In April 2020 we published an article that argued for the removal of the official photo from the Army’s promotion and selection process. The goal was to eliminate a source of bias from the process and the Army took notice and removed the photo requirement. Bonnie “Buffie” Clemente joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to discuss how the officer evaluation system still has sources of bias that have to be addressed to ensure a true meritocracy. Buffie brings to bear her years of experience with evaluations and promotion boards to identify both conscious and unconscious forms of bias in the system and the way ahead to try and minimize their impact.
I’ve also seen examples throughout my career of a senior rater who had a specific philosophy on who would get the top block on an evaluation and how over time it was so difficult for some people to overcome that person’s personal philosophy that didn’t necessarily align with the Army…
Colonel Bonnie Clemente, who goes by Buffy, is an AY21 U.S. Army War College graduate and a 22-year Active-duty Army Adjutant General Corps Officer. Previously, she was the Chief, DA Secretariat, executing the Army’s promotion and selection boards. She has been a Battalion and Brigade S-1 and a G-1.
Ron Granieri is an Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College and the Editor of A BETTER PEACE.
The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.