Army Suspends Temporary Promotions for NCOs

Army Suspends Temporary Promotions for NCOs

Soliders standing in line to be promoted
Photo by: U.S. Army National Guard/Sgt. Ashley Breland

In an effort to reduce strain on the force and maintain readiness, the Army announced that it will suspend a requirement for soldiers to complete the professional military education previously required to qualify for promotion to the NCO ranks up through master sergeant.

The policy will take effect in June.

In a letter to the force, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Weimer also said that the service will end the use of temporary promotions for NCOs as it re-evaluates the relationship between completion of a formal education course and promotion eligibility. All previously issued temporary promotions for NCOs will become permanent.

Originally created to accommodate pregnant soldiers and new mothers, the temporary promotion policy expanded over time to cover deployed soldiers, and later in response to travel limitations imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since January 2022, it has been used for all NCO promotions from sergeant through master sergeant.

“In our attempt to increase transparency with our soldiers, we acknowledge those strains (operation deployments, family/personal circumstances) that are outside of the soldiers’ control which interfere with timely attendance to PME,” Sgt. Maj. Jonathan Uribe, senior enlisted leader for the directorate of military personnel management, said in an Army news release.

The move comes after the Army evaluated more than 112,000 enlisted promotions between December 2021 through February 2024, half of which fell under the temporary status, Uribe said. “Some of these soldiers were still not able to attend school well after the 12-month requirement to obtain a permanent promotion,” creating “a lot of undue stress on the force,” he said, according to the release.

Active-duty and Army Reserve soldiers must still complete the appropriate professional military training for their current rank before progressing to their next rank. The director of the Army National Guard will provide separate guidance pertaining to Guard troops, Uribe said.

“During this bridging strategy, the Army will continue to re-evaluate the synchronization between professional training and promotions,” Uribe said in the release. As part of the re-evaluation, the service will “realign the required levels” of the NCO professional development system to advance soldiers to their next pay grade.

"This effort requires active engagement across all echelons, and leaders will need to do their best to ensure soldiers are given the time and opportunity to attend all phases of [schooling]," Weimer added in his letter.