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Tight select rates expected for officers in '13

Sep. 13, 2012 - 04:57PM   |   Last Updated: Sep. 13, 2012 - 04:57PM  |  
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The board lineup for fiscal 2013 reflects the diminishing chances officers will have to move up in the ranks.

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The board lineup for fiscal 2013 reflects the diminishing chances officers will have to move up in the ranks.

The Army is discontinuing boards that would consider keeping some captains and majors who have been passed over, and selection rates will fall again in the coming year.

More than 100 boards will convene in the coming year to consider active and reserve officers and enlisted soldiers for promotion, schooling, command, special assignments and involuntary separation and early retirement.

Included in the fiscal 2013 selection board schedule that launches Oct. 1 are:

12 general officer promotion, federal recognition and assignment panels;

10 boards each for promotions to colonel, lieutenant colonel and major;

Five boards for promotions to captain;

Two boards for advancements to the chief warrant officer grades.

The Army also has scheduled 22 selective continuation screenings for officers passed over by several major, lieutenant colonel and colonel promotion boards, most of them for the special branches.

The Army again has not scheduled selective continuation boards for basic-branch captains of the active and reserve components who have been passed over more than once for promotion to major.

As announced earlier, the Army also has discontinued selective continuation boards for Army Reserve majors who were passed over twice by the fiscal 2012 Judge Advocate General's Corps lieutenant colonel board that met in early August.

That policy also will apply "to all future Army Reserve JAG Corps lieutenant colonel boards," according to an Aug. 2 announcement.

Under Army policy and federal law, passed-over captains who are not offered selective continuation generally must leave service.

The selective continuation provisions of the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act authorize the Army to retain fully qualified officers who receive a second or subsequent nonselection for captain or major in the active or reserve components.

The fiscal 2013 schedule also provides for selective retention and selective early retirement boards for the Army Reserve in April, and a release from active duty board for Active Guard and Reserve (Army Reserve) members in July.

The Army has not yet released zones of consideration and other details about those boards.

Commissioned officers of the basic branches should brace for possible declining selection rates to the ranks of captain through colonel again in the coming year.

As signaled by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno early this year, the Army is making a phased return to the officer promotion opportunity rates that were in effect before the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

From 2001 through 2010, selection opportunity averaged 64 percent for colonel, 100 percent for lieutenant colonel, 108 percent for major and more than 100 percent for captain.

Selection opportunity before the wars in Southwest Asia ran close to 90 percent for captain, 80 percent for major, 70 percent for lieutenant colonel and 50 percent for colonel.

Selection opportunity is calculated by dividing the number of primary-zone candidates by the total number of above-zone, primary-zone and below-zone officers selected by a board.

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