2013-11-01 / Community Events

ROCKS organization provides mentorship for Army officer development

By Capt. Devon Thomas
35th Signal Brigade Public Affairs


Lt. Col. Curtis Iden, the 369th Signal Battalion, 15th Regimental Signal Brigade, commander, and featured speaker during the Fort Gordon Masters chapter of the ROCKS Inc. shared his thoughts about promotions to officers Oct. 17 at the Gordon Club. The “How do I get promoted?” series are seminars designed to prepare officers for promotion boards and upcoming service selection boards in a time of downsizing in the Army. 
Photo by Capt. Devon O. Thomas / 35th Signal Brigade Public Affairs Lt. Col. Curtis Iden, the 369th Signal Battalion, 15th Regimental Signal Brigade, commander, and featured speaker during the Fort Gordon Masters chapter of the ROCKS Inc. shared his thoughts about promotions to officers Oct. 17 at the Gordon Club. The “How do I get promoted?” series are seminars designed to prepare officers for promotion boards and upcoming service selection boards in a time of downsizing in the Army. Photo by Capt. Devon O. Thomas / 35th Signal Brigade Public Affairs The Fort Gordon Masters chapter of the ROCKS Inc. held an Officer Professional Development seminar Oct. 17 at the Gordon Club.

ROCKS was formed in 1974 to provide professional development and social interaction to strengthen the officer corps.

The event was a part of the chapter’s “How do I get promoted?” series. The seminars were designed to prepare for promotion and upcoming service selection boards in a time of downsizing in the Army. Lt. Col. Curtis F. Iden, the 369th Signal Battalion, 15th Regimental Signal Brigade commander, served as the featured speaker.

“This was a great opportunity for officers to come together and discuss the importance of maintaining accurate records for career progression,” said Iden.

Officers in attendance brought their personal Officer Record Brief to review during the seminar. The ORB is a one page Army document that serves as a management tool for officer promotions and assignments. Information includes personal data, qualification and skills, school and career history. Iden covered every aspect of the ORB and how to properly prepare it for success at their board process.

“I recommend that officers update their ORB through their unit S- 1 personnel section or branch manager as changes takes place” said Iden.

Iden urged officers to certify their promotion board file as early as possible in the promotion board selection process, and update their official military personnel file at least once a year.

1st Lt. Vernon Shank, the vice president of operations for the chapter, said Iden was very informative and the event was timely due to the recent changes regarding Army officer evaluation reports and the current military drawdown.

“I think the event was very informative and helpful to all officers who attended. I sure did learn a lot, and this will definitely ensure that I am set up for success for upcoming boards,” said Shank.

More information on The ROCKS Inc. can be found on www.rocksinc.org. For information on the Masters chapter, contact ftgordonrocks@gmail.com.

Developmental Tips

• Go through the unit S1/AG early in the promotion selection board process. Once the ORB is correct, certify it before deadline.

• Officer Promotion Selection Boards are announced 90 days in advance.

• Start the ORB/photo/OMPF review process at least 90 days prior to the convene date of the promotion board to ensure the promotion board selection file is at its best.

• Ensure to use duty titles that are recognizable across all branches on the ORB, most board members are of other career branches and may not understand certain “technical” positions known through the Signal Corps, Medical Corps, Aviation, Infantry, etc.

• If a duty title was not a part of a unit with a unit number, use the UIC instead.

• Ensure the “Organization” portion is in a standard format if referencing multiple duty titles in the same unit.

• Having unorganized or ORB with substantial errors can upset board members, causing them to discard the ORB for promotion.

• In “Section X-Remarks” section, information to included is: deployment info, profiles and any other programs the officer is a part of (ie. married couples program, etc).

• Military education schools, top secret clearances and advanced civilian education are huge factors that can set officers apart from their peers during selection boards.

• Ensure deployment information is accurate in “Section I” of ORB

• DA photo awards should match awards listed on ORB.

• Ensure all OERs listed in the board file correspond to duty titles listed on the ORB.

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