After reading my first evaluation I thought I was pretty hot stuff. I later learned the Army was all about puffing up evaluations to the point where they didn't mean anything. Even my own rater told me, "You think you have anywhere near the capability of a Sergeant First Class? You haven't been in the Army for two years? What are you smoking? 'Cause I want some."
This was the same man who, upon being called, "buddy" replied, "Do I look like I eat shit and bark at the moon?" Part of growing up is understanding bullshit. Part of getting old is seeing it come at you from 20 miles away. Seeing it early doesn't make it any easier but my rater would always hold his left hand high over his head when he saw it. That's because his watch wasn't shit proof.