Overview Information on Writing Military Style How to Write an Effective Bullet Examples and Quiz
Writing Military Style Why is it so important? – Recognition: Quarterly and annual awards, career-specific awardshelps to build careers – Promotion: Enlisted Performance Reports (EPRs) and Officer Performance Reports (OPRs) are critical to the promotion system they can MAKE or BREAK a career!
Writing Military Style, cont. Who needs to know how to write using military style? –You do here as students –Supervisors –Others involved in the writing and reviewing process
Writing Military Style, cont. When can I use this information? –For yourself: Promotion Recommendation Forms (PRFs), OPRs and 1206s –For your airmen: EPRs and 1206s, other enlisted promotion packages
Basic Formatting Techniques Definition (T&Q): A clear, concise bottom line of an idea or a single accomplishment and its impact.
Basic Formatting Techniques Definition (T&Q): A clear, concise bottom line of an idea or a single accomplishment and its impact. NOTE: Bullet format breaks the rules of standard grammarfocuses on concise specifics rather than general information
Basic Formatting Techniques Punctuation and Grammar Telegraphic bullets do not have periods Use the double dash (--), ellipsis (…) and semicolon (;) to indicate a pause or break in thought Use exclamation marks sparingly Generally, avoid using articles (a, an, the), conjunctions (and, but, or) and pronouns (he, she, him, her) Avoid using negative words (isnt, cant)
Basic Formatting Techniques, cont. Size of Bullets: –One to three lines long; primary shouldnt have more than one or two secondary (sub-) bullets Sub-bullets indicate result, impact or scope Length: –Leave as little white space as possible….avoid carrying over a single word to the next linedont waste! Maximize all the white space in the block….
Writing Tips ObjectiveObjective: Describe an accurate word picture of an individual in the readers mind; approach this as a top priority OutcomeOutcome: This can have a direct impact on individuals careersyoull have the awesome opportunity to help others obtain their goals and dreams!
Writing Tips, cont. Use hard-hitting facts, actions and phrases; start with a strong, fact-filled statement Each bullet should contain substance; limit fluff Be enthusiastic, and make your writing come alive! Use active voice…. Use common terms everyday people can understand, instead of using job specific jargon Validate with comments from outside agencies (HQ USAF, MAJCOM, Wing, etc.)
Three Parts to an Effective Bullet Action Result (aka accomplishment) Impact
Three Parts to an Effective Bullet ACTION: What did the person do? –Be specific, yet brief –Focus on what the person did and their leadership and management abilities Example: Managed 49 LG block training
Examples Other words to begin the action: Implemented Spearheaded Performed Masterfully orchestrated
Three Parts to an Effective Bullet RESULT: What occurred because of the action? –Again, specific but brief –Quantify as much as possible: use percentages, numbers, time/money values (saved), number supervised and resource oversight Example: provided superb training to 350 people
Three Parts to an Effective Bullet IMPACT: What is the overall significance? –Qualify and quantify here too…helps the reader know why each action and result was so important –How did this impact the overall mission and/or bigger picture? Example: reduced overdues to zero
Three Parts to an Effective Bullet Completed bullet: Managed 49 LG block training; provided superb training to 350 people…reduced overdues to zero
Other Tips of the Trade The Last Bullets in Rating Sections –Stratification: use to rank top personnel; show how individual stands out from peers (top x%, my #1, my best)…. hard-hitting, enthusiastic, with strong written recommendation for promotion #3 of 89 SMSgts at USAFA None better! My #1 choice for training manager Best in the training business! USAF Education and Training Manager of the Year (HQs Level) for 2001!
Other Tips of the Trade, cont. The Last Bullets in Rating Sections –Promotion recommendations for EPRs Promotion to chief this board a must! No recommendation may be taken as dont promote by readers, and viewed negatively by board members –PME or next job recommendation for officers –NOTE: Keep the last bullet to one line
I n t e g r i t y - S e r v i c e - E x c e l l e n c e Headquarters U.S. Air Force I n t e g r i t y - S e r v i c e - E x c e l l e n c e CY02 Central Chief Master Sergeant Evaluation Board 15 Oct 02 15 Oct 02 02 Headquarters U.S. Air Force
I n t e g r i t y - S e r v i c e - E x c e l l e n c e 15 Oct 02 Observations STRATIFICATION IS A BIG, BIG DEAL!!!!!! #1 of XX SMSgts #1 of XX SNCOs Top % of XX SMSgts Top % of XX SNCOs If a rater writes top 1% of xxx SNCOs/SMSgts…make sure the XX is over 100 Need Senior Rater Endorsement Consistent w/TIG 0-10 senior rater/0-6 senior rater…carry the same weight Words/stratification is the key…not the grade of the senior rater CHIEFS HAVE LOTS OF INFLUENCE When Chiefs write, make this individual a chief, the other chiefs listen!
Other Tips of the Trade, cont. For EPRs you can use additional duties and volunteer/community support activities, but use sparingly For 1206s, typical headings include: –Leadership and Job Performance in Primary Duty –Self Improvement –Base/Community Involvement
A Word of Advice…. Be careful using certain words that may weaken phrases that otherwise would be strong. These can make a sterling performer into an instant weak one…. one-of-the rarely seldom almost usually
Good Example -Expertly administered the training requirements for 143 individuals and tracked 129 special operations courses; achieved a 100 percent course utilization rate--enhanced overall mobility readiness Has an action, result and impact
Poor Example -Truly an outstanding SNCO, leader, supervisor and manager who possesses resourcefulness, initiative and charter to accept and succeed at the most demanding of tasks--exudes the Air Force in all he does Action has no hard-hitting facts or result and impact; reads more like a narrative description