how are military promotions awarded?

how are military promotions awarded?

Joined: March 10th, 2005, 5:37 pm

July 15th, 2012, 1:53 am #1

my son asked me how people move up in rank in the military, both in times of war and in a peacetime military.


I have no idea what criteria is used.

anything online? or personal info would be great.....and please no bitchin' about someone you know that got promoted but
you feel could not find his way out of the latrine...


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Joined: February 21st, 2006, 4:19 pm

July 15th, 2012, 8:43 am #2

Different branches use different criteria. I would hesitate to use the term "awarded" (although there are "meritorious" promotions). Some of them are based on time in service and are somewhat "automatic". Others are based primarily on the needs of the service. Wartime often throws the rules out the window, particularly "in-theatre".

The Navy (and I assume the Coast Guard) and Air Force are generally more "technical" services and put great stock in tech saavy. The Navy, as I recall (though this was a LONG time ago) usually bases their promotions on component (USN v USNR) and "billets" (availability of empty spots). So if there are 50 "billets" available for Boatswains Mate 3rd Class (Coxwain) the folks who are elegible to take the promotion test, the top 50 highest scorers are promoted to fill the empty billets. In USNR, as a drilling reservist, you just had to pass the test when you became eligible and presto! Instant promotion! (which caused a LOT of cranky USN guys).

Can't comment on the Marine Corp, although they seem to be really stingy with promotions and often have PFC's doing NCO's jobs (character building for sure!). The Army National Guard seems to base promotion on, time in service (E1 thru E3 are somewhat automatic). Then school-house attendance (passing the course helps here as does getting high scores) then the soldier is promoted as the "need" arises. Then each soldier gets graded annually by his/her superior. The higher the score, the better your chances. I'm told the Army and Army Reserve do it pretty much the same way as the Guard, but I'm sure others know MUCH better than I.

Kinda sketchy, but that's one way describing it. I'm assuming here that you're asking about the enlisted swine, because the Warrant Officers and Commissioned Officers use different criteria, again, depending on service. The Air Force doesn't have Warrant Officers at this time, but the other branches do.

HTH
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Joined: November 10th, 2006, 3:04 pm

July 15th, 2012, 12:23 pm #3

my son asked me how people move up in rank in the military, both in times of war and in a peacetime military.


I have no idea what criteria is used.

anything online? or personal info would be great.....and please no bitchin' about someone you know that got promoted but
you feel could not find his way out of the latrine...

Keep in mind, this is (was) for the Navy:
Officers get promoted, enlisted people are "advanced".
An officer (and enlisted) must first serve time in their present pay grade. For O1 to O3, prmotion is given after this is met (same with enlisted). For O4 and up, you must serve time in grade, and then be in a promotable billet, and then, your records are sent to the prmotion board. What they look at - caNnot say. For enlisted, the fleet determines how many billets in a grade and specialty they will need, ANd then all elegible candidtaes sit fo the exam. Your test score+ time in grAde+ performance evals are all factored in. The top 8 candidates get the top 8 billets. For E7 and above, there is also the chief's board, a cabal so mysterious, to write about it here would be to visit certain doom on all who read this....

"Bruce Springsteen? I LOVE him! He's like the American version of Bryan Adams!"

_Robin Sherbotsky
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Joined: May 24th, 2005, 12:30 pm

July 15th, 2012, 1:54 pm #4

my son asked me how people move up in rank in the military, both in times of war and in a peacetime military.


I have no idea what criteria is used.

anything online? or personal info would be great.....and please no bitchin' about someone you know that got promoted but
you feel could not find his way out of the latrine...

To pin on 2Lt I underwent four years of ROTC training and some critical screening by the ROTC Officers.

I went on active duty for a four year term, promotion to 1Lt is vertually automatic in the USAF, just serve two years.

Promotion to Captain was based on performace of the previous four years. The "average" USAF officer by this point has passed though some formal USAF training, i.e. pilots, navs, maintenance (logistics) officer and also may have knocked out Squadron Officers School (SOS). I was an engineer and made Captain only on the level of work I was doing in a USAF depot.

I left active duty as a 1Lt because I couldn't get a clear reading on my four year contract verses staying on active duty.

Like the others have said the jobs (billets) have grades (ranks) assigned to them. So a Lt shouldn't be doing a Major's job and a General cannot sit in a LtCol slot.

Again I was an oddball. I moved to a USAF Reserve unit that had a enginee slot graded as a Major. I was still a Lt because I did not accept the captain promotion on active duty. It took another three years to pin on Captain in the reserves. So where the standard USAF carreer progression is
2 years as a 2Lr
2 years as a 1Lt
8 Years as a Captain
4 Years as a Major
4 Years as a Lt Col
2 years as a Col

I spent
2 years as a 2Lr
5 years as a 1Lt
5 Years as a Captain
8 Years as a Major

This was a "below the zone" promotion to Major based on the fact that I'd been sucessfully doing the job as a Lt and Capt. But note because I didn't attend SOS and I didn't have time to complete Air Command and Staff college there was no way I'd ever pin on Lt Col. So I was "up'd or out" I didn't move up so I was moved out.
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Joined: July 27th, 2006, 11:17 pm

July 15th, 2012, 3:02 pm #5

my son asked me how people move up in rank in the military, both in times of war and in a peacetime military.


I have no idea what criteria is used.

anything online? or personal info would be great.....and please no bitchin' about someone you know that got promoted but
you feel could not find his way out of the latrine...

http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/afpromot ... motion.htm
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Joined: March 10th, 2005, 5:37 pm

July 15th, 2012, 5:26 pm #6

Keep in mind, this is (was) for the Navy:
Officers get promoted, enlisted people are "advanced".
An officer (and enlisted) must first serve time in their present pay grade. For O1 to O3, prmotion is given after this is met (same with enlisted). For O4 and up, you must serve time in grade, and then be in a promotable billet, and then, your records are sent to the prmotion board. What they look at - caNnot say. For enlisted, the fleet determines how many billets in a grade and specialty they will need, ANd then all elegible candidtaes sit fo the exam. Your test score+ time in grAde+ performance evals are all factored in. The top 8 candidates get the top 8 billets. For E7 and above, there is also the chief's board, a cabal so mysterious, to write about it here would be to visit certain doom on all who read this....

"Bruce Springsteen? I LOVE him! He's like the American version of Bryan Adams!"

_Robin Sherbotsky
Kobayashi Maru scenarios?

military history

the dreaded essay question?


thx much - Craig

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Joined: August 31st, 2005, 6:19 pm

July 15th, 2012, 7:38 pm #7

my son asked me how people move up in rank in the military, both in times of war and in a peacetime military.


I have no idea what criteria is used.

anything online? or personal info would be great.....and please no bitchin' about someone you know that got promoted but
you feel could not find his way out of the latrine...

2LT for two years
1LT for two years
Capt for 6 years (should attend Squadron Officer's School during this time)
Major for 6 years
Lt Col to General is variable and directly related to how much a$$ you kiss


Ian
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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 4:16 am

July 15th, 2012, 9:44 pm #8

We all felt sure my younger, fighter pilot, SEA combat vet bro was headed for a star at the Pentagon where he had been assigned following a successful wingking tour in Alaska. It wasn't to be after he ran into a universally disliked (I have personally watched this individual when he was being trained to fly the Vark in our squadron) three-star who later became USAF Chief of Staff. Anyhoo, McPeak came into my bro's office and directed him--my bro was not in McPeak's chain of command--to undertake a certain "study". My bro didn't think it (the study) was kosher, and went to his two-star boss. The boss told my bro that his assessment of the situation was correct, and that he shouldn't do said study. Not only did my bro end up getting "fired"--he did a horizontal shift to the Sec/AF office for the remainder of his thirty-year career--but so did the two-star!

Bondo Phil
USAF (Ret.)
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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 7:18 pm

July 15th, 2012, 11:32 pm #9

Kobayashi Maru scenarios?

military history

the dreaded essay question?


thx much - Craig
I was a avionics tech from 91 to 95. The exam I took to advance to E-4 was the items that I was expected to have knowledge of in my rate (Avionics Tech). The test was I think 100 or 150 question multiple choice. No essay or short answer. Each paygrade had a book that you had to complete and additionally study. Your advancement score was Test Score + Eval Score + Time in grade score + any awards. The Navy would set the advancement score high or low depending on needs and billets. You might score the max, but the Nav would limit to slow advancement. This was common in the early 90's with too many AT's and the drawdown. I had a NEC of Intermediate level, meaning I worked in a shop, on specific gear (Hawkeye Radar). The bummer was I worked O level, out on the line and in the hangar on SH-60's. So try to convert and get orders to a helo outfit when loads of AT's from P-3 squadrons, Shore bases were be decommed was tough, so promotion slots were few. Still like that today. Good friend of mine converted at E-6 to AD to make chief so he could stay in. Retired last year and works for USCG as a civilian.
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Joined: April 11th, 2005, 12:54 pm

July 15th, 2012, 11:57 pm #10

To pin on 2Lt I underwent four years of ROTC training and some critical screening by the ROTC Officers.

I went on active duty for a four year term, promotion to 1Lt is vertually automatic in the USAF, just serve two years.

Promotion to Captain was based on performace of the previous four years. The "average" USAF officer by this point has passed though some formal USAF training, i.e. pilots, navs, maintenance (logistics) officer and also may have knocked out Squadron Officers School (SOS). I was an engineer and made Captain only on the level of work I was doing in a USAF depot.

I left active duty as a 1Lt because I couldn't get a clear reading on my four year contract verses staying on active duty.

Like the others have said the jobs (billets) have grades (ranks) assigned to them. So a Lt shouldn't be doing a Major's job and a General cannot sit in a LtCol slot.

Again I was an oddball. I moved to a USAF Reserve unit that had a enginee slot graded as a Major. I was still a Lt because I did not accept the captain promotion on active duty. It took another three years to pin on Captain in the reserves. So where the standard USAF carreer progression is
2 years as a 2Lr
2 years as a 1Lt
8 Years as a Captain
4 Years as a Major
4 Years as a Lt Col
2 years as a Col

I spent
2 years as a 2Lr
5 years as a 1Lt
5 Years as a Captain
8 Years as a Major

This was a "below the zone" promotion to Major based on the fact that I'd been sucessfully doing the job as a Lt and Capt. But note because I didn't attend SOS and I didn't have time to complete Air Command and Staff college there was no way I'd ever pin on Lt Col. So I was "up'd or out" I didn't move up so I was moved out.
My son is career Navy.
4 years at USNA
He is now 16 years since commissioning and an O5 (Commander) and CO of a DDG. He promoted with his year group, but was first in his group to get command -- about 18-24 months ahead of his year group. Until O5, about 80 of promotions come with the first or second look (there are three looks). There will be a few early promotes, but very few. From O5 on promotion rates drop as the number of O6 billets drop. If you stay for 20, you have a pretty good chance of seeing O6 -- if you don't make a career killing mistake.

After O3, the selection process becomes more intense and competitive. Much depends on how you pay your dues. What hardship assignments are taken, etc.

John
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