Army QMPOctober 16, 2022
Army QMP (Qualitative Management Program) Boards are governed by AR 635-200, paragraph 16-11 and MILPER messages that are published for each specific board. Army QMP Boards are the Army's way of terminating NCOs who may have questionable character. Essentially, any E6 and above with "bad paper" (i.e. GOMOR, Article 15, NCOER) in their official military record (OMPF/AMHRR) is at risk. E5s and below are not eligible to be separated under the QMP. Of note, AR 635-200 was updated in June of 2021, something that many members of the Army, including senior leaders, appear to be unaware of. These updates DID change the Army QMP process. NCOs are wise to review the current procedures and not rely on those who are unaware that they have changed.
The QMP board operates under something called the "presumption of administrative finality." Essentially, any document in an NCO's OMPF/AMHRR is going to be presumed to be administratively correct and filed pursuant to an objective decision by a competent authority. This basically means that an NCO has the burden of proof to show that the document in question is untrue or unjust; alternatively, an NCO can focus more on their career and subsequent conduct in their response to the board. An NCO can, and probably should, also provide mitigating and extenuating circumstances to the incident the resulting in QMP selection.
The process begins by an NCO being notified that because of a permanent filing (i.e. GOMOR, Article 15, NCOER) in their OMPF/AMHRR, they will be considered for separation from the Army at an upcoming Army QMP board. This includes documents in the NCOs unrestricted and restricted sections of their OMPF/AMHRR. NCOs are able to appeal the document in question (the one that triggered the QMP) to have it removed from their OMPF. A successful appeal will either head-off QMP selection or be a powerful argument that the NCO should not be separated under the QMP. Click the links to learn more: GOMOR Appeal, Article 15 Appeal, or NCOER Appeal.
HRC first informs the NCO that a "Code 13" has been placed on them, indicating that their record meets QMP consideration. This code also prevents promotion or PCS without HRC approval. QMP boards are now conducted annually, at different times depending on the NCOs rank. Therefore, any NCO with a "Code 13" on them, will be notified at some point in the year that they are undergoing consideration to be separated from the Service under the QMP, and that they will have the opportunity submit any matters in extenuation or mitigation for the board to consider.
The date to submit matters is typically published at a later time, in the NCOs promotion MILPER message. The NCO's chain of command is essentially cut off from this process and will not be involved; NCOs should not rely on his/her chain of command to inform him/her of when to submit matters. There is a great deal of responsibility placed on each NCO, and his/her lawyer, to know when and how to submit their matters. The NCO's matters have to be compiled into one PDF and emailed to this email address: usarmy.knox.hrc.mbx.tagd-
After an NCO submits their matters in extenuation and mitigation, the Army QMP Board meets and reviews them along with the NCO's entire military record. The QMP Board is charged with reviewing evaluating the "...Soldier's past performance and potential for continued service, leading to a determination of whether the Soldier does or does not warrant retention." Once the board makes its decision (retain or not), the NCO in question will be notified through their chain of command. This is typically done by the Battalion Commander.
Under the old process (before the June 2021 change in the regulation), the NCO would be allowed to appeal the decision with additional matters in extenuation and mitigation. The board would convene once again to review any additional matters and make a final determination. If chosen again, the NCO in question would be involuntarily discharged with an Honorable Discharge. Under the new process, the NCO can only request reconsideration if the underlying document that triggered review under the QMP has been removed from their OMPF/AMHRR or some other material error in their official record was discovered. Both of these situations are unlikely, so NCOs are wise to put forth strong matters in mitigation and extenuation the first time and not rely on a request for reconsideration after being chosen for separation. Any NCO separated through the QMP process is given an Honorable Discharge. He/she will also be given a re-entry code that precludes joining the service again.
NCOs who have reached 18 years of active service at the time of QMP selection will be allowed to apply for retirement. NCOs with Reserve and Guard Service may be eligible to retire or REFRAD so they do not lose their non-regular retirement; however, the rules in the regulation are complicated and are best discussed with a military lawyer.
NCOs notified of a QMP Board have a lot to lose. In addition to being separated when an NCO is within a couple of years of retirement eligibility, NCOs could potentially have to pay back bonuses and special pay.
NCOs notified of an Army QMP Board are entitled to legal assistance. Trial Defense Service (TDS) will generally not help and NCOs will be redirected to the Base Legal Assistance Office. The JAGs in these offices are typically in their first term as a JAG and are very new to the military. Furthermore, they are over-worked and usually just give general guidance and offer to review anything that the NCO puts together themselves. Those NCOs who do not want to be separated by the Army QMP Board are wise to retain an outside lawyer with QMP experience to assist.
The Law Office of Matthew Barry frequently gets NCOs retained who are facing separation through the Army QMP Process. See our QMP case results at this link and testimonials from our former clients at this link.
"QMP Wizard. I hired Matthew to help me with my QMP board. He led me in the right direction, answered all of my questions and the letter he drafted for me to submit was well worth the money. Additionally he offered advice on when to expect the results and kept me well informed of how the process would go. I highly recommend him!"
-SFC, U.S. Army