Army to Allow Temporary NCO Promotions

Army to Allow Temporary NCO Promotions

Soldier smiling
Photo by: U.S. Army Reserve/Capt. Jerry Duong

Some soldiers will face fewer promotion hurdles while finishing their professional military education courses when a new Army policy takes effect Jan. 1. 

Under the new policy, NCOs from sergeant to sergeant major who haven’t finished their required education may still qualify for short-term promotions, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston announced Nov. 24.

Grinston said the change can help soldiers who are deployed, starting a family or attending the non-resident Sergeants Major Course.

“This new policy doesn’t make [temporary promotions] an exception—it makes it a standard,” Grinston said. “Those soldiers, who are otherwise fully qualified, will be temporarily promoted with their peers. Everything will be streamlined.”

The promotions will come with the accompanying pay and benefits, he said, and remain in effect until the rank is made permanent or expires.

Previously, deployed soldiers had to request an exception to be promoted without the required education.

In the new year, eligible active-duty soldiers and full-time reservists will have one year to finish their courses upon redeployment, and pregnant or postpartum soldiers will have 24 months from the end of their pregnancy-based profile to finish. 

Traditional reservists returning from postpartum leave or deployments will have 36 months to complete their education, the Army says.

Non-resident students in the Sergeants Major Course also may be eligible for promotion while they complete their coursework, according to the Army. The goal is to ensure they are eligible for promotion alongside their peers.

NCOs who do not complete their required education within the allotted timeframe or fail the course will revert to their previous grade.

“With this new temporary promotion [policy], we have the ability to have soldiers starting a family being given the opportunity to be promoted with their peers and still get their professional military education after they complete their postpartum profile,” said Sgt. Maj. Mark Clark, the G-1 sergeant major.

While the updated policy will impact “NCOs across the board,” the specific promotion requirements will depend on the Army components, according to the Army.

For example, Army Reserve and Army National Guard soldiers qualify if they are already slated for or serving in a higher graded position. All soldiers, regardless of component, must be “next in line” on an approved order of merit list and meet or exceed the cutoff score and sequence number for their rank, the Army said. 

For more information, click here.