How does an LOR effect my career?

The impact of an LOR, or Letter of Reprimand, itself can vary in its impact on your career depending on your rank and the issuing authority of the LOR.

If you are an enlisted member and receive a “desk drawer LOR” from your first-line supervisor means that it will not be filed in your Personnel Information File (PIF). If this occurs, then you may not see any secondary effects from the LOR. However, if your Flight Chief, First Sergeant, or Commander issue you an LOR and file it in your PIF you could see several of the below actions following your LOR.

If an Officer receives and LOR, no matter the issuing authority, the LOR is required to be filed in an Unfavorable Information File (UIF) and in the Officer’s Selection Record (OSR). These subsequent actions are adverse to an officer’s ability to be promoted and therefore, can be detrimental to the officer’s career.

In addition, there are several consequential effects from an LOR one could face as described below. Any of the below combined with an LOR could be a basis for involuntary separation from the service with a less than Honorable service characterization. Leaving the service without a full Honorable discharge has significant consequences to you in civilian life.

UIF: A UIF or Unfavorable Information File is similar to a PIF, except only unfavorable or negative information is contained in the file and it is maintained by the Force Support Squadron (FSS) rather than the individual’s flight or squadron. For enlisted members, the LOR will remain in the UIF for 1 year; for officers, 2 years.

Control Roster: A control roster is rehabilitative tool to assist Commander’s in evaluating a member’s performance. It is a list of individuals within a unit that require monitoring, observation, evaluation, etc. A control roster requires an observation period of 6 months. While on a control roster, a servicemember is not permitted to PCS, be promoted or re-enlist, and formal training must be canceled.

Referred OPR / EPR: The conduct which was a basis for the LOR may also be included in an OPR / EPR, which, in turn, may cause the report to be referred. Referred reports have their own secondary impact on one’s potential to be promoted or retained in the service.

Promotion deferral or “red line”: If a servicemember is on a promotion list or has a promotion line number, receiving an LOR can cause their promotion to be deferred / delayed or even removed / “red lined.”

Assignments: As described above, if a servicemember finds themselves on a Control Roster, PCSs are prohibited until removed.

Decorations: Issuance of an LOR can be considered when determining if a servicemember is deserving of a decoration at the end of a deployment, assignment, etc.

OSR: All LOAs and LORs, as well as LOCs related to a substantiated finding or conclusion from an officially documented investigation or inquiry, are required to be filed in the Officer Selection Record (OSR). All officer adverse information placed in the OSR is subject to the Department of the Air Force records retention requirements, meaning it will not be removed from the OSR until it meets the required disposition criteria and timeframe.

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Being a former service member herself and working exclusively on military cases, Ms. Stewart has amassed experience to help in the following areas of the UCMJ:

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