Broad changes for enlisted promotions took effect March 2. More are expected later this year.
The most recent comprehensive list of changes to Army Regulation 600-8-19 are tied to the reduction in size of the force, Army Chief of Staff Raymond T. Odierno said Jan. 6 during a virtual town hall event at Fort Lee, Va. During the past 10 years, the Army peaked at a force level of about 570,000 Soldiers. That number is scheduled to dip to 450,000 by the end of 2017.
To maintain high standards in the Army’s NCO Corps, promotions have to become more challenging, Odierno said.
“What we want to do is promote the right people … so we maintain a strong Army,” he said. “We’ve got to have the people we want to move forward. But it is not going to be as fast as it was five years ago.”
To that end, changes to the NCO schooling system were announced in February, with the revised promotion regulations coming soon after.
Among the key changes is the implementation of a link between promotion and the successful completion of Structured Self-Development courses. The SSD program helps develop adaptive, agile and critical-thinking leaders as well as prepare Soldiers to function effectively in the Contemporary Operational Environment, or COE. Now, the course is a requirement for promotion for Soldiers vying for ranks from sergeant to master sergeant.
Another key change is a policy that allows promotion points for Soldiers who have spent time in a combat zone. Previously, Soldiers in the Middle East were often kept from taking part in distance education studies because of the rigors of deployment. Now, sergeants can attain up to 30 points and staff sergeants up to 60 points for their time overseas.
A closer look at some of the pertinent updates to this year’s enlisted promotion changes, along with resources for more information, may be seen below.
Click here to download a printable version of the document.
Click here to see a complete look at AR 600-8-19
— Compiled by Pablo Villa