[EDITORIALS]Army promotion system flawedAs more details regarding improper Army promotions have come to light, a close look at Army promotion documents yields many items that don’t make sense.
The documents show that almost all 52 Army officers that were on a list composed by Army Headquarters received an “A,” while those who were competing against them received mostly “C’s” or “D’s.” In addition, judging standards such as “virtue” or “talent” prompt the suspicion that they are vague categories through which higher-ups could improperly influence the promotions process.
The evaluation process for promotion to the general level includes two steps. A candidate is given points for “standard performance,” with a maximum of 85 points.
The person is also given points for “potential capabilities,” with a maximum of 15 points. Whether a person becomes a general depends on the candidate’s potential capabilities. Typically, there isn’t much difference between candidates’ standard performance evaluations that are prepared by Army Headquarters.
Thus, on the evaluation of “potential capabilities,” there is a need for more concrete standards and a justifiable basis acceptable to everybody.
Nevertheless, the explanations given by Army Headquarters so far lack such concrete standards and basis.
The Army headquarters has to understand that saying, “committee members evaluated candidates based on performance records without any favoritism,” is not sufficient to shake off suspicions.
As the current case is awaiting a decision by the military court, the above concerns need to be addressed. The problem should not become a war of words between the military prosecution and Army Headquarters.
The conflict between these two organizations shows that both sides have a fundamentally different view on the current promotion system.
There is a need to improve the current promotion system. First, evaluation standards that are vague and can be influenced by subjective opinions from the top have to be excluded or improved.
Objectivity needs to be ensured so that everyone can accept the results of an evaluation. There needs to be a process that can explain logically to a candidate why he or she was not promoted despite receiving high marks in the standard performance evaluation.