Benefits of Serving on a Selection Board

The Navy conducts boards for advancement, special programs or other unique opportunities. Serving on one of these boards is a very important and rewarding experience that can enhance anyone’s Navy career.

Boards vary in size with as little as five members to as large as 180 members.

Serving as a board member or recorder provides a unique opportunity to see how the process works, said CDR Elizabeth S. Hostetler, Director, NPC Officer Career Progression  Branch, PERS-480. Members get to use their experience and background to help pick the  Navy’s future officer and enlisted leadership and leave an important legacy for the Navy.

Recorders also get an invaluable perspective on how a board views and briefs each person record and selects Sailors for promotion and administrative milestones. They see how important fitness reports and evaluations are to the process, how better to prepare those reports and evaluations, and how to spot and address potentially confusing or non-standard events in their record, she said.

There are two types of boards: statutory and administrative. Statutory boards are governed by federal law and include officer promotions and officer continuation boards. Administrative boards are governed by Navy policy and include enlisted advancement boards and commanding officer screening boards.

Both types of boards have their own sets of rules and regulations that must be followed. Policy for officer statutory boards is dictated by SECNAVINST 1401.3A and must meet requirements set down in U.S. Code, Title 10. Each member is appointed by the Secretary of the Navy and must be in a grade higher than the officers under consideration by the board.

Administrative boards are not dictated by law, but instead, are governed by OPNAV and BUPERS instructions.

Both types of boards are held to the same high standards, said Hostetler. Great care is taken to ensure the membership is diverse, including community mixture, geographic diversity and experience.

A complete list of the requirements, guidelines, and standards for boards of both types can be found in U.S. Code Title 10, SECNAV and OPNAV instructions, and board precepts. Precepts are listed for each board at

A precept provides specific board guidelines and standards. The Secretary of the Navy signs the precept for officer statutory boards and the Chief of Navy Personnel signs most administrative board precepts.

Serving on a board is a big responsibility. Potential board members are charged with preserving board information from the moment they are officially notified they have been chosen to sit on a board.

Sailors must have complete confidence in the absolute integrity of the boarding process, said  Hostetler. They work hard and understand that there are always more qualified and eligible  Sailors than there are opportunities for advancement. However, they must be certain they will be given the same fair and equitable consideration as their shipmates.

For more information on boards go to and scroll down to the type of board you are interested in.

By JOC Teresa J. Frith, Navy Personnel Command Communications Office