By Staff Sgt. Mark Turney
So, you think you have what it takes to get promoted. Are you sure? This article will discuss the enlisted promotion system from A – Z, for all ranks E-9 and below with a concentration on E-7 and below. Provided you haven’t gained rank prior to your enlistment, this is the how, the what and the when of enlisted promotions.
According to National Guard Regulation (NGR) 600-200, “The Enlisted Promotion System (EPS) is designed to help fill authorized enlisted vacancies with the best-qualified enlisted soldiers who have demonstrated the potential to serve at the next higher grade.”
Advancement to Private (PV-2/E-2)
You are eligible for automatic promotion to PV2 once you have completed at least 6 months Time-In-Service. Your time in service clock begins the very day you report for basic training. There are some caveats to this, so pay attention to the details.
You must be in a promotable status at the time of your promotion. In other words, you can not be flagged for a Physical Fitness test, be on weight control, or be pending Adverse Actions.
Advancement to Private First Class (PFC/E-3)
Your unit can promote you to PFC at any time after you meet the criteria. To advance from PV2 to PFC you must have at least 12 months Time-In-Service (TIS) and have a minimum of 4 months Time-In-Grade (TIG) as a PV2.
You can, at the unit commander’s discretion, get a waiver for either TIS, TIG or both. The commander can authorize the waiving of the TIS to a mere 6 months and TIG to 2 months for soldiers if he thinks you are deserving of a more rapid promotion. As with all ranks, you can not have any flags and in addition you may not have a Records Status of either H (awaiting discharge or transfer out of unit) or M (Inactive Status i.e. Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) or Inactive National Guard (ING)) and your Training Status can not be A (Non-prior service without Basic Training in a paid status), B (IDT in a non-pay status) or T (Active Duty status for training i.e... Basic Training).
Promotion to Specialist/Corporal (SPC, CPL /E-4)
Any soldier who wants to be eligible for promotion to either Spc. or Cpl. must be in a promotable status by not being flagged and must be in a valid Unit Strength Position and can not be in an over strength position. In addition, you cannot be in a records status of H or M. Also, your training status can not be in a status of A, B or T. If you meet all of the criteria your command can then promote you.
If you are already a Spc., meet the above standards and have served in a Sergeants (E-5) position for more than 6 months you are eligible for the rank of Cpl. Corporal is the first rank of the Non-Commissioned Officer Corps. Welcome to the corps.
Promotion to Sergeant through Sergeant Major (E-5 through E-9)
Advancements from Sergeant through Sergeants Major are filled through the EPS throughout the entire state. Your state headquarters (Joint Task Force, Virginia) will provide your unit with a National Guard Bureau form 4100, which is known as an Enlisted Promotion Point Worksheet, for each soldier that is eligible for promotion that year as of the day of that year’s board date. In other words, if your TIS and TIG requirements are met on the day the board meets, you are eligible to be considered for the board. The important thing to remember is that Non-commissioned Officers Education System (NCOES) requirements changed on January 1, 2004 (see Table 2). No longer is it necessary for a Spc. or Cpl to attend PLDC to be considered for promotion to Sgt.
The detail involved in promotion in the NCO ranks is often time consuming but very necessary. In the NCO ranks you have to put together NCO Promotion Packets for each grade advancement. Once the unit receives the NGB 4100 for each soldier, the commanders are to review each eligible soldier’s promotion potential. The commander will at that time determine whether or not the soldier will be considered or denied promotion. At the same time, the soldier’s first line supervisor should be reviewing the administrative information and points with the individual to insure accuracy. After it has been determined by your command that you will be eligible for advancement, a minimum of three levels of your chain of command will fill out an Enlisted Promotion Appraisal Worksheet (EPAW). The worksheet specifies the soldier’s potential in the following areas and points are awarded in each category.
These evaluation forms are to be kept confidential from the soldier.
There are many elections to be made on the NGB 4100 such as the distance you are willing to drive to accept the promotion, which of your Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) you want to be considered for promotion in and a new addition of Battalion only. Battalion only insures that you will stay within the specified Battalion although your specific unit may change. Once all promotion points are verified and elections are signed by the soldier, the NGB 4100 and the EPAW sheets are added to the Promotion Packet.
There is also no longer a requirement to have a DA photo in the promotion packet unless you are applying for either a First Sergeant’s position or a Sergeants Major position. If this is the case, the photo must have been taken within the 12 months before the board convenes.