Army Writing Style

Transmit a clear message in a single rapid reading that is free of errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage.


The Army Writing Style

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Army Writing Style logo

The Goal of the army writing style is to Transmit a clear message in a single rapid reading that is generally free of errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage.

Here at we work to provide you the greatest FREE resources to help you in your Army writing endeavors, such as Army Evaluations (OERs and NCOERs), Army Awards, and Army Correspondence, such as memorandums or official correspondence.

We will work to bring you the latest in bullet comments, award example, DA Form 638 examples, and other writing techniques. If you see something missing or you would like us to add some additional content please let us know.

Dan Elder


Information Paper How To

Information and discussion papers are used to present information in general or information specifically for a discussion. An information paper is a one-page discussion of facts, plus opinions, suggestions, arguments, or matters needing resolution.

Information Paper how to

Information Paper


New AR 670-1 impact

With the new AR 670-1 in effect, what do you think will be some bullets on an NCOER that could harm an NCO when superiors are reviewing them for promotion.


Discussion on this NCOER

ArmyWritingStyleToday I would like to look at an NCOER from a fellow soldier. All personel identification has been removed to protect their identity. I would like feedback to determine what fellow leaders have to say about the bullet comments and the senior raters comments. What could be worded differently, are the bullets well written, is the rating justified?



Effective Army Writing Class

Here is a free Effective Army Writing Class from our partner site, download a copy and modify it for your own use.

CSM Dan Elder, USA, Retired


A humble hello

I would like to take a moment to introduce myself as the new admin of My name is SSG Patterson and I have been in the Army in one form or another for almost 12 years (Active Army first now AGR in the National Guard).

My goal is to expand on the great knowledge the admins have shared and to bring relevant articles, topics, and ideas to make your writing style more effective.

Thank you and I hope you enjoy the website.

– SSG Patterson



Platoon Sergeant description on a Resume

Here is a sample of a resume write-up for platoon sergeant duty:

Senior Squad Leader / Platoon Sergeant
( Supervisor / Department Manager )

  • Served as a squad leader for a 13 man squad and subsequently as a platoon sergeant of 40 personnel.
  • Mentored and maintained accountability of soldiers within the platoon, providing positive guidance for their personal and professional development
  • Supervised inventory management functions for communications, medical and specialty equipment valued at approximately $2M; conducted a monthly inventory with a 100 percent accuracy rate during a four year period
  • Led over 300 missions during Operation Enduring Freedom; forged relationships with local leaders and trained Afghan forces to improve security and services in region
  • Planned and supervised 120 logistical movements of ten vehicles traveling over 50 miles; completed movements with no delay time and finished ahead of schedule
  • Assisted senior leadership with organizational movement of 500 personnel to and from Afghanistan; coordinated with supporting agencies to ensure all material resources were packaged in accordance with US Customs policy
  • Planned and managed over 50 projects using project management concepts; established work breakdown structures and timelines, forecasted resources and supervised overall completion of projects
  • Oversaw all aspects of platoon’s fitness program; platoon averaged 240 points on the physical fitness test, far exceeding the US Army standard score of 180
  • Assessed training needs and evaluated training effectiveness of platoon; assisted in the development of innovative teaching techniques and conducted professional development seminars
  • Directly responsible for the security and maintenance of living quarters for 50 soldiers; ensured all soldiers quality of life needs were sufficiently met
  • Analyzed violations of organizational code of conduct and administered disciplinary actions in accordance with published regulations
  • Recipient of the Bronze Star recognizing exemplary performance and leadership in a combat environment



1. Roles for rating officials:

Rater: The rater’s primary role is that of evaluation, focusing on performance and performance counseling. Rater will:

a. Counsel the rated NCO on his duty performance and professional development at least quarterly throughout the rating period. Define and discuss the duty description for part III of the NCO-ER with the rated NCO during these sessions.

b. Prepare a separate DA Form 2166-8-1 for each rated NCO. The form will be used together with a working copy of the NCO-ER for conducting quarterly performance counseling.

c. Assess the performance of the rated NCO using all reasonable means.

d. Prepare a fair and accurate report evaluating the NCO’s duty performance, values/NCO responsibilities, and potential.

Senior rater: The senior rater’s role is primarily that of evaluation, focusing on potential, over-watching the performance evaluation, and mentoring. Senior rater will:

a. Use all reasonable means to become familiar with the rated NCO’s performance throughout the rating period. This includes a periodic review of the counseling checklist to ensure initial and quarterly counseling is being accomplished.

b. Prepare a fair, accurate report evaluating the NCO’s duty performance, professionalism, and potential.

c. Obtain the rated NCO’s signature in part II of the NCO-ER. Ensure the rated NCO is aware that his signature does not constitute agreement or disagreement with the evaluations of the rater and senior rater.

Reviewer: The reviewer is responsible for providing rating safeguard and over-watch. He may comment only when in disagreement with the rater and/or senior rater. He will:

a. Ensure that the proper rater and senior rater complete the report.

b. Examine the evaluations rendered by the rater and senior rater to ensure they are clear, consistent, and fair in accordance with known facts. Special care must be taken to ensure the specific bullets support the appropriate “excellence”, “success”, or “needs improvement” ratings.

c. Indicate concurrence or nonconcurrence with the rater and/or senior rater by annotating the appropriate box with an ‘X’ in part II and adding an enclosure (not to exceed one page), when the nonconcurrence box is marked.

2. Tips for Rating Officials:


• The best advice to all NCOs and officers who rate NCOs is get a copy of the Counseling Checklist/Record, read it, use it, keep it.

• Before counseling, a little extra time spent writing or reviewing the duty description will pay off. If you have a hard time understanding it, then you know the rated NCO will have trouble, so keep it simple.

• The hardest part of counseling is setting standards for your subordinates. For help, start with the examples of standards in the checklist. You can use them as they are or adjust them to fit your situation.

• When you counsel, spend most of your time talking to the future, what should be done, or what should be done better. Don’t dwell on the past. Don’t forget to get the rated NCO’s ideas – then listen.


• Follow the rules for bullet comments. Reports that don’t follow the rules will be returned.

• A ‘NO’ in Part IVa of the NCO-ER is serious since all NCOs are expected to adhere to the values. Don’t use a ‘NO’ as an attention-getter. When you put a ‘NO’ on an NCO-ER mean it and give a clear description of why the value/responsibility was rated ‘NO’.

• Excellence ratings should be clearly articulated as something above the ordinary, something quantifiable, and accomplished during that rating period. Measure the accomplishment against a quantifiable or qualitative standard. The bullet used to justify the excellence should be up front (the first bullet in the block).

• If a soldier’s conduct warrants an Article 15 or Memorandum of Reprimand, clearly he/she should not receive a rating of “among the best” by the rater or ‘1/1′ by the senior rater.

• A rated NCO with all success ratings in Part IV can be rated “among the best” in part Va.


• The better you know the rated NCO, the better you will do your duty as senior rater.

• Check early to see that the rater is counseling and has a checklist for each rated NCO. This will be a matter of command and inspection interest, don’t get caught short.

• When it’s time to rate, make sure rater’s bullets follow the rules, especially double spacing, and no more than two lines per bullet. Also check to see that an excellence rating in Part IV is fully justified by examples. If it isn’t, get with rater and offer help.

• Your primary mission is to evaluate potential, so make sure your bullet comments include recommendations for the future. If you don’t, you could disadvantage the rated NCO.

Example potential bullets sought out by board members:

– promote now/immediately

– promote to SFC with/ahead of peers

– promote if room

– do not promote

– send to ANCOC now

NOTE: Board members tend to view “now” as a stronger statement of potential than “promote ahead of peers.”

• Read carefully the definitions for box Xs. Either a ‘1’ or a ‘2’ represents a very good performance by the NCO and a strong recommendation for promotion.

• senior rater will address the rater’s evaluation of marginal potential. This is meant to force a dialog between these two raters. The senior rater will place one bullet that indicates agreement or disagreement with the marginal rating. If the senior rater agrees, a bullet is necessary that identifies the ratee’s shortcoming. Example: his lack of training skills is responsible for his tank to fail three times to qualify.

• Failure to address potential can send a strong, often unintended, message to a selection board member, e.g., no bullets must mean this NCO has marginal potential. A lack of comments on promotion potential may be interpreted as keep in the same grade.

• IAW AR 623-205, the senior rater obtains the rated NCO’s signature on the NCO-ER.


• Consider yourself in charge. It is your responsibility to see that the evaluation on the NCO-ER is accurate, fair and serves the best interests of the Army. Feedback from the NCO Corps indicated a strong desire to have a reviewer to over-watch the evaluation process – don’t lose the trust.

• Step in as soon as you see something going wrong, try to correct problem with rater and senior rater before report is processed. You can’t force them to change an honest evaluation, but often discussion will resolve the issue.

• When you are unable to resolve the problem, express your nonconcurrence with an enclosure. Only use an enclosure when you have a significant disagreement. Selection boards do not want a third agreement – that wastes everybody’s time; (EREC will reject unauthorized enclosure).

• Remember to check to see that performance counseling is happening. Good counseling will result in better performance, is essential to leader development, and therefore is a subject of command and inspection interest.

• When a report is submitted to you for signature, check to see that any excellence ratings by the rater are fully justified by bullet examples.


About Senior Rater Comments

Senior rater bullet comments are mandatory and should focus on potential for promotion, higher level schooling and positions of greater responsibility, but may also address performance, and/or the evaluation rendered by the rater. Senior rater bullet comments must be clear, concise and should reflect the senior rater’s recommendation to promote the NCO “now”, “ahead of” or “with peers”, or to “not promote.” General terms such as “prime candidate for promotion” or “ready for promotion” often leave the panel members to decipher what is meant. A bullet comment, “consider for promotion” leaves the impression that the soldier has only mediocre backing for promotion.

Marginal ratings given by the rater and fair, or poor ratings in Part V must be addressed by the Senior Rater. It’s important to enter bullets that correspond to the box checks in Vc. and d. Entering a ‘1’ rating for potential but failing to address potential in bullets or entering weak potential bullets may degrade the value of the box check. Likewise, a ‘4’ or ‘5’ box check that is not addressed as a deficiency in the bullets sends a confusing signal on the value of the box check. Sometimes, the senior rater would mark a ‘2’ or ‘3’ block and the written bullets would be “promote now”, or “promote immediately”. Panel members do not know what the intent is for giving this type of rating. Failure to address potential can send a strong, often unintended, message to a selection board member, e.g., ‘No bullets must mean this NCO has marginal potential’. A lack of comments on promotion potential may be interpreted as “keep in the same grade.” The same bullet narrative rules apply here except the senior rater is not restricted to the use of examples like the rater is in Part IVb-f.

The first senior rater bullet in Ve should be the one addressing promotion potential. As noted above, selection panels need to see a clear and concise recommendation for promotion, e.g. promote “now”, “promote ahead of peers” or “promote with peers”, “promote if room”, or to “do not promote.

NOTE: When the senior rater does not meet minimum time requirements for evaluation on the rated NCO, he will enter the following statement in part Ve: “Senior rater does not meet minimum qualifications”. Parts Vc and Vd will not be completed.


Values NCOER bullets

Possesses the moral courage to always do what is right

Totally dedicated to unit, mission and soldiers; a credit to the
NCO Corps

Highly dedicated and professional NCO

Always gives 100% to ensure mission accomplishment

Exhibits high standards of behavior; a model soldier and
extraordinary leader

Committed to mission accomplishment

Outstanding problem solver; dynamic planner and organizer

Handles situation firm and fair; unequaled in promoting harmony
and teamwork

Loyal, truthful and fair

Loyal, honest and sincere NCO

A real team player; makes positive contributions

Committed to excellence and exudes quality in all actions and
assigned tasks

Unequaled loyalty; dedicated and caring leader

Focuses on mission accomplishment with superior results

Dedicated to the values and traditions of the Army

Continually demonstrates leadership and integrity beyond reproach

Innovative and determined in pursuit of goals of the Army

Professional conduct above reproach

Consistently makes things happen with positive results

Places unit’s mission, welfare, and training of his soldiers
above personal needs

Committed to the Army and the mission

Driven to succeed by self-motivation and strong sense of purpose

Integrity is unquestionable

Respected for his candor and integrity

Valued for her commitment and loyalty

Positive attitude toward mission accomplishment

Continually exhibits the highest standards of loyalty, integrity
and personal behavior

Places Army, mission and subordinates above personal interest

Personal conduct on and off duty, reflects favorably on the
NCO Corps

Puts the Army, mission and soldiers before own personal interests

Is the best Operations NCO I have ever encountered

Offers advice, but loyal to final decisions made by superiors

Stands behind principles; outwardly determined and loyal

Self-motivated; willing to go the distance

Sets the example for taking initiative and accepting

Strives for team effort in accomplishing assigned tasks

Dedicated team player who fosters esprit de corps

Dedicated to team concept

Stands for what is right

Totally professional and demands the same of his soldiers

Sincere, truthful and fair

Always places unit mission and soldier welfare first

Committed to excellence, a well disciplined NCO

Takes a positive approach; enthusiastically performs tasks

Leads by example

Instills pride and dignity in others

Displays a positive, can-do attitude

Totally dedicated to the unit’s mission ; a team player

Motivates and challenges subordinates through leadership by

Presents herself as a truly dedicated professional

Possesses high ideals, morals and ethics

Places soldier’s needs above her own

Totally dedicated; mission oriented

Has a honest, respectful reputation

Exhibits the highest standards of loyalty, and personal behavior

Displays a high degree of honesty, loyalty and integrity

A truly dedicated professional

Possesses strong moral principles and personal values

Possesses the moral courage to do the right thing

Exhibits pride in the unit; a true team player

Displayed a high degree of professionalism and demanded
the same of others

Vigorously supports equal opportunity and fairness for all

Shows a personal concern for duty

Not afraid to confront sensitive issues

Always candid; stands up for his soldiers

Dedicated to unit overall success

Sets and achieves high personal standards

Focused on mission accomplishment; always attained superior

Totally honest and fair; demanded the same of others

Fully supports equal opportunity

Exemplifies the meaning of pride and professionalism

Composed; not easily excited under stress or pressure

Exhibits the highest standards in all she does

Showed courage and determination in the face of adversity

Integrity above reproach; honesty unequaled

Enthusiastically devoted energy to mission accomplishment

Dedicated; results oriented NCO

Displayed honest concern for welfare and training of soldiers;
cares for soldiers well being

Intense dedication to the unit’s success

Makes positive supportable decisions

Fully committed to the command

Accepts responsibility for own actions

Endures and succeeds under stress and pressure

Displays a high level of pride to his organization

Dedicated to unit; sacrifices own time to ensure the job is done

Fully supported EO/EEO

Encourages honesty and values

Displays pride and dedication to the unit’s mission

Possesses unselfish dedication to duty

Exemplified the meaning of pride and professionalism

Exhibits the highest standard of loyalty and integrity

Shows courage and determination when faced with adversity

Self-motivated and resourceful

Loyal to subordinates, superiors and the unit

Takes personal pride in himself and his unit

Makes sound decisions

Can be counted on to accomplish any mission

Personal concern for duty


Senior Rater Bullet Comments

Total Army asset; select for First Sergeant now

Consummate professional; promote ahead of peers;
consistently performs two pay grades above

Technically and tactically proficient; discharges duties with
complete professionalism

Soldier oriented NCO

Assign this Sergeant to teach future leaders; West Point,
ROTC any NCO academy

His knowledge base is superior; potential ins unlimited

A complete leader; one of a kind at taking care of

Displays constant loyalty to superiors

Promote now and select for ANCOC

Assign as platoon sergeant

Groom this Sergeant for Command Sergeant Major

Promote ahead of peers; a total Army asset

Potential is unlimited; outstanding leader, coach, and

Recognized as the best supply sergeant in battalion

Innovative NCO, not afraid of risks in order improve
mission results

Unlimited potential for positions of increased responsibility

Promote immediately; send to First Sergeant course

Unique and rare talent; promote now ahead of peers

A confident leader that is dedicated to ensuring his soldiers
are well trained

Epitomizes what every NCO should be; aggressive, intelligent,

Is technically and tactically proficient

Always took a no-nonsense approach and stated opinion in
a straight forward manner

Taking care of soldiers is his number one priority

Very diversified and accomplished leader and soldier

A real team player

Displays unlimited potential

This SGT has a vast amount of knowledge

Promote and make First Sergeant now; He can run his own
company now

Physically fit; in tremendous condition; will succeed

Always excels as a soldier and a leader

Willing to learn and grow

Able to handle any position; held Platoon Sergeant
and Section NCOIC position simultaneously with great

Demonstrates the potential for higher degrees of

Outstanding NCO that is truly dedicated to the unit’s

Unlimited potential; continue to assign in tough positions of
increased responsibility

Unequaled selfless service to duty

Select for First Sergeant now; groom for Command
Sergeant Major

Assign as a platoon sergeant now, his knowledge will
enhance unit’s ability to accomplish all missions

Genuine concern and unselfish dedication to duty

Exceptionally well organized and perceptive; solves soldier
problems easily

Watch this Sergeant’s career closely; he has allot of potential

Critical to the battalions flawless redeployment to CONUS

Will make an outstanding First Sergeant

Select for attendance to Sergeants Major Academy

Always succeeds in any situation

Will excel in higher positions

Promote immediately; send to 1SG Academy

Very tactful in dealing with seniors

Consistently makes independent decisions that have merit
and substance

Strongly motivated to succeed

Clearly demonstrates potential for unlimited advancement

Send to BNCOC, assign to troop leadership positions

Assign to challenging positions which require the most
of a NCO

Trains his subordinates to succeed

Promote now to Sergeant First Class ahead of peers

Has earned a record of trust, loyalty and dedication from
everyone in the battalion

Well organized and versed in investigative

Utilizes common sense and courtesy while performing duties
in a professional manner

Possesses superior personnel and administrative skills

A strong leader with the wealth of experience and knowledge

Leads by example

Works best with mission orders

Accepts nothing less than 100 percent

Outstanding performer; promote now

Extremely well organized and perceptive to the problems
and needs of subordinates

Dedicated to the mission

Can accomplish any mission

Best Drill Sergeant in Brigade

Enthusiastic NCO that should stay with soldiers

To maximize his potential; assign to positions of increased

Exceptional enthusiasm demonstrated daily

Exceptionally talented NCO who leads by example and
serves with extreme pride

Possesses great amount of integrity, sound judgment, and

Extremely conscientious and highly motivated to succeed

Stands for what is right

Puts the Army, mission, and soldiers before her own
personal needs

Exceptional devotion to Army ethics and personal values

Competent, confident, caring leader of the highest caliber

Demonstrated potential for continued excellent performance
at a higher rank

Displays strengths of an exceptional quality leader

Daily performance routinely exceeds the highest professional

Continue to place in tough, demanding leadership jobs

Select for advance NCO schooling and assign to challenging
duty positions

Demonstrates the ability to perform at the next higher grade

Aggressive competitor; takes great pride in exceeding
accomplishments of other

Professional and competent leader

Exudes self-confidence in all aspects of his work

Is relied upon to give well conceived, mature opinions and

Assumes any additional workloads regardless of size or

High level of motivation instills esprit de corps in superiors
and subordinates alike

Knowledgeable and conscientious

Sets and achieved high personal standards

Highly mature and reliable NCO

Tireless in the pursuit of mission success

His integrity, bearing and confidence is inspiring

Outstanding role model; sets the NCO standard

Assign to challenging leadership positions

Select for CSM now

Flawless and consistent performance

Leads from the front; outstanding NCO role model

Totally dedicated to excellence

Promotes harmony and teamwork

His potential is unlimited

Performance as Acting Battalion CSM was excellent

Superior performer in every respect, a strong leader

Trains for readiness and the unexpected

Possesses unlimited potential; displays untiring desire for

Unlimited potential; assign to the challenging positions
when available

Her merits deserve selection for career-development
training ahead of peers

Discharges responsibilities with complete professionalism

Adjusts well to unknown situations and accepts responsibility
for her actions

Bearing is beyond reproach

Challenge with positions of greater responsibility

Loyal, tactful and honest leader

Self starter; limitless drive and potential

Excelled in every assignment and tasking

Maintains the highest personal and professional standards

Dedicated and enthusiastic NCO with unquestionable integrity

Has the potential to perform duties as platoon sergeant

Possesses a strong and positive drive toward professional
development of platoon

Demonstrates qualities of senior NCO’s

His tactical proficiency makes him extremely reliable in all

Clearly demonstrates the ability for increased responsibility at
the platoon level

Select for ANCOC and promote immediately

This NCO needs no supervision

Consistently perform above standards; achieves outstanding

Attacks every mission with vigor and zeal

Exacting approach to work ethic; pays attention to detail

Possesses the leadership skills necessary to lead any
company on the battlefield

Demonstrates the management skills found in more
senior NCO’s

Exhibits the traits to be an effective Division Corps CSM

Conscientious, dedicated, and responsible NCO

Resourceful, adaptive and reliable NCO