmen entering their first year of promotion eligibility will have one EPR used to calculate weighted points. Airmen with more than one EPR on file since becoming promotion eligible for their next higher grade will have up to three EPRs used for calculation.

In the coming months, the Air Force will release new enlisted performance reports, one each for airman basic through technical sergeant, master sergeant through senior master sergeant and chief master sergeants. A change to the new evaluations creates a distinct performance assessment during every reporting period, with a second section of the form documenting a commander's promotion recommendation. The promotion recommendation will only be provided when an Airman is promotion eligible, with that rating contributing to an Airman's EPR score in WAPS.

For the 2015 cycle, prior to releasing the new EPR forms, the Air Force will only count EPRs (maximum of three) closed out while an Airman was promotion eligible. The service plans to implement the new forms over the next year with all in place for the 2016 promotion cycle.

Under the revised system, when an Airman has three years or more in the eligibility window, the top EPR is worth 50 percent, the middle EPR is worth 30 percent and the oldest of the three EPRs is worth 20 percent of the weighted EPR points. If an Airman has only two promotion-eligible EPRs, then the top EPR is worth 60 percent of the weighted EPR points and the bottom EPR is worth 40 percent. For Airmen with only one promotion eligible EPR, it is worth 100 percent of their weighted EPR points. These changes also increase emphasis on an Airman's most recent duty performance.

Other changes to the WAPS model include a reduction in the points associated with time in service and time in grade to place further emphasis on performance. The multipliers for calculating total time-in-grade and time-in-service points will be reduced by one third for the 2015 promotion cycle, and future reductions are planned for subsequent years with complete elimination in approximately three years.

Finally, the Air Force is implementing minimum score requirements on both the skills knowledge test (SKT) and promotion fitness examination (PFE). Airmen must achieve a minimum score of 40 on each promotion examination with a minimum combined score from both examinations of 90 or higher. An Airman scoring a 40 on either the SKT or the PFE will be required to score a minimum of 50 or higher on their other examination.

For Senior NCOs administered the U.S. Air Force Supervisory Examination, a minimum score of 45 will be required for promotion consideration. Additionally, those Airmen testing PFE only, to include those who have recently gone through retraining, will have their PFE score doubled during the promotion calculation. Airmen in this category will require a minimum score of 45 for a total of 90 points after the examination score is doubled. Airmen who fail to obtain the required minimum scores will be considered promotion non-selects.

Staff sergeants competing for technical sergeant will be the first group impacted by the new weighted factors when the technical sergeant promotion list is released in late spring.

"The latest changes continue the implementation of our new enlisted evaluation and promotion system and are consistent with our commitment to ensure performance is the primary driver when it comes to selecting Airmen for promotion," said Lt. Gen. Sam Cox, the deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. "Additional information on the master sergeant evaluation board and details on the changes to the Senior NCO promotion process will be released in the coming months."

Below is the overall structure of the new WAPS scoring model:

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