FORT KNOX, Ky. - The June 1 SGT and SSG semicentralized promotion boards now include automation and points awarded for complete correspondence courses only. Competing NCOs must update their records now.

Approximately 24 hours after noncommissioned officers update their records in the personnel and training databases, their personal promotion-point worksheet will automatically "populate" (or fill). The promotion board for sergeants and staff sergeants is the first board to use this technology.

Though the promotion-point worksheet (DA Form 3355) goes "live" (meaning automated) May 2 through 8, sergeants and staff sergeants should update their records now, said Sgt. Maj. Debra Sturdivant, chief, enlisted promotions, the Adjutant General Directorate (TAGD), U.S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC).

"Other changes - no more commander and board points. Soldiers will not appear in front of a promotion board; promotion points are pulled from ATRRS (Army Training Requirements and Resource System) and ERBs (Enlisted Record Brief). Also, by June 1, Soldiers must complete correspondence courses in their entirety, not just sub-courses," Sturdivant said.

Previously, noncommissioned officers could get promotion credit for sub-courses so many were registering for the sub-course that would earn them the most points, she said. They must now produce a certificate of graduation. Commander's points were eliminated because they were not used properly. Many commanders awarded them so freely that the awarding the 150-point maximum was common.

"With the revised system, Soldiers will be able to keep up with their points on the ERB as long as they keep updated, current records," Sturdivant said. "The revised system is an advantage to everyone. Of course, we won't know until we get there how well it will work, but we expect a smooth transition."

The revised system decreases the S-1's [personnel staff] workload and puts more responsibility on the Soldier, she said.

A final change to the revised NCO promotion system includes awarding points for basic Soldier skills for sergeant and leadership skills for staff sergeant, said Master Sgt. Almitra Hamlin, chief, junior enlisted promotions, TAGD, HRC.

Examples of Soldier skills include weapons and fitness skills as well as combat-deployment experience, Hamlin said. In addition, awards and NCO education will be worth the same number of points regardless of rank.

"What Soldiers do between now and May 8 will affect whether they get promoted June 1," Hamlin said. "There will be a constant, daily update to records."

Soldiers may pull records at their home computers, and they will have view and print capabilities.

Points will be reduced but so will the cutoff scores, she said.

"We don't want Soldiers to be discouraged because it's new. We have to adapt. It's worth it in the long run."

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