Do you know what to do to get promoted? – From the Command Sergeant Major – Brief Article
Alex R. Lackey
As I travel around the world I ask soldiers and junior NCOs, “When are you eligible for promotion?” In most cases the answer is I do not know.
During my career, my NCOs always counseled me and told me exactly when I was eligible for my next promotion. But that does not mean a soldier cannot use the references available to find out for his or herself what promotion criteria applies.
AR 140-158 Enlisted Personnel Classification, Promotion and Reduction dated 17 December 1997 Chapters 3, 4, and 5 will be your primary reference. (Change 4 Effective 17 January 1998 to AR 140-158 does not apply.).
Following is some basic criteria for advancement and promotion.
For advancement to Private Second Class, Chapter 3, Soldiers assigned to Troop Program Units (TPU), paragraph 3-6 (page 21) gives the criteria for advancement to Private. That is:
a. Normal advancement: completes 6 months of service from date of entry on Initial Active Duty Training (IADT).
b. Accelerated advancement: At least 4 months of service from date of entry on IADT.
Paragraph 3-7 outlines advancement to Private First Class:
a. Normal advancement: 4 months time in grade (TIMIG) and 12 months Time in service (TIS)
b. Accelerated advancement: Wave two months of the TIMIG and 6 months TIS.
Similarly, paragraph 3-8 provide the information for advancement to Specialist and promotion to Corporal:
a. Normal advancement: 6 months TIMIG and 24 months TIS.
b. Accelerated advancement: 3 months TIMIG and 12 months TIS.
Promotions to the Noncommissioned Officer ranks are covered in paragraph 3-11:
a. Primary zone (PZ) to Sergeant: 12 months TIMIG and 36 months TIS.
b. Secondary zone (SZ) to Sergeant: waved to 6 months TIMIG and 18 months TIS.
c. PZ to Staff Sergeant: 15 months TIMIG and 84 months TIS.
d. SZ to Staff Sergeant: Waved to 8 months TIMIG and 48 months TIS.
NCOs have a responsibility to provide career counseling for soldiers in their charge and however commanders are also responsible for counseling with regard to promotions. Paragraph 3-10 states that “Soldiers in the zone of consideration but not recommended for promotion MUST be counseled by their immediate commander.”
Paragraph 3-31 covers the promotion criteria for NCOS in the ranks of Sergeant First Class, Master Sergeant and Sergeant Major.
Soldiers serving on Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) status follow different criteria than their TPU counterparts.
For instance, paragraph 4-6, Advancement to Sergeant (Page 57):
a. Normal advancement to Sergeant: 8 months TIMIG and 24 months TIS.
b. Accelerated advancement to Sergeant: Waved to 4 months TIMIG and 12 months TIS.
Paragraph 4-7 (Page 58 3.d.1.3) states “Conditional promotion to Sergeant requires prior approval of Commander, Army Reserve-Personnel Command (AR-PERSCOM).”
Promotion to Staff Sergeant, Sergeant First Class, Master Sergeant and Sergeant Major is covered in paragraph 4-9:
Since January 1979 the AGRs have been promoted by a centralized promotion board against existing or projected vacancies. Headquarters Department of The Army (HQDA) prescribes the eligibility and the board is convened by PERSCOM.
Soldiers in the zone of consideration will receive a letter from the commander of PERSCOM directing them to:
1. Provide a current photograph according to AR 640-3 0, paragraph 8, if needed.
2. Contact their FTSMD to review their personnel records and verify the information contained on DA Form 2-1 and DA Form 2A.
3. Write a letter to the president of the board, if desired.
I have provided you with the regulation and basic information about how much TIMIG and TIS is required for you or your soldiers to get promoted. I expect every NCO to counsel their subordinates on this subject and make sure they know the requirements for promotion to the next higher grade.
If you are a member of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) or Standby Reserve (Active List) soldier, your promotions are covered in Chapter 5:
The next time I see you I may ask, “When are you eligible for promotion?”
COPYRIGHT 2002 U.S. Army Reserve
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group