Posted on Jan 28, 2014
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When I joined the Army we Specialist 4-6 (SP7 had just been discontinued). It provided those Soldiers who had technical expertise and experience the opportunity to progress and earn more pay. However they typically were not "green tab" leaders and were subordinate in rank to a "sergeant" of the same pay grade (SSG & SP6). I've often thought over the years that the Army deleted a program that brought added value to the organization by discontinuing these ranks, as not all Soldiers are not going to be good leaders but should have the opportunity to progress based on their occupational expertise.

Should the Army bring these ranks back?
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COL Armor Officer
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100% agree! I have known many EXCELLENT Soldiers who were great at their MOS duties, but didn't have the desire to lead others. Whether leadership is inherent or learned (it's learned, btw!), they simply didn't want to do it.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>These people should be kept. Their institutional knowledge is priceless. Forcing them out because "everybody is a leader" is shortsighted.&nbsp;</div>
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LTC William Gilmore
LTC William Gilmore
4 mo
SGT Robert Betancourt - I was an "ROTC people" and I have no idea what you are talking about. Although your comment does not relate to the topic, please explain.
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SSG Dave Johnston
SSG Dave Johnston
3 mo
The Specialist grades above E-4 was "Rodney DangerField"{we got no respect}, CPL's placed in charge of Spec 5/6/7 gets dishartining, especialy when your "subject matter" expertice is outweighed by a newly minted NCO that hasn't been to a leadership course. I lived it from '76 when I entered the service untill DA eliminiated the Specialist grades above E-4. Now if you wish to keep that "Subject Matter" expertice around DOD could look at the British military rank structure. No QMP(up or out), no laterial promotions either. [E-3/E-4 for 20 years].
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SSG John Bacon
SSG John Bacon
3 mo
CW3 Kim B. - Absolutely bring back board testing for MOS for SPC5 and SPC6 if ever implemented again. Do it just like E5 and E6 selection but instead of a board of 1SG's and a CSM, have SFC's and MSG's in that MOS you are testing with the CSM.
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SPC Stephen Walsh
SPC Stephen Walsh
2 mo
SSG Dave Johnston - Agree the European Armies don't throw a good soldier out because he is not a leader. If he knows his trade he can stay a Pvt his entire career.
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CPL Rick Stasny
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Bring back the rank. Here is why. The Army spent a lot of money to train a tech geek. Some could not lead the way out of the chow hall. In this case keep him employed, because there is a private firm that sells that system to the government, and will pay the non-leader more. So why not sweeten the pot and keep technically skilled soldiers serving. Just my opinion.
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CPL Rick Stasny
CPL Rick Stasny
9 mo
I agree, if money is the only factor. I only made this suggestion as an alternative to the leadership roles.
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SGT Intelligence Analyst
SGT (Join to see)
3 mo
This is exactly what happened to me. All-Source Intel Analyst who left the Army after eight years in part because there was no actual work for most Analyst MOS outside of deployment or training and another part because of a string of less-than-stellar NCOers from a leader who wanted someone to get promoted IOT take over a PLT SGT slot and was knocking people who didn't want to get promoted into the most overworked position in the Company that had nothing at all to do with Intel. I get that the Army does still need people who want to get more rank and more money and more PT and hooah but it also needs highly skilled technicians and you're culture-shocking us nerds out of the system., and paying civilians to do the jobs you just spent a year training Soldiers to do. I had to leave the Army in order to be able to work as an Intelligence Analyst.
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SSG Dave Johnston
SSG Dave Johnston
3 mo
No, because "High Velocity Lead Poisoning" or an IED can put Dufas in a leadership position until he/she can be replaced. Similar to when a REMF of 16 to 18 years shows up to be your PLT. SGT. of a CBT Arms unit[INF, AR, ART], not fun, not fun at all, especially when your breaking in a new LT.
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SSG Dave Johnston
SSG Dave Johnston
3 mo
SGT (Join to see) - I was 'Doc' but I do understand, just as much fun as getting a E-6 Bed-pan commando from MEDDAC/MEDCOM assigned to my Aid Station wanting to be the EVAC NCO.
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CW4 Byron Dean
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Edited 1 y ago
If I was king....Keep the NCO ranks but ensure that they are not "just" leaders but also proficient in their technical MOS. If the Army wanted a bunch of branch immaterial NCOs they would have sent them all to infantry schools and not a schools for their MOS. I hope i'm not offending the infantry with that comment. I'd say bring back the old school mentality and have a test added to the promotion system (E5-9) that ensures leaders are both technically and tactically proficient well rounded leaders.& ncos;
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CW4 Byron Dean
CW4 Byron Dean
5 mo
SFC (Join to see) - I disgree, As we are shrinking the force why cant we retain personnel competent in both areas. I myself, am a manager and a tech....it is possible and it is what the Army expected when they rid themselves of the SP5< ranks.
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SFC Clark Adams
SFC Clark Adams
4 mo
Not smart! I recall working in the Intensive Care Unit of a MEDCEN with 6 other SP/6s and a few SP/5 performing hands on patient care with 1-2 ANC officers per shift. All of us were 91C30/20 who had completed one of the longest MOS producing schools and had a SCF Wardmaster.While we may have been the "Shift Leader" at times we were working hands on Soldiers. Then the "smart folks" decided we should be "Hard Stripe NCOs" , we were soon 6 SSG's followed a few years later by 4 SGTs , all doing the same duties!!! I say STFU to those who claim we were lazy, incompetent or unable to lead because we wore Specialist insignia instead of Stripes! The senior Soldier of the Bn Aid Station of the rifle battalion was a SP/6 and I was the NCOIC of a Health Clinic as a SP/6.
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CW2 Gerald Geoffrion
CW2 Gerald Geoffrion
4 mo
SCPO D Ingram: sorry but we had a proficiency test that was required for advancement in the tech fields (my Navy equivelant was CT - was both an analyst and I/EW Repair. Had to take the text every year with 1 of 3 results: Qualified for promotion, qualified at current grade but not qualified for promotion ; or not qualified to perform the duties of the current grade.
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SSG Dave Johnston
SSG Dave Johnston
3 mo
Fire the civilians, How many slots are occupied by DOD civilians eliminating the position for GI Joe.
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