New policy enables automatic promotion to sergeant

March 5th, 2005  
Duty Honor Country

Topic: New policy enables automatic promotion to sergeant

I do not care for this thing one bit!!!!!

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 28, 2005) – A shortage of sergeants in some specialties has prompted a new Army policy in which corporals and specialists could be automatically promoted without a board.

Under the Army’s semi-centralized promotion policy approved Feb. 23, all eligible specialists and corporals (with 48 months in service and a year in grade) will be placed on a promotion list. Then, if a military occupational specialty falls beneath 100-percent strength at the E-5 level, some Soldiers on the list will be automatically promoted.

The new policy could potentially affect about 19,000 corporals and specialists currently in the active component, according to G1 personnel officials.

“Are we taking away a commander’s authority? Absolutely not,” said retired Sgt. Maj. Gerald Purcell, G1 personnel policy integrator for enlisted professional development.

Commanders will have the ability to remove a Soldier from the Sergeant Recommended List, Purcell explained, if a Soldier is not trained, or otherwise unqualified. There will be a 15-day window after the automatic promotion list is generated for commanders to remove names.

“If a Soldier should truly not be a sergeant,” Purcell said, “then commanders should stop it.”

But he went on to say that in units with E-5 shortages, many specialists are doing the job of a sergeant and deserve to receive the pay and recognition.

Even under the new policy, Purcell said most promotions to sergeant will still go to those who appear before a promotion board.

“The only time anyone is automatically promoted is when all Soldiers who have gone through (board) procedures are promoted and the MOS is still not 100 percent for the E-5 grade,” Purcell said.

The new promotion policy should eliminate specialties that historically have a shortage of sergeants, known as Star MOS’s, Purcell said.

The Army currently has 31 Star MOS’s, ranging from 13F (fire support specialist) to 98K (signal collection/identification specialist.) Career fields with STAR MOS’s include field artillery, aviation, armor, engineer, communications and information systems, signal, psychological operations, fire control, public affairs, maintenance, chemical, transportation, ordnance, supply and military intelligence.

The Army is currently short 1,549 sergeants in Star MOS’s.

In recent months, the number of Soldiers recommended for promotion to sergeant has decreased to just above 10 percent of the eligible population, according to G1 stats. This compares to more than 30 percent of those eligible being recommended for promotion 10 years ago.

“It is the field’s responsibility to grow our future leaders,” Purcell said. He added that promotions should be based on potential, not just performance.

“We believe you should give a Soldier an opportunity to succeed after four years in the Army,” Purcell said. “It’s what’s right for the Army.”

The creation of new brigade combat teams and units of action are adding to the shortage of sergeants, Purcell said. He explained that new units require senior NCOs, accelerating the promotion of mid-grade NCOs, resulting in more E-5 vacancies.

“We need an E-5 promotion for every growth in the NCO structure,” Purcell said.

In any case, Purcell said the new promotion policy should eliminate the shortages. He said it’s a great tool not only to man the Army at the proper grade level, but also to motivate Soldiers.

Soldiers placed on the promotion list automatically, without participating in a promotion board, will only be given the minimum of 350 points. Purcell emphasized that these Soldiers will not be promoted to sergeant unless an MOS falls below 100-percent operating strength and no other Soldiers with more points are available to promote.

Soldiers who want to receive promotion points based on their actual accomplishments need to go through the promotion board procedures and the processes outlined in AR 600-8-9, Purcell said.

For instance, Soldiers integrated onto the promotion list without a board appearance will not be awarded additional points based on the Airborne promotion advantage.

The Army’s new promotion policy will actually help first sergeants and others in the chain of command to better manage their units, said Sgt. Maj. Reynald Domingo of the Army’s Directorate of Personnel Management, G1.

“I’m just hoping that they’re going to see the goodness in this,” Domingo said.
March 5th, 2005  
This could lead to alot of under or unqualified Sgt's IMO.
March 5th, 2005  
Charge 7
I'm curious how we got to this stage. When I retired the problem was that there were too _many_ sergeants and not enough junior EMs.
March 5th, 2005  
A Can of Man
Why don't you just have a corporal do a Sergeant's task? It's not like that doesn't happen in other armies.
March 7th, 2005  
who wants to stay in the army when your going back to iraq. other then me of course.
my unit redeployed from iraq in sept as of now we finally got one E-7 we are slotted for 2. out of 5 E-6's we have 2 and out of 13 E-5 slots we have 3. all are nco's were put on orders for drill sergeant or recruiting as soon as they got back from iraq. we have specialist who are and have stepped up. However the new auto promotion promotes specialist who have been in for 4years we only have 1 and he just reclassed and is not ready to handle his own crew yet. kind of ironic if you ask me.