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Retention program changes force some out

Sep. 12, 2012 - 10:19AM   |   Last Updated: Sep. 12, 2012 - 10:19AM  |  
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Several changes have been made to the Qualitative Service Program, a new force-shaping tool that requires some enlisted soldiers in overstrength specialties to leave active duty involuntarily.

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Several changes have been made to the Qualitative Service Program, a new force-shaping tool that requires some enlisted soldiers in overstrength specialties to leave active duty involuntarily.

QSP retention screenings, which apply to selected members of the Regular Army and Active Guard and Reserve (Army Reserve), were used for the first time in June by boards that considered senior noncommissioned officers for promotion to sergeant major.

Results of the retention screening have not been made publicly available by the Army, but the boards considered soldiers for possible involuntary release because their military occupational specialties were overstrength or the promotion timing for their specialty exceeded Army averages, in years of service.

The Army has modified the QSP as follows:

The Qualitative Management Program no longer will be associated with QSP, as in June. QMP screenings, which target senior NCOs for involuntary early retirement when derogatory information is placed in their official file, will continue to be conducted as needed by sergeant major, master sergeant and sergeant first class promotion boards.

However, QMP will be a stand-alone process, separate from QSP, when documented cases of indiscipline and poor performance are officially reported to the Army.

This makes a clear distinction between the QMP, a quality-control measure, and QSP, a management tool for shaping the specialty and grade content of the force, according to a Pentagon directive.

While QMP boards deal only with retirement-eligible soldiers, QSP affects soldiers in ranks from sergeant to sergeant major in designated MOSs, regardless of their time in service and retirement eligibility.

All NCOs selected for involuntary separation by a QSP board will be required to leave active duty no later than the first day of the 12th month from the date they are officially notified of their selection.

QSP selectees had been required to leave active duty no later than the first day of the seventh month following notification.

The extended deadline will provide departing soldiers with additional time to receive Army transition assistance services, a Pentagon official said.

QSP screenings for command sergeants major and sergeants major will be conducted by the November brigade and battalion command sergeants major selection boards.

The initial QSP screenings for E-9s were conducted by the sergeant major selection and training boards that met in June.

Zones of consideration for the upcoming brigade and battalion command sergeant major boards were announced Aug. 31 but did not include information about the QSP process. Amended messages containing MOS-specific information for QSP candidates are expected soon.

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