(a) Career ambition of voluntary officer corps.
(b) Importance of Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) in officers’ career progression.
(c) Systemic problems afflicting the process of selection of officers for higher ranks.
It would be appropriate to cite two examples of objective reporting even before a formal system of redressal of grievances related to CRs was instituted within the Military Secretary’s Branch in the Army Headquarters and Complaints and Advisory Board (CAB) was attached to the COAS Secretariat. In one case, wherein the ratee was assessed poorly by the IO, the RO, in his observation in the pen picture of the rate, clearly mentioned that the IO had a tendency to be subjective in his reporting and had failed to improve despite being advised in this regard. The RO further stated that while writing the report on the IO, he would endorse this adverse remark in his report. The CR of the junior officer was kept pending in the MS Branch until receipt of the report of the IO. It was observed in the report on the IO that the RO had indeed made an adverse remark about the IO’s tendency to be subjective. The junior officer’s ACR was then processed and the IO’s portion of the report was overlooked.
These two incidents highlight the fact that the system can only function properly if the reporting officers have moral courage and adequate tenures to observe their subordinates in different situations.