As U.S. Army South Soldiers sat nervously in a conference room, Staff Sgt. Delmar Davis, G6 information technology noncommissioned officer (NCO) and former drill sergeant, along with several other NCOs, reviewed the general process of participating in a promotion board before conducting a mock, or practice, board.
According to Army Regulation 600-8-19, the promotion board’s mission is to validate the potential of Soldiers to assume increased responsibilities associated with higher ranks and to determine whether or not to recommend the Soldier for promotion.
“The goal is to give back and allow Soldiers to get the development they need to prepare themselves for the promotion board, the next rank and all the professional development that comes along with that,” said Davis. “I didn’t have any preparation like this when I was coming up through the ranks so this is my opportunity to give Soldiers something I wish I had.”
Davis saw the needs of the organization and the junior Soldiers and NCOs of the battalion as an opportunity for him to fulfill what he says is his life's mission.
“I feel like my life's purpose is just to give back, and I don’t have all this experience and knowledge to just keep it to myself,” added Davis.
As the Soldiers came in one by one and presented to Davis, who was playing the role of the president of the board, they were asked questions about Army regulations and situations they may encounter when leading subordinate Soldiers. This process gave the Soldiers an idea of what to expect when they attend a real promotion board.
Davis, along with the other NCOs on the mock board, assessed attendee’s responses and provided feedback on how these questions apply to potential real life situations they may encounter when leading Soldier.
One Soldier who reaped the benefits of these mock boards, Spc. Armando Estrada, a mechanic for Army South Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, said he learned from the wisdom and experience of Davis and the other NCOs who participated.
“[The mock boards] helped me by giving me more time to learn and taught me how to properly address certain questions, getting me more confident about being in front of an audience,” affirmed Estrada. “It did take me a few tries, but the practice helped me earn a recommendation to be promoted to sergeant.”
Davis acknowledges that these practice boards help Soldiers progress developmentally but said he wants to do more in the future.
“I want to start doing study sessions because I feel like a lot of Soldiers study in the wrong way,” Davis asserted. “I want to dig deep and allow them to study from a leadership perspective.”
Davis expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to make an impact in the organization and NCO corps and several Army South Soldiers were recommended for promotion after participating in the mock boards.