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Its difficult to find information on Sustained Superior Performance (SSP) as it applies to Navy enlisted going up for advancement so I figured I'd give it a go. For starters, when a Sailors states that they have SSP, they may not know the true meaning of that term. Sustained superior performance is a measure of one's ongoing actions and responsibilities within the various commands they may have been stationed at, as compared to others who are elegible to go up in rank - your peers.
Peer: One that is of equal standing with another.
One of the few times that SSP can be measured is at a board, where records of more than one Sailor are reviewed. You can't just say you have a good set of records and claim you have SSP - it's a measurement of your records against other records that you will never see (unless you were a board member.)
Your records and your evaluations help determine how you stand in regard to sustained performance, and superior performance compared to your peers.
Sustained performance is determined by how long you have excelled (or not) at your various commands. That comparative factor is then measured against other Sailors during a board. It's been stated in past precepts that board members may go beyond the five year limit that is recommended if needed during a review of records. In my opinion that loosely falls in the realm of sustained performance. As told to me, that has happened in the past when board members needed to break a "tie-breaker."
Sustained: continuing for an extended period or without interruption.
Superior performance is easier to explain. Is your performance, as measured by your evals, better than your shipmate who is going through the same board? Again you will never know unless you can see their evals.
Superior: higher in rank, status, or quality.
Not all boards are the same because not all Sailors are the same. You could be ranked at the top of one board but not so high in another board where other Sailors have higher performance records.
A good thing to do once in awhile is to take a look at the most recent precept. I've included a link to the FY-24 CPO Precepts below and have included some paragraphs that may be of interest as it applies to enlisted Sailors going up for a board.
In the past I've had plenty of discussions with Sailors, upset because they thought they had SSP, believing they should have made Chief based on that assumption. What I would like Sailors to realize is that they cannot use SSP to determine their standing. People are getting upset for the wrong reason!
The best course of action is to determine thier weak spots. Is it work performance? Eval writing? Sailorization? Mind you I believe many who have said that they are top notch, I've had quite a few join our forum, but the bottom line is that their may have been someone just a pinch better on the board that knocked that one Sailor off. That Sailor's turn will come, as long as they improve above their peers, and sustain that improvement.
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