FITREP Appeals are governed by BUPERS INST 1610.10D – Chapter 17. Appeals to the Chain of Command are handled internally through a Sailor’s chain of command. You may formally or informally appeal your negative FITREP. An informal appeal is a request that goes up to but not including your commanding officer. A formal appeal is requested through a special request chit requesting mast from your commanding officer. Appeals are adjudicated within the “lifelines” of a sailor's command. If a sailor does not agree with the decision after an appeal the sailor can submit a statement, request to correct the record or level a complaint against his commanding officer.
There is no timeline associated with submitting an appeal to the chain of command; however, you want to submit the appeal while the matter is still current and before your chain of command has transferred. If you are appealing an FITREP and the reporting senior has already transferred, your options are limited.
Once a formal appeal is submitted via a special request chit, the chit goes up the chain of command to the Commanding Officer. He then decides whether he will accept the mast deny the mast, or give the chain of command specific guidance in resolving the issue. If the Commanding Officer does accept the sailor’s mast the sailor will have an opportunity to make his argument directly to the CO and should expect an answer relatively quickly.
If both an informal appeal and formal appeal is unsuccessful, and the Sailor chooses to pursue the issue, his next step is to request a record correction through the Board of Correction of Naval Records or an Article 138/1150 complaint.
If you receive a negative FITREP, you are entitled to submit a written appeal. Follow applicable instructions. It is important that you submit a professional, respectful, and persuasive appeal.
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