With approximately nine months remaining on the job as the top enlisted soldier in the Army National Guard, Command Sgt. Maj. Brunk Conley said he remains focused on his short list of priorities as he anticipates the end of his tour.
Conley spoke primarily to an audience of state-level guard command sergeants major during the Association of the United States Army 2015 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington.
At the top of Conley’s priorities is an important revision to how soldiers are educated and promoted.
He told the breakout session that after 2½ years of work and negotiation, senior Guard Bureau officials last week gave final approval to the reinstating courses that had been a part of previous NCO promotion paths.
Conley also spoke of efforts to remedy another problem facing guardsmen: a reduction in processing time for federal student loan repayment applications.
From an average time of 450 days to process the application when he assumed the command sergeant major’s job, Conley said, "There are two pilot programs that are now getting it down to 90 days from start-to-finish and paying a soldier."
Adding, "By May , we expect to expand this to all National Guard regions."
In addition, Conley said that before he concludes his tour, he also hopes to wrap up proposed changes to NCO promotions and educational programs that would allow NCO candidates to gain conditional pay and promotion advancement upon completion of the first phase of their training.
He said he is continuing to work with the sergeant major of the Army to complete changes on the program.