The Board, established pursuant to authority contained in 10 U.S.C. 1552, convened at the call of the Chairperson on the above date. In accordance with Army Regulation 15-185, the application and the available military records pertinent to the corrective action requested were reviewed to determine whether to authorize a formal hearing, recommend that the records be corrected without a formal hearing, or to deny the application without a formal hearing if it is determined that insufficient relevant evidence has been presented to demonstrate the existence of probable material error or injustice.
The applicant requests correction of military records as stated in the application to the Board and as restated herein.
The Board considered the following evidence:
Exhibit A - Application for correction of military
Exhibit B - Military Personnel Records (including
advisory opinion, if any)
APPLICANT REQUESTS: Promotion reconsideration to captain by a special selection board (SSB).
APPLICANT STATES: That he was non-selected twice due to not having completed the required civilian education requirements. He has worked constantly towards his degree since enrolling in 1995. He completed his last class in December 1998, and it took several weeks to grade his final and arrange payment for his account before his degree was conferred and awarded on 25 January 1999. He submits his degree confirmation letter and a copy of his college transcript from Liberty University in support of his request.
He also submits statements in his own behalf and statements of support from his state senator, The Adjutant General of Mississippi, and his brigade and battalion commanders, in support of his request. He also submits completion certificates for his military and civilian education, and several highly rated officer evaluation reports (OER’s).
EVIDENCE OF RECORD: The applicant's military records show:
While serving in the Reserve as a first lieutenant he was considered and non-selected for promotion to captain by the 1997 and 1998 Reserve Components Selection Boards (RCSB’s). The Boards convened on 12 November 1997 and 9 November 1998, respectively. He was not qualified for promotion based on the lack of the required civilian education.
Army Regulation 135-155 prescribes the policies and procedures for promotion of Reserve officers. This regulation specifies that promotion reconsideration by an SSB may only be based on erroneous nonconsideration or material error which existed in the records at the time of consideration. Material error in this context is one or more errors of such a nature that, in the judgment of the reviewing official (or body), it caused an individual’s nonselection by a promotion board and, that had such error(s) been corrected at the time the individual was considered, a reasonable chance would have resulted that the individual would have been recommended for promotion. The regulation also provides that boards are not required to divulge the proceedings or the reason(s) for nonselection, except where an individual is not qualified due to noncompletion of required military and civilian education.
The regulation provides that in order to be qualified for promotion to captain, a Bachelor’s degree on or before the convening date of the respective promotion board is required. There are no provisions for waiving civilian education.
The Chief, Promotion and Notifications Branch, Office of Promotion, PERSCOM,
expressed the opinion that the applicant was not educationally qualified when considered by the 1997 and 1998 RCSB’s, and an OER for the period 1 July 1996 through 30 June 1997 was not seen by the 1997 board. Information received from the applicant reflects he completed his bachelor’s degree on 2 January 1999. In accordance with Army Regulation 135-155, an officer must meet the required civilian education prior to the convening date of the promotion board. Since he was found not educationally qualified, the OER would not be a basis for reconsideration. Based on these facts, it was determined that the applicant does not have a basis for reconsideration by an SSB.
The opinion was forwarded to the applicant for his acknowledgment/rebuttal on 14 January 2000. In his response dated 4 February 2000, the applicant states that he advised the 1998 selection board in writing that he was taking his last class to meet the education requirements. The Board met in the last weeks of November and the first week of December of 1998, and he finished his requirements at the end of December 1998. He further stated that he spoke with the registrar’s office at Liberty University and was advised that degrees are conferred twice a year. Had he finished his requirements in September or October of 1998, he would still not have been able to get a degree confirmation until January 1999, the date all degrees for that period were conferred. At the time of his 1998 consideration, he pointed out how close he was to getting his degree.
DISCUSSION: Considering all the evidence, allegations, and information presented by the applicant, together with the evidence of record, applicable law and regulations, and advisory opinion(s), it is concluded:
1. In view of the circumstances in this case, the applicant is not entitled to promotion reconsideration to captain by an SSB. He has not shown error, injustice, or inequity for the relief he now requests.
2. His contentions that he has worked constantly on completing his degree and due to final grading and payment to his account he was not awarded his degree until 25 January 1999, after the 1998 selection board met, have been noted. However, the applicant did not complete his required civilian education until after the 1997 and 1998 RCSB’s convened.
3. The Board further notes that the applicant knew or should have known that completion of a Bachelor’s degree has been a standing regulatory requirement since 1994. The general requirements and workings of the system are widely
known and specific details such as RCSB dates, promotion zones, and educational requirements are widely published in official, quasi-official and unofficial publications, and in official communications. The applicant needed to insure, well in advance, that his record would present his career and qualifications to that board in the best possible light.
4. Pertinent regulations specify that an officer must meet the civilian education requirement prior to the convening date of the board. The regulation does not provide provisions for waving civilian education.
5. The Board also notes the sacrifices and commitment that must be made by citizen soldiers between family, employment and soldiering in the Guard/Reserve, and that the applicant received support from his chain of command. The education requirement pertains to all officers however, and all officers are considered for promotion to captain under equal standards. His attainment of his degree is commendable, however, all lieutenants, as in the applicant’s case, were required to have completed their degree prior to the promotion board convening dates, or face rejection.
6. The Board also notes that an OER for the period ending 30 June 1997 was not seen by the 1997 selection board; however, his records would have shown that he was not educationally qualified for promotion to captain in 1997. Therefore, he would not be qualified and eligible for promotion to captain by an SSB under 1997 criteria.
7. In order to justify correction of a military record the applicant must show to the satisfaction of the Board, or it must otherwise satisfactorily appear, that the record is in error or unjust. The applicant has failed to submit evidence that would satisfy the aforementioned requirement.
8. In view of the foregoing, there is no basis for granting the applicant's request.
DETERMINATION: The applicant has failed to submit sufficient relevant evidence to demonstrate the existence of probable error or injustice.
________ ________ __vbc___ GRANT
________ ________ ________ GRANT FORMAL HEARING
__aao___ __le_____ ________ DENY APPLICATION