SMA visit Baghdad
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston answers questions from U.S. Division-Center enlisted Soldiers during a visit to Camp Liberty in Iraq, June 24.

BAGHDAD (Army News Service, June 28, 2010) -- Soldiers from U.S. Division-Center were paid a visit by the ArmyAca,!a,,cs senior most sergeant June 24, who spoke on a number of issues affecting junior enlisted promotions.

During open forums with the junior enlisted Soldiers, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston pointed out where the Army is headed in the near future, emphasizing that a new enlisted promotion policy is in the works.

Effective June 1, 2011, the Army will upgrade active-component automation systems by going to a paperless promotion-point computation system for both active and Reserve Soldiers eligible for sergeant and staff sergeant. By going paperless, the promotion-point worksheet will be eliminated.

Aca,!A"We want to make it so that Soldiers arenAca,!a,,ct set back because theyAca,!a,,cre on a deployment,Aca,!A? Preston said. Aca,!A"A lot of times, a Soldier, when Aca,!A| deploy[ed], doesnAca,!a,,ct have access to all the paperwork to successfully get promoted."

Aca,!A"Oftentimes, when they are out on distant [forward operating bases,] they donAca,!a,,ct have access to attend a promotion board Aca,!" either being too far away from where the board is held, or mission requirements deterring them from being able to make it,Aca,!A? he added.

Additionally, company commanders and promotion boards will no longer award points. A pending revision to Army Regulation 600-8-19 will also incorporate revised promotion-point values.

Command Sgt. Maj. Lawrence Wilson, senior enlisted leader of United States Forces-Iraq, also offered advice to the noncommissioned officers in attendance.

Aca,!A"We succeed as a team,Aca,!A? said Wilson. Aca,!A"If your junior Soldiers succeed, that means you succeed as an NCO. Never be afraid to grow future leaders because when they get promoted, you get promoted.Aca,!A?

Command Sgt. Maj. William Johnson, United States Division Aca,!" Center senior enlisted leader, pointed out that Soldiers seeking promotion should concentrate on aiming for excellence in the performance of their jobs.

Preston also took questions from the Soldiers. One asked Preston what he likes and dislikes about todayAca,!a,,cs Army.

Aca,!A"Back in the old Army, youAca,!a,,cd have people standing before a judge who would tell them, Aca,!EoeYou can go to jail or join the Army.Aca,!a,,c Now, we have a purely volunteer force which I like a whole lot,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"You all should be very proud of who you are. You are the cream of our society. Out of all people who try to join the Army, only 30 percent are even qualified to wear the uniform.Aca,!A?

The sergeant major of the Army travels the world, visiting Soldiers roughly 270 days out of the year, said Master Sgt. Jason Shepherd, the public affairs advisor to Preston. He tries to travel to either Afghanistan or Iraq quarterly, alternating between the two, and makes it a point to visit with all Soldiers.

(Spc. Daniel Schneider serves with the 366th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment. ARNEWS correspondent J.D. Leipold also contributed to this article.)

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16