Leadership: June 12, 2000


Under a new Army promotion policy, Privates (E-2) will be promoted to Private First Class (E-3) automatically on the day they complete 12 months in the Army or four months as an E-2, whichever comes first. Privates First Class will be promoted to Specialist (E-4) upon completing 26 months in the Army or six months as an E-3. Outstanding soldiers can still be promoted faster, and company commanders can block promotions for soldiers who do not measure up. Reserve and Guard soldiers are not affected by the new rules. A second policy change, to take effect on 1 Oct, will ensure that Specialists and Corporals are sent to a promotion board after 34 months in the Army or 6 months as an E-4. Buck Sergeants (E-5) will be sent to a promotion board after 82 months in the Army or six months as an E-5. The Army says that this new system will fill the gaps in the middle NCO grades (E-5 and E-6). Critics charge that it will fill that gap with sergeants and staff sergeant who are not nearly as qualified as those who have fled the military for the last five years.--Stephen V Cole


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