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Branch Brief

With this issue, Army Logistician is beginning a department devoted to professional development information for Logistics branch officers. The Logistics Branch Proponency Office at the Army Combined Arms Support Command at Fort Lee, Virginia, is sponsoring these articles, with assistance from the Force Sustainment Branch of the Army Human Resources Command.

ORB Management and Your Assignment History

As an Army logistics officer, officer record brief (ORB) management is crucial to looking your best before a promotion or command board. You should update your ORB, at a minimum, before every board event. Ideally, you should update it at least every 2 years and make sure that you have a current photograph of yourself wearing the Logistics branch insignia.

After graduating from the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course, your first board as a Logistics branch officer will be the majors promotion board. Your key developmental experiences at each rank can influence your career progression, and it is very important that your assignment history reflects your experience as accurately as possible.

Here are some general rules for cleaning up and clarifying your assignment history.

List jobs separately. Each different job should be annotated, even if it is within the same unit. If you were an executive officer and an operations officer within the same unit, you obtained new skills and experience in each position; listing them separately further defines your key developmental experience.

Show your deployment time in your history.
This makes it is easier for the board to see where you have had each experience. If you served on an internal transition team (where you did not receive permanent or temporary change-of-station orders), you need to list that separately.

Simplify unit names and titles.
Use the common abbreviations rather than the preset titles within the Total Officer Personnel Management Information System. Use commonly accepted duty titles and spell them out as much as possible. Try not to use abbreviations within duty titles. You can create a complete and polished job title by avoiding repetition within your ORB fields. List the name of your unit (for example, 548th Corps Support Battalion) on the appropriate line and then list your duty title (for example, shop officer) in the duty title block. When they are read together, a board member will then clearly see that you were a 548th Corps Support Battalion shop officer.

Clearly describe your assignments.
Show the unit name, type, and level.

Check area of concentration (AOC) codes.
Ensure that the AOC, to the right of the page, is correct for each job. Only forward support companies (FSCs), distribution companies, and headquarters and headquarters companies are coded 90A; all others will be coded 88, 89, 91, or 92. Check your unit modification table of organization and equipment or consult your unit S–1 for assistance.

Make sure you have key developmental experience.
The board will be looking for time spent in key developmental positions; 12 to 24 months is the average for most officers. As a captain, company command is your required key developmental experience. While it is not necessary to have a particular type of command, like an FSC, the command in which you do gain experience could influence your choices and desires for future assignments. As a major, current Logistics branch key developmental positions are support operations officer, executive officer, brigade S–4, and battalion S–2/3 or operations officer (major authorized).

When recommending officers for promotion, board members give considerable merit to manner of performance in key developmental positions since they are among the toughest jobs within the branch. Board members then develop a clear picture of the officer’s overall manner of performance and his potential for service in the next higher rank. As you compete for command, the type of unit in which you have your key developmental experiences will influence, in part, the type of unit that you may be most suited to command and may dictate your competitiveness within that command category. For example, if an officer desires to command a combat sustainment support battalion (CSSB), he should seek out key developmental opportunities within CSSBs. This does not mean that an officer would not be competitive for other types of units; manner of performance and senior rater comments on future potential are still the major contributing factors toward doing well on command boards.

These rules and methods for ORB management will net you a clean and concise ORB for all boards. Keep in mind that a new system, the Defense Integrated Management Human Resources System, will be in place sometime during fiscal year 2009. This new system has a slightly altered ORB, called a Soldier record brief (SRB), but the principles of ORB management remain the same.

For more information, contact the Logistics Branch Proponency Office at (804)734–0312/0315 or email leeeLogBrProOfc@conus.army.mil.