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Promotion Board Approval Process

When a promotion selection board adjourns, the results from the board are included in a package called the Board Record of Proceedings (or ROP for short). This package is then sent up through an approval process. The final approval authority varies depending on which board it is. All active duty LCDR through CAPT boards must ultimately be approved and “confirmed” by the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC for short). Reserve CAPT boards must also be Senate confirmed. Active duty CWO boards become final upon signature by the President of the United States. Reserve LCDR & CDR boards require the Deputy Secretary of Defense's signature, and Reserve CWO boards become final upon signature by the Secretary of the Navy.

The amount of time required for a ROP to complete this process will also vary. As a result of extreme delays in releasing the results of some FY-99 boards, an initiative was developed to streamline the process. A goal of 100 days from adjournment of the board to release of the results was proposed.

The reason for a goal of 100 days is that the approval process has several locations where the ROP stops for review. In addition, at each of these locations there is more than one individual or office doing a review of the ROP. For example, at the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), there are actually 10 offices with 26 individuals that must review the ROP before it is presented to the Deputy Secretary of Defense (DEPSECDEF) for signature. Because of this a ROP may “appear” to sit at one location for a long time, even weeks.

A few additional notes about the process:

The stop at the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) presently applies ONLY to active duty CAPT through LCDR board ROPs. CJCS does a review of the statistics for joint billet assignments for those selected. Reserves and CWO’s do not require this review. Among staff corps officers only Supply and CEC have joint requirements and receive this review. This stop may be quite lengthy (several weeks) on the senior active duty boards.

After the ROP has been approved and signed by the DEPSECDEF at OSD, two things occur. First, the ROP package continues on to the President of the United States. Second, notification is given to SECNAV that the ROP has been approved by SECDEF. This in turn triggers two events; first an ALNAV message is prepared for release to announce the entire select list. This ALNAV message is released once it has been signed by the SECNAV. Second, the Chief of Naval Personnel is tasked with placing the results into the Bupers On Line (BOL) system and unit COs may view the results of any eligibles in their command that were considered by the board. As these two processes run separately, there might be a time difference between when each is available. One or the other is usually released before the second one. There is no longer a "48 hour" notification period. Individuals may check on their own status (select or non-select) in BOL once released

All CAPT, the active duty CDR and active duty LCDR Promotion Boards must go to the Senate Armed Services Committee for confirmation. Without confirmation, promotion cannot occur even though selected. Likewise, frocking cannot be authorized without Senate confirmation of the select list.  The Senate goes into recess in August and if a board has not completed all of the previous steps before the Senate recesses, then confirmation will not be done until September at the earliest.

Promotions begin on 01 October of the new FY, IF final signing/confirmation authority has taken place.  Promotions take place in accordance with the Promotion Pay Plans established by N-13. There are separate promotion plans for Active Duty and Reserve. These promotion plans are typically not published until after the results for all competitive categories in that paygrade (both line and staff) have been released. On occasion they have not been released until after Senate confirmation.

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