FORT MEADE, Md. (Army News Service, Sept. 26, 2011) -- Due to the unusually high number of Soldiers attaining high promotion points without attending the appropriate schools, the Army is making changes to the semi-centralized promotion system that will be effective Jan. 1.

"This change -- which only affects the Advanced Leadership Course and the Warrior Leadership Course for E5 and E6 -- facilitates the leader development imperative to ensure Soldiers get the right mix of developmental opportunities at the right time in their careers," said Sgt. Maj. Debra J. Sturdivant, chief of Enlisted Promotions, Human Resources Command.

The change will also improve the Army's ability to select the best-qualified Soldiers for promotion, improve readiness at both the grade and Military Occupational Specialty, or MOS, level, and drive Soldier behavior, she said.

"We came about this because Soldiers were maxing out their military education with legitimate correspondence courses, but weren't attending the NCO Education System schools," Sturdivant said.

The Army has three distinct elements within the military-training category: NCOES, resident military training (includes courses such as Equal Opportunity, Combatives, Bus Driver, Combat Lifesaver, etc.), and computer-based training.

To ensure Soldiers get the "right mix" of classes, ceilings have been imposed on each of these elements.

The total promotion points that can be earned in military education is 260 for promotion to sergeant and 280 for promotion to staff sergeant -- this remains unchanged.

A maximum of 40 percent of the points a Soldier can potentially earn are applied to the NCOES element within the military-education category (104 maximum points for Soldiers competing for sergeant and 112 maximum points for Soldiers competing for staff sergeant), Sturdivant said.

"This design intentionally limits a Soldier's ability to 'max' promotion points in the NCOES category to those who are officially designated as 'Distinguished Honor Graduate' or as the 'Distinguished Leadership Graduate,'" she said.

Under the NCOES category:

-- Distinguished honor/leader graduates earn 104 points (competing for sergeant) and 112 points (competing for staff sergeant) respectively.

-- Commandant's List graduates receive 92 points (competing for sergeant) and 101 points (competing for staff sergeant) respectively.

-- Graduates receive 80 points (competing for sergeant) and 90 points (competing for staff sergeant) respectively.

Active-component Soldiers should see revised scores, based on these newly- established ceilings, in the automated Promotion Point Worksheet beginning Dec. 5, Sturdivant said. She said Soldiers recommended for promotion and integrated onto the recommended list not later than Dec. 8 will have these ceilings applied in determining their promotion scores for Jan. 1 selections.

A new DA form 3355 will also soon be published and Army Reserve AGR Soldiers should use this form to record their promotion points according to the new ceilings, Sturdivant said. The new ceilings must be implemented on promotion-board actions effective Nov. 1 in order to meet the timeline for Jan. 1 promotions, she said.

The changes will be announced in a MILPER Message released no later than Oct. 1, Sturdivant said.