Posted on Jun 25, 2018
SPC Supervisor
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I'm in my primary zone. I've been in for four years, and a SPC for two years. My current NCO gives me a counseling every month not recommending me for promotion, and each time, it's a reason such as I need to work on my "communication, responsibilty", things of that nature, as well as any mistakes I make during my work within that month. So he does not send me to the promotion board.
I'm not flagged. I've never received a UCMJ, have never had any legal trouble. I always volunteer to help, I always try to take the initiative to get things done when I'm aware of them. I try to spread knowledge, and generally do what I can to help other soldiers. And I've been told by my fellow soldiers that none of the sort I've mentioned are legitimate reasons not to send me to the promotion board. I feel that no matter what I do, the hiccups I have here and there are all that my direct line sees.
But I have heard that since I am in my primary zone, I need to go. Is this true? What can I do? I really want to go to the promotion board. I want to grow. But I feel I'm being unnecessarily shot down for things even many NCOs do.
Edited 2 y ago
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Responses: 11
SGT Training Nco
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E64c754
Under the new promotion system, E4/5 in their primary zone for promotion must go to the promotion board.
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SGT (Other / Not listed)
SGT (Join to see)
2 y
SGT (Join to see) unless I’m reading something incorrectly, the second to last bullet qualifies the list, stating that:
“When ‘not ready’ or ‘unprepared’— mandatory leader/professional development counseling”.

It appears as though the soldier has been professionally counseled when unprepared. So a board appearance would in fact, not be mandatory. If I’ve read your posted graphic innaccurately, please let me know.

SPC (Join to see) respectfully, one of the things you wrote was that, “I try to spread knowledge..” If you’ve been passed over for the board multiple times, maybe it’s safe to assume you haven’t acquired the requisite amount of knowledge to be an NCO yet.
You ask, “what can I do?” I would recommend to learn. Take the advice of your NCOs and maybe give out a little less. Cure the hiccups. Don’t worry about what your fellow soldiers say, because frankly, the PNN isn’t all that reliable. Assume your NCOs want you to succeed, not fail, because your success is their success. Specifically, work on communication and responsibility, as they’ve pointed out. (Note, there aren’t switches for those to turn on. “Ok SGT, I communicate better this month). It’ll take time.

When looking for reasons to be an NCO, not being flagged, not having legal trouble, and volunteering shouldn’t be the top justifications. Those should just be the “well yeah, of course, that’s what future NCOs do” type of rationalizations.

Just some thoughts. I’m sure you’ll get plenty of advice that ranges the spectrum. Take it all in and use it to the best of your ability. Best of luck to you.
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SSG Help Desk Nco
SSG (Join to see)
2 y
A general counseling statement saying u dont have enough doesnt cut it. The leader must have a plan of action as to how to prepare the junior leader.
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SFC S1 Personnel Nco
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Ah! Trying to become an NCO but you get shot down by many of them. Your going to read in comments below that the new policy says you have to have a board appearance at a certain amount of months etc. while that is true it doesn’t mean you will gain promotable status. Your company commander will circle yes on the report and your sergeant will take you. If you don’t have your first line leaders blessing your sponsor can tell the CSM “president of the board I don’t recommend this Soldier and this is why”. Most likely the CSM will not recommend you. I applaud you for wanting to grow so here’s some advice. You need to win over those NCOs. Acceptance is real important in the NCO core. That’s why we have induction ceremonies and talk to each other behind closed doors because NCOs trust each other “usually”. Even if you did get promoted to Sergent good chance you’ll fall under one of them. And guess who writes ur evaluation? Good chance those NCOs will. When you get looked at for SFC when ur a SSG. Good chance the staff sergeants right now will be CSMs etc. What I’m getting at is win over those sergeants. Ur not going to please everyone but give a little more effort. When ur sergeant tells you to do something or asks you something don’t say “why?” Just do it! Cause guess what he or she’s gonna say when you ask them to take you to the board with a recommendation. “Why?”. Lol get my point? as I know ur comment says I get shot down for stuff a lot of NCOs do. You need to realize they are NCOs and you are not. If your first line leader is shooting you down; to me it’s the same as all the other NCOs shooting you down. As I digress, if ur focused on going to the board don’t worry you’ll get that. If you want to gain promotable status and join the NCO core gain acceptance. I’ll leave it to others on rally point to give you tips.
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SFC Intelligence Analyst
SFC (Join to see)
2 y
If that's happening in your boards, what you described, that's the wrong answer. That's what the new system is supposed to prevent is favoritism and leadership only promoting those they want to promote.

No one should be kissing ass to get sent to a promotion board or be promotable. I have never once in my career or my life kissed anyone's ass to get where I am. I never will. I don't think anyone should do that.
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SFC S1 Personnel Nco
SFC (Join to see)
2 y
Maybe I worded this post wrong. Kissing ass wasn't the message I was trying to give=/. All I'm saying is reality is reality. Just because a Sergeant doesn't recommend someone doesn't mean favoritism is involved. Perhaps of course there are situations where that may happen. All I'm trying to say is earn respect and gain trust. There's always another side to a story. I got a squad of troops and I want every one of them to be successful because at the end of the day that's what were about. But I'm not going recommend someone that still needs basic development on how to be a Soldier. When they get promoted their performance is permanently recorded and it could ruin them. I've recommended/non recommended a lot of Soldiers and took them to the board. There was times I turned my head and recommended them on career technicalities and told myself "Darn... Who am I to hold this guy or gal back, they got kids and if they don't pick up in time RCP"?
When I'm a Senior like you whether it would be SFC or MSG and its time for me to put my retirement packet in; I want my retirement to get approved and not hear something like "Sergeant, the strengths don't support at this time. We need you to do another tour before you retire." I see the big picture. This isn't just the organizational levels fault its everybody's fault. We let go over 4000 SSG's and SGT's which were our experienced veterans. I reported to Bliss and was the only SSG in the company and got deployed alone to Iraq because I was practically the best fit qualification wise for the job. Translation = I was probably the only one qualified at the time. Believe me I know what's going on with the strength issue. Promoting the wrong people isn't the answer. I don't know where you stand in your career but please keep in mind when your gone ill be in the position where I'm going to have to deal with the nonsense of toxic people in middle management that were promoted around this time because the policy wasn't executed responsibly.
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SFC Ncoic, Garrison S 6/Imo
SFC (Join to see)
2 y
I think you definitely worded this response wrong because I got the same takeaway of kissing up. As long the Soldier is doing what they need to do. Completing their tasks, meeting the standards and doing things that put them out in front and show they want to move up then there shouldn’t be a problem. SM needs to inquire what is the exact reason for non-recommendation. After several back to back counseling there should be a justification. If this was brought to me then that FLS is sitting down and expanding the deficiencies and a plan of action to assist the soldier in overcoming those deficiencies or it may be time to start looking at a BAR.
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MAJ Javier Rivera
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If you haven’t been to the promotion board there most be a justified reason for it; a documented reason. Your 1st line supervisor, like you stated, must counsel you every month and identify both areas to sustain and areas to improve. Additionally he/she must establish a plan of action in order to get you where you need to be and follow up. It all on the DA 4856.

My suggestion. Get all of your DA 4856 copies and review them. Do a self assessment and compare it with the documents. Pay special attention to the plan of action, leader responsibilities, and assessment. Here is the thing. If your NCO says you are not meeting the standard in a specific task/s he must bring it to your attention, be specific (key point discussion), work with you on overcoming the hurdle (show you what right looks like/plan of action), and follow up (assessment). All basic leadership! Not tell you what’s wrong and let you figure out. Next time he provides you with an end of the month counseling ask him to help you overcome those issues he identify. That is his job as a NCO! If the trend continues an open door with the 1SG should be in place.
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PFC John Derek Ginsberg
PFC John Derek Ginsberg
2 y
Sounds like your advice will work.
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