Enlisted Promotions Checklists — ‘An Ounce of Prevention’

02/20/2013  | 
The Griffon

Enlisted promotions involve TWO distinct processes. The first step is the recommendation for promotion, which culminates when a recommended Soldier gets placed onto a Regional Support Command’s Permanent Promotion Recommended List. The second step occurs when a Regional Support Command slots a Soldier from its Permanent Promotion Recommended List against a valid vacancy specifically reported for enlisted promotions. This step culminates when a Regional Support Command generates a promotion order; sometimes, a Soldier gets transferred due to the promotion and so the Regional Support Command also generates a transfer order.

A Soldier’s promotion packet checklist, which is formally called the “Promotion Packet Composition, Elections and Preferences” form, becomes critical during slotting. All too often during slotting, promotion packet checklists for junior enlisted promotions usually have errors that dramatically impact the ability of an RSC to promote the Soldier. Even worse, promotion packet checklists for senior enlisted promotions are usually not prepared at all.

Every enlisted Soldier should make every effort to prepare a proper promotion packet checklist! Soldiers in the grades of E1 to E3 are advanced, not promoted, but should start early in their careers to prepare a promotion packet checklist so they are ready later on for junior enlisted promotion. Soldiers in the grades of E4 to E5 are promoted per Army Regulation 600-8-19’s junior enlisted promotion process. Finally, Soldiers in the grades of E6 to E8 are promoted per Army Regulation 600-8-19’s senior enlisted promotion process.

All units perform birth month audits and Soldier Readiness Processing at periodic intervals. The best way for unit level OIC’s, NCOIC’s, and human resources staffers to help enlisted Soldiers properly prepare a promotion checklist is to include the promotion packet checklist as an item during a birth month audit or Soldier readiness processing. Unit level OIC’s, NCOIC’s, and human resources staffers can also help their enlisted Soldiers with this at other times; promotion packet checklist preparation along with the preparation of a promotion packet is a great topic for NCODP for example. Enlisted Soldiers, OIC’s, NCOIC’s, and human resources staffers all have a stake in support of the enlisted promotion system. Properly preparing a promotion packet checklist and packet becomes very easy once we integrate them into existing birth month audit, Soldier Readiness Processing, and NCODP processes.

The checklist for junior enlisted promotions and for senior enlisted promotions are very similar. The junior checklist is three pages, while the senior checklist is only two pages; the senior checklist omits a few things that are on the junior checklist. The key thing in preparing a promotion checklist is to read the form and fully follow instructions! Then, complete the form as thoroughly as possible. Make sure the proper initials and the proper signatures are placed in every required location.

Soldiers often forget to indicate a mileage, or, Soldiers select a mileage that is less than the actual mileage from their home to their current unit of assignment in section 1a. But, with a little thought, all Soldiers should be able to select a mileage that makes sense for them! The right mileage reflects actual distance from a Soldier’s home to the current unit of assignment at the very least, plus any extra mileage a Soldier is personally willing to commute. More mileage gives a Soldier more units to potentially get slotted against for promotion!

Another common mistake concerns the duty positions section of the form. This is a huge problem! If it is not filled out, or if it is filled out incorrectly, then a Soldier will NOT be considered at all for promotion against an Instructor or Drill Sergeant position. All too often, we see our Instructors or Drill Sergeants promoted outside of the command. This occurs a vast majority of the time because the Soldier prepared the duty positions section of the enlisted promotions checklist improperly.

Yet, this can easily be prevented with a little thought followed by some time and effort to properly prepare the enlisted promotions checklist. The key thing once again is to read the form and fully follow instructions! Then, complete the form as thoroughly as possible. Make sure the proper initials and the proper signatures are placed in every required location.

Every Instructor and Drill Sergeant in the command should NEVER complete section 2a of the enlisted promotions checklist!

Instead, Instructors and Drill Sergeants should properly complete section 2b and 2c of the enlisted promotions checklist according to their personal preferences. Just initial block b, and initial plus rank in blocks b.(1) to b.(6). For example, a Drill Sergeant might initial block b.(1) and indicate #1, then initial block b.(2) and indicate #2.

Do not check blocks; you must actually initial in the blocks! You must then sign in full within sections 3-5.

Most units in the command choose to indicate “will train NO” for the positions they report for enlisted promotions. Some units of course choose to indicate “will train YES”. Either way, if Instructors and Drill Sergeants properly complete the enlisted promotions checklist, then our Instructors and Drill Sergeants will certainly be considered for our own Instructor or Drill Sergeant position vacancies!

Our Soldiers will continue to get promoted outside of the command only if we do not do this properly. This is too easy to do properly! Let’s get the word out as widely as possible, mentor our Soldiers, leaders, and staffers, and do this properly so we get our Drill Sergeants and Instructors promoted within the command.

D. Peter Stewart / 866-215-3647, x4200.

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