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NCO promotions to fall by 5,300 in coming year

Sep. 12, 2012 - 10:14AM   |   Last Updated: Sep. 12, 2012 - 10:14AM  |  
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The Army plans to promote 42,180 active-duty soldiers to the ranks of sergeant through sergeant major in fiscal 2013, some 5,300 fewer than this year.

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The Army plans to promote 42,180 active-duty soldiers to the ranks of sergeant through sergeant major in fiscal 2013, some 5,300 fewer than this year.

The promotion forecast was developed by the Office of the Army G-1 (Human Resources) in early September and could be revised if retirement and separation projections change.

The Army's underlying management strategy for noncommissioned officer promotions is to promote a sufficient number of soldiers to fill actual and projected vacancies.

Projections for fiscal 2013 show a slight increase in sergeant major and master sergeant promotions during the new budget year and a downturn in advancements to the other ranks, particularly at sergeant.

Specifically, the Army is projecting 624 promotions to sergeant major, an increase of 50 over this year.

In September, active-component promotions to sergeant major will be made from the June 2012 list, which will be reduced to 289 names.

There will be 2,544 master sergeant promotions in 2013, an increase of 209 from 2012.

September promotions will reduce the October 2011 E-8 list to 1,433 names. A new list will be compiled by a board that convenes Oct. 15.

The increased demand for sergeant major and master sergeant promotions is the result of a projected increase in retirements among soldiers of these ranks, according to Gerald Purcell, an enlisted policy specialist in the Office of the G-1.

Most of the differential in promotion totals from this year to next is caused by a nearly 5,000-promotion downturn at sergeant.

Purcell said this primarily stems from a decrease in future E-5 requirements, given that the Army will begin a long-anticipated drawdown of forces in fiscal 2014.

The drawdown plan calls for the active-component manning to hit 490,000 soldiers by the end of fiscal 2017, about 65,000 fewer than now.

Purcell said it is important not to oversubscribe the number of sergeants who will be on active duty in 2014, as this would result in a slowdown in the monthly flow of promotions to E-5, something the Army does not want.

The Army also plans to reduce promotion totals to sergeant first class and staff sergeant in 2013, also a reflection of reduced future requirements.

Advancements to sergeant first class will total 6,889 next year, 52 fewer than this year.

Staff sergeant promotions will total 11,400, a downturn of 534.

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