Posted on Nov 23, 2014
SGT Headquarters Platoon Sergeant
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I think there should be. My reasoning behind it comes from several situations I've observed in my short time in the Army.

First off it would allow every soldier a chance. It would eliminate some of the E-4's who get discouraged and leave the Army because they never got that chance. Weather it was really deserved or not, and for whatever 1,000 reasons that exist. No one would be able to say "They didn't give me a chance". There are bound to be a few diamonds in the rough, and it would allow soldiers the opportunity to get honest feedback from the most senior NCO's in their unit. I've had a E-4 in my unit who was a 5 year SPC, claimed it was only cause his SL/PSG/1SGs just never liked him. Eliminate the excuses.

Secondly, I would assume we could put an end to the automatic promotion to E-5. There is a SGT I once worked with; terrible soldier, even worse NCO. Managed to stay in the Army for approximately 8 years and then was auto promoted to E-5. If we required attendance to promotion boards yearly after 4 years time in service we should be able to find and promote much worthier candidates, while also stopping auto promotions for unqualified soldiers.

Thirdly, This is my own situation. From FEB14 til SEP14 I had 3 SLs, 3 PSGs, 3 PLs, A New 1SG, and new CO. All that time while serving in the same squad and platoon as a VC for a Stryker, which is an E-5 position, never given a chance to attend a promotion board due to the constant turn over. Since SEP14 I took a opportunity for something different and now I am the Schools NCO and Legal Rep for my company. Another E-5 type position, also since I moved platoons that makes my 4th PSG. Granted I am now in the HQ PLT which is generally looked down upon, which doesn't bode while for future promotion opportunities. My point being that constantly having to "re-introduce" yourself to leadership makes it difficult to show you are ready and willing to attend a board.

I feel that mandatory promotion boards after XX years served would help correct all the above issues I've noticed. There would have to be automatic dis-qualifiers: ART 15s, Chapters, PT failures, BARs, and Flags. However for the vast majority of situations I think it would actually be a helpful and generally well received requirement.
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Cpl Data Network Specialist
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I agree with this entirely, The Marine Corpse puts you on a promotion board as soon as you get time in grade. At that point you hear from senior enlisted how well or bad you are doing. They also let you know any improvements that need to be made. From that point you get recommended or non recommended. If you are non recommended then you will go back on the board the next quarter. If you are recommended that from that point, as soon as you meet the cutting score you pick up. This gives every Marine a fair chance at promotion but also allows the unit to refuse a shitty Marine from picking up.
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SFC Casey O'Mally
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Nope. Bad idea, IMHO. If SL is doing her/his job, all of those SPCs know if they are ready for the board, when they will attend (if ready) and what they have to do (if not ready). If PSG is doing her/his job, SL is doing these counselings monthly, and offering guidance to the SL on how to get those SPCs ready. If 1SG is doing her/his job, PSG has to justify to the 1SG attendance at the board or lack thereof for every single eligible SPC every month on the monthly promotion rosters. If CO is doing her/his job, 1SG has to explain the decisions of the NCOs to the CO for concurrence and approval.

Which means that for a SPC to continuously be overlooked, the SL, PSG, 1SG AND the CO have to be asleep at the wheel. Not likely.

Yes, there are individual cases that fall through the cracks, especially with high turnover. I actually made SFC with less TIG than I made SSG due to similar circumstances - I made SGT, and served admirably. After a little less than a year, I re-upped to re-class. Unit wasn't going to send me to board when I was going away. PCSed to AIT (long AIT) at 13 months TIG. Obviously no board while at AIT. Got to new unit at 20 months TIG. Instantly became acting PSG because real PSG was away at school, as was SL. had to wait for PSG to get back from school to be evaluated by PSG for promotion. PSG got back, 2 months later, got a new PSG. Had to wait for new PSG to evaluate. 3 months later I was on a bird to Iraq (via Kuwait). No promotion boards downrange for the first few months - we had a war to fight (OIF I). Finally, after about 6 months downrange BN was able to establish promotion boards - on a different FOB. Had to wait another 2 months for mission to allow me to make it over to BN FOB. My very first NCOER (prior to re-class) said "send to board and promote now." 2 1/2 years later, I was finally able to attend a board.

Despite all of that, I still don't think we should mandatorily send folks to a promotion board. If we aren't going to give the NCO support channel input into future leaders, why should we even bother with promotion boards in the first place?
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SSgt Joseph Baptist
SSgt Joseph Baptist
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Since a promotion board is 100% subjective, anyone who is not actually leadership material could easiy be weeded out by a low score.

Here are the problems with your post:
"If PSG is doing her/his job"
"If 1SG is doing her/his job"
"If CO is doing her/his job"

This requires three people to be doing their job, and looking out for their troops, without letting anyone fall between the cracks. In a lot of units, chances are at least one of them is not going to be on the ball.

I've heard units say some pretty crazy stuff to explain why they aren't sending great E-4s to E-5 boards -
"They're a great troop, and they'll be sure to get boarded quickly by their gaining unit after they PCS, but right now, we need them at work, because the shop won't function without them"
"If they get boarded, the unit will send them to PLDC, and they'll be gone for at least a month, and we can't get our job done without them"
"If they make E-5 they'll get moved to another part of the BN, and we can't get our job done without them"

These are all situations were the "go to" section member gets screwed out of promotion opportunities - because they are among the best soldiers in the team.

"He's single, and we want to prioritize our board slots and promotions for married soldiers, because they need the money more, and are more likley to reenlist"
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SGT Senior Musician
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Edited 5 y ago
I oppose pushing people towards a promotion they are not ready for.
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