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Writing for Impact. Overview. Information on Writing Military Style How to Write an Effective Bullet Examples and Quiz. Writing Military Style. Why is it so important? Recognition : Quarterly and annual awards, career-specific awards—helps to build careers.

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overview
Overview
  • Information on Writing Military Style
  • How to Write an Effective Bullet
  • Examples and Quiz
writing military style
Writing Military Style
  • Why is it so important?
    • Recognition: Quarterly and annual awards, career-specific awards—helps to build careers
  • Promotion: Enlisted Performance Reports
  • (EPRs) and Officer Performance Reports
  • (OPRs) are critical to the promotion system—
  • they can MAKE or BREAK a career!
writing military style cont
Writing Military Style, cont.
  • Who needs to know how to write using military style?
    • You do here as students
    • Supervisors
    • Others involved in the writing and reviewing process
writing military style cont1
Writing Military Style, cont.
  • When can I use this information?
    • For yourself: Promotion Recommendation Forms (PRFs), OPRs and 1206s
    • For your airmen: EPRs and 1206s, other enlisted promotion packages
basic formatting techniques
Basic Formatting Techniques

Definition (T&Q):

A clear, concise ‘bottom line’ of an ideaor

a single accomplishment and its impact.

basic formatting techniques1
Basic Formatting Techniques

Definition (T&Q):

A clear, concise ‘bottom line’ of an ideaor

a single accomplishment and its impact.

  • NOTE: Bullet format breaks the rules of standard grammar—focuses on concise specifics rather than general information
basic formatting techniques punctuation and grammar
Basic Formatting TechniquesPunctuation and Grammar
  • Telegraphic bullets do not have periods
  • Use the double dash (--), ellipsis (…) and semicolon (;) to indicate a pause or break in thought
  • Use exclamation marks sparingly
  • Generally, avoid using articles (a, an, the), conjunctions (and, but, or) and pronouns (he, she, him, her)
  • Avoid using negative words (isn’t, can’t)
basic formatting techniques cont
Basic Formatting Techniques, cont.
  • Size of Bullets:
    • One to three lines long; primary shouldn’t have more than one or two secondary (sub-) bullets
      • Sub-bullets indicate result, impact or scope
  • Length:
    • Leave as little “white space” as possible….avoid

carrying over a single word to the next line—don’t

waste!

      • Maximize all the “white space” in the block….
writing tips
Writing Tips
  • Objective: Describe an accurate word picture of an individual in the reader’s mind; approach this as a “top priority”
  • Outcome: This can have a direct impact on individual’s careers—you’ll have the awesome opportunity to help others obtain their goals and dreams!
writing tips cont
Writing Tips, cont.
  • Use “hard-hitting” facts, actions and phrases; start with a strong, fact-filled statement
  • Each bullet should contain substance; limit fluff
  • Be enthusiastic, and make your writing come alive! Use active voice….
  • Use common terms everyday people can understand, instead of using job specific jargon
  • Validate with comments from outside agencies (HQ USAF, MAJCOM, Wing, etc.)
three parts to an effective bullet
Three Parts to an Effective Bullet
  • Action
  • Result (aka accomplishment)
  • Impact
three parts to an effective bullet1
Three Parts to an Effective Bullet
  • ACTION: What did the person do?
    • Be specific, yet brief
    • Focus on what the person did and their leadership and management abilities
  • Example: Managed 49 LG block training
examples
Examples
  • Other words to begin the action:

Spearheaded

Masterfully orchestrated

Performed

Implemented

three parts to an effective bullet2
Three Parts to an Effective Bullet
  • RESULT: What occurred because of the action?
    • Again, specific but brief
    • Quantify as much as possible: use percentages, numbers, time/money values (saved), number supervised and resource oversight
  • Example: provided superb training to350 people
three parts to an effective bullet3
Three Parts to an Effective Bullet
  • IMPACT: What is the overall significance?
    • Qualify and quantify here too…helps the reader know why each action and result was so important
    • How did this impact the overall mission and/or bigger picture?
  • Example: reduced overdues to zero
three parts to an effective bullet4
Three Parts to an Effective Bullet
  • Completed bullet:

Managed 49 LG block training; provided superb training to 350 people…reduced overdues to zero

other tips of the trade
Other “Tips of the Trade”
  • The Last Bullets in Rating Sections
    • Stratification: use to rank top personnel; show how individual stands out from peers (top x%, my #1, my best)…. hard-hitting, enthusiastic, with strong

“written recommendation” for promotion

  • “#3 of 89 SMSgts at USAFA”
  • “None better! My #1 choice for training manager”
  • “Best in the training business! USAF Education
  • and Training Manager of the Year (HQs Level) for 2001!”
other tips of the trade cont
Other “Tips of the Trade”, cont.
  • The Last Bullets in Rating Sections
    • Promotion recommendations for EPRs
      • “Promotion to chief this board a must!”
      • No recommendation may be taken as “don’t promote” by readers, and viewed negatively by board members
    • PME or “next” job recommendation for officers
    • NOTE: Keep the last bullet to one line
cy02 central chief master sergeant evaluation board

Headquarters U.S. Air Force

Headquarters U.S. Air Force

CY02 Central Chief Master SergeantEvaluation Board

15 Oct 02

15 Oct 02 02

I n t e g r i t y - S e r v i c e - E x c e l l e n c e

I n t e g r i t y - S e r v i c e - E x c e l l e n c e

15 oct 02

Observations

  • STRATIFICATION IS A BIG, BIG DEAL!!!!!!
    • #1 of XX SMSgts
    • #1 of XX SNCOs
    • Top % of XX SMSgts
    • Top % of XX SNCOs
    • If a rater writes “top 1% of xxx SNCOs/SMSgts…make sure the XX is over 100
  • Need Senior Rater Endorsement
    • Consistent w/TIG
    • 0-10 senior rater/0-6 senior rater…carry the same weight
  • Words/stratification is the key…not the grade of the senior rater
  • CHIEFS HAVE LOTS OF INFLUENCE
    • When Chiefs write, “make this individual a chief”, the other chiefs listen!

15 Oct 02

I n t e g r i t y - S e r v i c e - E x c e l l e n c e

I n t e g r i t y - S e r v i c e - E x c e l l e n c e

other tips of the trade cont1
Other “Tips of the Trade”, cont.
  • For EPRs you can use additional duties and volunteer/community support activities, but use sparingly
  • For 1206s, typical headings include:
    • Leadership and Job Performance in Primary Duty
    • Self Improvement
    • Base/Community Involvement
a word of advice
A Word of Advice….
  • Be careful using certain words that mayweaken phrases that otherwise would be strong. These can make a sterling performer into an instant weak one….

rarely

almost

usually

seldom

one-of-the

good example
Good Example
  • Expertly administered the training requirements for 143 individuals and tracked 129 special operations courses; achieved a 100 percent course utilization rate--enhanced overall mobility readiness

Has an action, result and impact

poor example
Poor Example
  • Truly an outstanding SNCO, leader, supervisor and manager who possesses resourcefulness, initiative and charter to accept and succeed at the most demanding of tasks--exudes the Air Force in all he does

Action has no “hard-hitting” facts or result and impact; reads more like a narrative description

slide28
Quiz
  • Created a Strategic Plan for Enlisted Training; identified goals, purpose, objectives and metrics--benchmarked as model for use AF-wide

Good

Has action, result and impact

slide29
Quiz

- Outstanding manager of resources--aggressively validated and tracked more than $300M in obligations!

Good and Poor

Has the action, but still needs the result and impact

slide30
Quiz

- Developed, tested and maintained certification and accreditation of all 20th Bomb Squadron computers

Poor

No result or impact; no quantification; reads more like a duty description

summary
Summary
  • Information on Writing Military Style
  • How to Write an Effective Bullet
  • Examples and Quiz
slide32
“Of all those arts in which the wise excel, Nature’s chief masterpiece is writing well.”

~ Duke of Buckinghamshire Sheffield