FORT KNOX, Kentucky (June 2, 2017) - Sgt. Maj. Michael Haycraft of U.S. Army Human Resources Command's Evaluations, Selections and Promotions Division delivered an in-depth presentation on the structure and requirements of the Army's Centralized Promotion process during a live Facebook outreach to the field May 16.

Along with a team of HRC subject matter experts, he responded to questions from Soldiers across the Army that focused on critical considerations for NCOs and officers as they prepare for upcoming promotion boards.

"Promotions are based off Army readiness," said Haycraft, detailing how HRC's Force Alignment Division determines requirements on a monthly basis.

"Once we receive those numbers, we go through and scrub those selection lists," he said.

Haycraft presented an overview of the process: how MILPERs, military personnel messages to the field, are published approximately 120 days before a board convenes, and the importance of understanding the eligibility and application requirements they contain. MILPERs are posted on an ongoing basis to the HRC website and are easily accessible with a CAC or DS Logon.

"Make sure you are reading those MILPER messages so you fully understand that it is Army requirements that we're looking at," said Sergeant Major of The Adjutant General Directorate, Sgt. Maj. Raymond Rodriguez, who hosted HRC's outreach event.

Haycraft emphasized that Soldiers need to read relevant MILPERs carefully, and more than once, to gain a full understanding of requirements, timelines and contacts for assistance that pertain to each board.

Verifying and updating records in a timely manner are critical for Soldiers to make their strongest possible showing to voting board members, he said.

"You want to check your records and make sure your records are up to date. And ensure all your records match up," Haycraft said.

He described how eligible packets are locked for review by board members three days before the panel convenes, and outlined the complex post-review processes that include HRC Promotion Branch reviews and roster approval by the Director of Military Personnel Management, Army G-1. Even after a board has completed its tasks, a host of checks and reviews must be undertaken before a promotion lists can be officially released.

In addition, Haycraft discussed STEP, the Army's Select, Train, Educate, Promote program, which requires Soldiers to be fully NCOES qualified or risk being skipped over for promotion. Military education requirements must be complete and documented to qualify for promotion.

"There is a change in the way we look at promotions, and STEP is an eligibility requirement. You must have it. Go to school on time," said Rodriguez.

Haycraft concluded his presentation with remarks on the Standby Advisory Board and U.S. Senior Enlisted Review Board process and related topics.

Rodriguez emphasized that to succeed, Soldiers should take an active part in their career development, and that includes learning to navigate the Centralized Promotions process.

"You need to communicate with your leaders and your branch managers," said Rodriguez. "How do you prepare yourself? Do some reading, talk to some senior leaders and from that point I think you'll be better prepared. Make sure you are reading those MILPER messages so you fully understand the Army requirements we're looking at."

Soldiers can find links to all HRC MILPERs, an archived video of the entire Town Hall event, as well as detailed professional development and mock board videos for both enlisted and officer ranks, on the HRC home page and YouTube sites.