Personnel Advancement Requirement (PAR) Sheets are what the Naval Science Department of Admiral Farragut Academy uses to show whether or not a cadet has shown the necessary leadership skills and knowledge of naval science-related topics needed to rank up.
Regimental Training Officer John Young ‘22 wrote this article to explain how PAR sheets work, and why they are important.
How do PAR Sheets work?
Every cadet starts off at E-1 which is a Cadet Seaman Apprentice. They are given a PAR Sheet, which has a checklist of knowledge requirements that the cadet must learn in order to reach the next rank. They do not have to do them all at once and do each requirement one at a time.
The PAR Sheets, depending on the rank, have a different number of requirements with increasing difficulty. Once the cadet learns and/or remembers how to properly do such requirements, for example reciting the first five Orders To The Sentry, they must meet with cadet leader or one of the Naval Science Instructors (NSI) to recite it, explain what it is or how to do it, and its value to the program. If successful, the cadet leader/NSI will approve it on the PAR Sheet. If unsuccessful, the cadet leader/NSI will show the cadet what they did wrong, and encourage them to practice it and try again. Once every requirement has been signed off, the cadet must have their Battalion Commander, Regimental Training Officer, and NSI sign their approval. Once this is done, it should be turned in to the NSIs and the cadet will receive a promotion to the next rank during Drill Period Formation.
After that, a cadet may work on another PAR Sheet, but must wait a certain amount of time before they can turn it in. In any Armed service you have to hold a rank for a specific amount of time to seek promotion to the next pay grade. For instance, in the Coast Guard you have to be a Seaman for a minimum of 6 months before you can compete for the next pay grade, Petty Officer Third Class. At Farragut, the cadet’s service time is equivalent to their time in a grade:
- E-3: 1 Month time in grade
- E-4 to E-6: 2 Month time in grade
- E-6 to E-7: 3 Month time in grade
- E-7 to E-8: 4 Month time in grade
Are all cadets required to complete PAR Sheets?
Every cadet at AFA is required to take at least one year of Naval Science to graduate, and in that Naval Science I1 class, cadets are required to rank up twice. This means that a cadet can rank up to E-3, but they are not required to advance further. However, if a cadet wishes to advance to E-4, and then to E-5, E-6, and so on, they can take the challenge of working on harder leadership-based and advanced knowledge requirements on the E-4, E-5, and E-6 PAR Sheets.
Why are PAR Sheets important?
PAR Sheets are important for the cadet leadership of the AFA Regiment. The PAR Sheets allow the Naval Science Department and the student to keep track of their leadership abilities and naval science knowledge. As previously stated, every cadet starts at E-1. PAR Sheets help to distinguish future cadet leaders from those who simply rank up to pass Naval Science I. It shows that the cadet is capable of handling responsibility and is willing to go farther than what is expected of them, therefore assuring that they can handle a leadership position within the Regiment.
Who would be considered as part of the “Cadet Leadership?”
Cadets within the “Cadet Leadership” have a significant amount of Naval Science experience, a high rank (usually above E-3 or E-4), and a position within the regiment, such as Company Commander, Company Chief, Battalion Commander, Regimental Commander, etc. However, only the cadets that have been authorized by the Regimental Training Officer can sign off parts of the PAR Sheets. They are typically Chiefs and Officers.
Par Sheet guidelines and frequently asked questions
- Are Cadet Leaders or NSIs Able to Sign Off in Pencil? No, it is preferred that everything is signed off with an ink pen, preferably black, blue, or red, as most officially signed documents are signed in pen.
- Am I able to go to the same Cadet Leader/NSI every time? No, it is strongly recommended that you don’t stick to the same cadet leader or NSI anytime you need a requirement signed off. Otherwise, that leads to a dependency on one person, and therefore a lack of communication or trust with other leaders. NSIs will also take note of how much you talk to them about PAR Sheet signatures and may also ask that you see cadet leaders instead.
- After I turn in my PAR Sheet, how will I receive my new rank? Typically, on Thursdays, the Upper School will have a Drill Period right after 1st Period, during which the Regiment forms up in their respective companies and battalions. Whenever we have formation in NSUs, one of the NSIs will call out the names of those who ranked up, as well as their new rank. The cadets called out will line up in a line, shoulder-to-shoulder, facing the regiment. The NSIs will then hand you your new rank after a mutual salute. After everyone receives their ranks, you are dismissed back to your companies/battalions, and you have achieved your new rank!
“Now that you know what needs to be done, go out there and get it done! Completing PAR sheets will help you promote up and will help you become competitive for coveted Cadet Corps Leadership positions. The Command Cadre looks forward to helping you all promote.” — Thelma Cabantac, LCDR (ret), Senior Naval Science Instructor (SNSI).