How to Write a Navy Eval
The purpose and goal of the Eval is to accurately and fully describe performance. Listing significant achievements does provide some insight into a person's capabilities but it doesn't provide the whole picture. A list of achievements doesn't give any indication as to the character or personality of the ratee. A Seaman might have a long list of impressive accomplishments but be an unruly Sailor with a bad attitude. He or she might be an expert in their field but the absolute worst at sharing experience or getting along with others. And those social qualities are very important, fully as important as a person's technical skills! So, in addition to describing a person's professional and technical skills, we need a way to convey to the reader his social skills, his integrity, his character, his loyalty and other qualities which are not apparent when merely reading a list of accomplishments. The introduction is where this is done. These are the only lines where descriptive, subjective terms and adjectives are tolerated and even encouraged.
The definition of subjective is: unsupported or biased. For example, my opinion of a Sailor may be that he is loyal and leadership material. If I don't provide examples of achievements that demonstrate those qualities, then my statements were merely my own opinion, biased, unsupported by facts, and subjective. The opposite of subjective is objective. Objective statements are statements that are clearly true because they're supported by facts. If I said that YN2 Smith processed 200 EVALs, more than any other member of his department, that would be an objective statement because it's demonstrated by facts. If I said YN2 Smith was the most patriotic member of the Navy, that would be a subjective statement because, first, patriotism is difficult to measure, but also because no one knows how patriotic the rest of the Navy is. This statement would be just my opinion and subjective. The introduction of the EVAL and the summary are the only areas where subjective statements are allowed.
Note that there are 16 lines total in the Comments on Performance block and a two-line introduction will use up 1/8th of that space. So, while the Introduction is vital and neccessary, it should be limited to two lines if possible to allow maximum room for listing achievements.
Introduction Statement Examples:
Use Relevant Descriptions
How should you describe the ratee's performance? Think about what this person means to you. Think about how his or her presence has influenced your workcenter. What was it like before he or she arrived? How have things improved? What facets of his or her personality stand out the most clearly? When you have it, summarize that quality in a couple of well-chosen adjectives and then summarize the positive results of that quality.
Below is a list of positive adjectives that you might want to use to describe your troop. Be careful not to use two different words that describe the same trait. For example if you wrote that a person was, "the epitome of efficiency and effectiveness", those words mean roughly the same thing. You could have used another word that more expansively described the person's character such as "dependable and efficient".
Many units insist on stratification statements on the first line of the Eval. Stratification is a word meaning to describe a person's performance compared to their peers. Management wants us to document exactly how the ratee compares to his co-workers of equal rank in the workcenter. This means that someone in the work center will be listed as number 1, someone will be ranked as number 2, someone will be judged to be number 3 and so on. This can be a really challenging task as everyone has different skills and excels at one thing or another. We're all good at something. But, if required, it has to be done no matter how hard it is. When ranking your personnel, the following traits should be considered:
- timeliness - shows up to work on time, rested and prepared
- dependability - completes assigned tasks without supervison
- appearance - uniform is satisfactory and meet fitness standards
- behavior - respect for authority and off-duty performance
- ability - capable of completing assigned tasks/progressing
Concentrate on one person at a time and rate them 1 to 5 on each of the above categories. Then, add up the scores. The highest score will be number one. Ordering subordinates this way helps to make the process objective and logical.
- #1 of 4 Petty Officers--a real go-getter--responsible for returning enthusiasm and efficiency to this workcenter!
- My #1 of 6 Seaman Apprentices; chosen to represent unit as Sailor of the Quarter, 7th Fleet
- #1 of five POs! Outstanding leader and top performer--delivered stellar results during Global War on Terrorism
The format for the introduction (and also the summary) is different than the bullet statements required in the main body of the Comments on Performance block. The introduction requires a narrative format although it's OK to use phrases and incomplete sentences. It's OK to capitalize entire words and even phrases but use capitalization sparingly. Reserve its use for when you truly need to emphasize something. It's OK to capitalize part of the introduction, as in, "MY BEST WATCH OFFICER EVER! PROMOTE NOW!" but you should only do it for your best troops.
In summary, the Introduction is arguably the most important section of the Eval. It's the portion of the Comments on Performance block that are read first and provide the tone for the entire performance report. It carries the fully qualified opinion of the supervisor. By leaving out a promotion statement here, the rater is saying that, even though I describe this person in glowing terms, I really don't think he should be put in charge of other people. After the Supervisor has documented his or her assessment of the individual's character, he can go on to support that assessment by listing the subject's accomplishments.