Posted on Dec 28, 2020
SPC Heavy Vehicle Operator
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I am currently 30 years old and an e4 at Fort Carson. I am prior service national guard and a little reserve time. I enlisted March of 2020 for active duty. They gave about 4 months active duty time from my prior part time service. I know I’m very behind in terms of active duty and rank structure, I have guys in my unit who are 21 and e5s.

I have goals in mind for making rank:
By Age 35 at least e5.
By age 38 to 40 become an e6.
Maybe e7 later.

Wondering if anyone has been in this situation or has advice on this? Also any ideas on how to look better among my peers i.e. drill sergeant, airborne, sapper school stuff like that?
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Responses: 16
SFC Senior Brigade Career Counselor
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You're not behind your peers, you're way ahead. Your timeline isn't measured in age, it's active duty. You're an E4 with 4 months time in service, and a level of maturity and experience that is a decade ahead of your peers. If it takes you 5 years to make SGT in a combat arms MOS, you're doing it wrong.

Your branch has your Career Map for MOS in Army Career Tracker. This is the gold standard for what you need to work on at what stage in your career to stand out above your peers.
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SFC Patient Service Tech
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If you push hard enough, you could be a SSG by the time you are 37.

I recommend you pushing hard on the requests for Sapper School. Also, find out what additional duties in your unit are still unfilled (that you can do based on rank) and ask to take charge of those additional duties. Maximize all time available to get civilian education completed. Those hours are worth points. Same with military correspondence education. As soon as you pin SGT, I would recommend you wait one year before submitting a packet for Drill Sergeant. This way, it will give you time under your belt as an NCO before you take that DS route. But, that is just my opinion. Also, find a Senior NCO and ask them to be your Mentor IOT help guide you to your goals as soon as humanly possible.
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1SG Steven Imerman
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Drill Sergeant did wonders for my career. Perhaps something to look at when you make E-5, if they still take E-5s.
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SPC Heavy Vehicle Operator
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I believe they still take e5s, I was thinking about dropping a drill packet when I make e5, thanks for your advice
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