How to Get Promoted


From time to time I’m asked to consult on promotion board issues. Below is an excerpt from a piece I wrote several years ago … which summarizes some techniques and ideas I’ve seen bear fruit over the past thirty years or so. If you or someone you know is coming up for promotion in the next eight to twelve months, or if you’ve been passed over and are looking to plus up your chances at a second look, I’d be happy to consult and be a “second set of eyes” on your career and file generally.

v/r Bill Meili,   Office: 214 363-1828,  Email:

1. Photo: Do everything you can think to do to have your Official Photo reflect the officer/person/professional you are when you’re at your best, most comfortable, competent self. Posture, angle, facial expression, uniform’s fit, lighting … everything. Get help from a photographer who knows his/her business. Get help from a military photographer if at all possible. Show that person previous promotion/official photos. We all get older, but that doesn’t mean anything really. The years and experience should show in some way on a photo of someone going for higher field grade rank. Photo is of prime importance to anyone looking over your file. Spend the extra time and trouble to get it right.

2. Meet with your Bosses: Arrange a time and sit down with your commander/rater/senior rater. Ask that they consider submitting a complete the record or senior rater option (if applicable) OER on you in sufficient time to make it before your next board. During this conversation, speak candidly about the fact that a top block rating might well be the difference maker. And then have a fair and frank conversation about what it will take to make that top cut. It’s tough to hit a standard if you don’t know exactly what you’re shooting at. Ask. Where’s the bar set in the senior rater’s eyes. It’s a good discussion to have, and there’s no downside. It’s also a discussion that rarely happens — especially for some reason in the Reserve component. AR 623-3, Paragraphs 3-56 and 3-57 are helpful.

3. Military Education: Whatever you can do to “fast burn” a completion on ILE, or whatever course of studies you’re working, do it. And then get the completion certificate ready to go.

4. Make Extra Time for Additional Duties/Helping the Commander and Unit do Good Things: The more time you can devote to the unit’s business –vice yours — the better your chances are going to be to get promoted. Selfless service is essential. And, to the extent you can, help your bosses do their jobs better. Their jobs?  Leading troops by taking care of their needs first, and having them ready, inspired, capable and competent to perform whatever missions are thrown their way. When you do this, your boss will not only write that optional, complete-the-record OER, he or she will have some specific and powerful things to say regarding your potential for serving at the next higher level.



During my extensive search for an attorney I ran across several reviews for Mr. Meili from clients and peers who all had great things to say about the service he provides and his commitment to working hard for his clients.

Upon my initial contact with him I was astounded by his professionalism, personality, knowledge and confidence. He was up front and honest, and he didn’t try and sell me a dream unlike many of the attorneys I had spoken with prior to him. The cost of his services was well worth the money spent; I have no regrets.   I felt as though I finally had someone in my corner that was there to represent me and not my command.

In addition to other cases he was working, Mr. Meili always kept me informed on the status of my case, and I always knew when he was traveling or unavailable. My phone calls and email were never left unanswered or not returned.

Mr. Meili showed a genuine interest in getting to know who I was as an individual, what I stood for,  as well as what my leadership thought about me.  He constructively used this information to vigilantly construct a case that represented me well.  The brief he prepared for me was very detailed and well put together.  He did not rush;  instead he took his time to make sure he captured all the important and relevant details while ensuring that I was involved and aware.

Mr. Meili often times provided words of encouragement and wisdom on how to deal with my situation and was never judgmental.  He didn’t hold back when I became doubtful of the process.  He helped me to see that regardless of what I was being portrayed as in a letter of reprimand — that I was better, and had much to offer not just the military but society.  I wish I had met him sooner.  He is a people person, and whenever I would hang up from him or finish reading an email from him I was always put at ease.  His hard work and representation helped transfer my GOMOR to my restricted AMHRR file.  Although DASEB was slow to render its decision,  Mr. Meili assured me that there was still room to fight, and was more than willing to help me.

It has been a blessing to meet him and I would definitely recommend his services to others in similar situations.  He is great at what he does and I thank God for sending him into my life.

GC, 1LT, AG Corps


Please don’t hesitate to get in touch If we can be of assistance with a GOMOR removal or transfer, or with any other military law related matter affecting your career or the career of someone you know.   Thank you.

Correcting the Record and Righting a Wrong

My job affords me the opportunity — from time to time — to level the playing field on behalf of folks who have suffered injustice. One such person came to me a couple years ago. Military officer. Combat leader, Infantry, in both Iraq and Afghanistan — superb record on both deployments.

He came back home, and ran into a couple of superiors in garrison who just flat didn’t like him, and apparently didn’t think he belonged in their “club.” Less than a year later, they placed an efficiency report in his official file which effectively ended his active duty career. Poof —ten-twelve years of brilliant service and sacrifice over.

My client did, however, have a number of fellow officers, both commissioned and non-commissioned who — at some peril to their own careers — were willing to stand up and be counted. By leveraging their accounts, together with my clients observations and hard work, we were able to tell an accurate story of this man’s entire career to proper military authority. Recently — and to our complete surprise I might add — we learned that the Army granted full relief, restoring our client’s position, standing and honor in the process. His own reflection about what this decision means to him is pasted below.

Whatever our positions, jobs, or life experiences are generally, I think all of us, at one time or another, have faced injustice or an unfairness which threatens our stability, peace of mind or career. It was really nice to see a government agency, which historically has had the reputation of being “deaf” to such claims, hit one clear out of the park. Kind of restores your faith in the right stuff! For those of you who know somebody currently going through the wringer facing injustice or, as we sometimes refer to it, “stuff that just ain’t right,” you might want to share this man’s story with them. Good, in this instance, triumphed over its opposite. And for that, I’m grateful for and humbled by the Army Board’s decision. My client’s thoughts follow:

“Dear Bill,

I sincerely wish to thank you for providing me the counsel, guidance, and extreme honesty even when there were times I didn’t wish to hear it… However, there is something to be said of how you were able to listen to my case and ultimately wholeheartedly believe in me.

I love serving in in the United States Army. I love representing my country and leading Soldiers. But thank God for Counselors as yourself who decide to honor your clients by taking on their battles to ensure fairness and equity prevails in all matters. The work that you have performed went above the call of duty in my eyes. You have helped me restore my Family name.

I am humbled by my case. There are no words of mine that can bestow my highest gratitude or praise. However, I am extremely proud to know there are true Hero’s like yourself to ensure both sides of the story are explained to the exquisite details as you have done for me. Bill, you helped me persevere when I said “the task is too great… the accusations are unfair and unjust… and this US Army Ranger has climbed all the mountains in Afghanistan and went through all the alley ways in Iraq… this feat is just too grand”. However, you reminded me to persevere and to be strong as I have in the past… Prove them wrong while you demonstrate the highest military professionalism every day you wear the uniform.

I will always treasure your words of wisdom. As there was a time, I was at a loss of what to do. This was a true test for me and I am a much better person through this all due to your guidance. I am very pleased to call you my Friend.”

May God always bless you.

Very Respectfully,


If you’re facing an uphill battle in your career, and need help … please don’t hesitate to call or drop a line.

v/r Bill Meili
Office: 214 363-1828 Cell: 214 536-3888; email:

Army Officer Promotion Passover Overturned and Career Extended

My client’s promotion passover a year ago was just overturned.  She’ll be able to continue serving the country and her fellows until her MRD now.

This was such a satisfying outcome, because my client was extremely deserving, experienced and a tremendous asset for any unit, group or branch lucky enough to get her.  Because she had come back as a retiree recall after a long break, and also because like so many good people I’ve met over the years who are great at their jobs — but not so good at looking after their own records/career admin best interests — my client’s promotion file needed some serious overhaul.   We worked at that together, and with a number of different people at various command levels, for the better part of six months.   I’m happy to report that my client’s name appeared on the APL 0-5 list which HRC published yesterday, 19 January 2012.  This time, with the client’s file fully and properly presented, the Army got it right!  

If you’re facing an uphill battle, and your military career seems to be slipping away for whatever reason — and you honestly feel that you have something more to offer your country — I’d consider it a privilege to work with you to preserve and extend your career. 

Please call me:   

William C. Meili
Attorney and Counselor at Law

6116 N. Central Expressway, Suite 1090
Dallas, TX 75206

214 363-1828 0830 to 1730 Monday thru Friday.
214 536-3888 For emergencies, after-hours and weekends,
or email at