The Air Force said Nov. 19 it has temporarily stopped using its faulty new performance review software as it tries to avoid lasting damage to airmen’s careers.
“As we continue assessing the current myEval system and listening to feedback from the field, the decision has been made to pause using the current version of myEval to create and process all enlisted and officer evaluations,” the Air Force Personnel Center said on Facebook.
Since the system debuted in February, it has struggled to add job performance paperwork to a service member’s official records. It has trouble exporting PDFs and lacks click-to-sign functionality, among other flaws.
MyEval replaced another program called vPC, which has already shut down to make way for the new software.
The situation has frustrated commanders tasked with filling out reviews for their troops and raised potential problems for the airmen whose paths forward depend on a smooth review process.
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass, the service’s top enlisted official, weighed in on Monday as well.
“We get it, folks. We have seen the memes and the jokes,” she said. “More importantly, we have seen the legitimate concerns and feedback.”
Bass has her own meme, too: photos of a scene from the 2014 film “The Babadook,” in which an exasperated mother asks a screaming child, “Why can’t you just be normal?” The child is labeled “myEval.”
While the service tries to debug myEval, human resources staff across the service have begun logging officer and enlisted reviews by running PDFs through another platform known as the Case Management System, the Air Force said.
“The primary consideration is to ensure there is no negative impact to any of our airmen or [Space Force] guardians,” the center said. “This pause also allows … teams to focus on the future myEval so it provides the trust, reliability, transparency and simplicity we need moving forward.”
Air Force Times previously reported that the service delayed release of an updated program, myEval 2.0, from Oct. 1 to sometime in early 2023.
Troops have aired their concerns about the potential harmful repercussions of myEval, ranging from lost productivity and wasted money, to the possibility that a flawed review could hurt their chances at a new job or promotion.
“Will there be any consolation for those of us that had reports close out between May and now?” Facebook user Steven Ball commented. “My last [officer performance report] closed out in July and it looks absolutely awful with all the formatting issues. It almost looks fake and I’m praying it doesn’t cause issues for future boards, etc.”
Lt. Col. Kera Rolsen, deputy commander at the 850th Spectrum Warfare Group, added on Twitter: “Not me screaming internally because I worked so hard to get an OPR closed before 30 Nov and did edits during convalescence leave … and now … for what?”
Bass noted that a team is exploring what performance evaluations might look like in the future. That group could incorporate lessons learned from the myEval debacle and airmen’s suggestions on how to improve.
“We owe you a better system and more transparency,” Bass said. “We will deliver.”
Rachel Cohen is the editor of Air Force Times. She joined the publication as its senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), Air and Space Forces Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy and elsewhere.