« The More Things Change... | Main | Local Terrorism »

August 09, 2004

On the subject of John Kerry's military records and the incomplete release thereof, I was going to speculate on the possibility that his Officer Evaluation Reports (OERs) might be less than stellar — hence the reluctance to release the full record.

The OER, known during the Vietnam era as the Fitness Report (FITREP), is the report card given to officers. (NCOs, naturally, receive NCOERs.) A good report isn't necessarily good enough, but a bad OER is a career killer... and the badness doesn't have to be obvious to civilian eyes. There is a culture of understatement, and language that might at first glance appear to be glowing approval may actually be a slap in the face.

For example, this may sound great to a civilian:

This officer is a fine example to his subordinates and can perform their duties as well as or better than they can.

But to other officers, what it really says is:

This chump is supposed to be better than his subordinates. Obviously, he does not compare well to his peers, and should not be promoted.

OK, I made that example up myself, but it illustrates the point.

Now, I expected that Kerry's FITREPs might have been in the material withheld from public release. So I Googled it, and... I was wrong.

Some or all of the FITREPs were in the released material, but it still doesn't look too good for Kerry. McQ at QandO has already addressed the matter.

Posted by Russ at 08:09 PM, August 9, 2004 in Politics

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Can you please give us an example of what a good FITREP look like.
Thank You

Posted by: luke at August 29, 2004 05:27 AM