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WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 8, 2011) -- New retention-control points for privates through staff sergeants will take effect June 1.

The retention-control points, or RCPs, decrease the time Soldiers and junior noncommissioned officers can stay in their current rank by an average of three years. These new RCPs will apply to active-duty Soldiers and those in the Active Guard Reserve, or AGR force, officials said.

The change will align RCPs with the Army Leadership Development Strategy, said Sgt. Maj. Dean Drummond, Army senior career counselor, G-1.

One goal of the new RCPs is to motivate Soldiers to "step it up a little" with their professional development so that they can be promoted with their peers, Drummond said.

For instance, he pointed out that the average time it now takes a Soldier to pin on the rank of sergeant is 4.2 years. The old RCP allowed Soldiers to stay an E-5 for up to 20 years of service if they were promotable. That will be reduced to 15 years if they are on the promotion list and 13 years if not.

Beginning June 1, the RCP for privates through privates first class will decrease from eight years service to only five years.

The RCP for corporals and specialists will go from 10 years to eight years of service. Promotable Soldiers in the grade of E-4 will be allowed to stay up to 12 years. For the past three years, they have been allowed up to 15 years of service.

Sergeants will be allowed 13 years and those who have been selected for promotion but have not pinned on their stripes yet will be allowed 15 years of service.

The new RCP for staff sergeants is 20 years of service. Since 2008, they have been allowed 23 years.

There will be no change in the RCPs for promotable staff sergeants through command sergeants major. Promotable staff sergeants and sergeants first class will be still be allowed 26 years of service.

Promotable sergeants first class will be allowed 29 years. So will first sergeants and master sergeants.

Promotable E-8s will be allowed 32 years of active-duty service. Sergeants major and command sergeants major also reach their RCP at 32 years.

The new RCPs are actually expected to have a "minimal effect" on the Army's end strength in the first two years, Drummond said, but he added that will increase in the long term.

Soldiers who reach their RCP will be allowed to serve until their contracted expiration term of service, or ETS, according to a message to all Army activities, ALARACT 020/2011, dated Jan. 25.

Soldiers with an indefinite enlistment will be allowed to reach their minimum retirement date, the message stated. And those with 18 years of service will be allowed to stay on active-duty through 20 years.

The new RCPs do not affect Army Reserve or National Guard Soldiers, not even those who have been mobilized, according to the guidance, only regular Army and AGR Soldiers.

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U.S. Army Human Resources Command