By Master Sgt. Christina SteinerMarch 9, 2011
FORT KNOX, Ky. (March 4, 2011) -- Active-component Soldiers interested in promotion to sergeant or staff sergeant should immediately update their personnel and training records before the Army implements its revised promotion system June 1.
"Revisions to the semi-centralized promotion system will help the Army and the U.S. Army Reserve promote the best-qualified junior-enlisted Soldiers," said William Wright, the chief of junior enlisted promotions at The Adjutant General Directorate, U.S. Army Human Resources Command.
The revisions are designed to focus on Soldier skills and ensure fairness, Wright said. The active component will go live with an automated promotion-point worksheet, or Department of the Army Form 3355, May 2. The Army Reserve will adopt the automated system simultaneously but will use a revised hard-copy promotion-point worksheet until automated support becomes available, he added.
"It will also level the playing field by ensuring Soldiers receive points for verified data entered in the Army Training Requirements and Resources System and the Electronic Military Personnel Office," he said.
In order for Soldiers to receive correct promotion points under the revised system, promotable active-component junior-enlisted Soldiers must visit their human resource or personnel specialists section, military personnel divisions, known as MPDs, or unit administrators and ensure their personnel and training records are up-to-date no later than May 8.
The revisions of the semi-centralized promotions system affect several key areas:
-- First, promotion points will be redistributed for promotion to sergeant and staff sergeant. Points calculated for sergeant focus on Soldier skills, while those for staff sergeant focus on leadership.
-- Second, the new system eliminates commander and selection-board points. The elimination of these points does not minimize the chain of command's role in the promotions process, because the chain of command must recommend the Soldier to the next grade. The promotion board will then provide the promotion authority a recommendation (go/no-go) based on each Soldier's potential.
-- Third, Soldiers will only receive promotion points for completed correspondence courses instead of earning points for completion of sub-correspondence courses.
-- Fourth, promotion points will be awarded for combat deployments. For the active component, Army-level enterprise systems, including the Army Training Requirements and Resources System, will provide promotion data automatically to update the revised automated promotion point worksheet.
These systems have been redesigned to award points based upon the new criteria. The automatic feed of promotion data will reduce human-resources service-support requirements for S-1s and Military Personnel Directorates.
Soldiers should ensure their promotion points are accurate and their records reflect creditable promotion-point data, according to Sgt. Maj. Debra J. Sturdivant, chief, enlisted promotions, in the TAGD. Soldiers who fail to do this and don't meet the cutoff score because of it, won't receive an exception to policy for addition to the by-name list. Failure to update records is considered lack of due diligence and not a valid justification for an exception to policy, she said.
The new promotion system is a win-win situation, Sturdivant said. It reduces paperwork, and it's faster and more accurate. The 800-point format will remain in place, and the revision of the system won't reduce the number of monthly promotions that the Army has forecast.
Inquiries should be sent to email@example.com or call 1-888-ARMY-HRC (276-9472).
(Master Sgt. Christina Steiner serves in the Public Affairs Office, U.S. Army Human Resources Command.)