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Promotion points: Your awards could bump you up

Dec. 26, 2012 - 07:09AM   |   Last Updated: Dec. 26, 2012 - 07:09AM  |  
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The Promotion Point Worksheet is an electronic document that supports paperless promotion-point computations.
Personnel information entered on the PPW is pulled from the Army’s Electronic Military Personnel Office, while training-related information is taken from the Army Training Requirements and Resources System.
The PPW automatically calculates how many promotion points should be awarded to a soldier.
To make sure that their PPW is up to date and accurate, soldiers should audit their Enlisted Record Brief for accuracy.
When reviewing the record brief to ensure promotion accuracy, soldiers should focus on these data items:
• Section I, the start and end dates for their combat duty deployments
• Section V, foreign language or languages
• Section VI, military education level
• Section VII, civilian education
• Section IV, Army Physical Fitness Test data
• Section I, promotion points/date
• Section I, promotion military occupational specialty
• Section VI, resident courses
• Section VIII, awards and decorations
• Section VI, weapons qualification/date
• Section VI, correspondence hours
• Section IX, duty position
Soldiers can review their record brief and other important personnel documents online at


Here is a sample of how a soldier’s awards and other accomplishments might accumulate. A sergeant with 10 to 11 years of service might have the following items in Section VIII (Awards and Decorations) of the Enlisted Record Brief.
To calculate points, multiply the number of each award received by the point value for the award. For example, in the chart below, this sergeant’s two Good Conduct Medals equate to 20 promotion points.
Soldiers are limited to 125 award and decoration promotion points for sergeant, and 165 for staff sergeant.
Army Commendation Medal 3
Army Achievement Medal 3
Good Conduct Medal 2
National Defense Service Medal 1
Iraq Campaign Medal 2
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal 1
NCO Professional Development Ribbon 1
Army Service Ribbon 1
Overseas Service Ribbon 1
Certificates of Achievement 3
Combat Action Badge 1


Soldiers who are looking for ways to improve their chances of moving up to sergeant and staff sergeant would do well to check out the Awards and Decorations section of the Promotion Point Worksheet.

Active and reserve soldiers can earn up to 125 points for advancement to sergeant, and 165 for staff sergeant, for awards, decorations, badges, certificates of achievement and assignments to airborne positions that qualify for jump pay.

Awards and badges can make a significant contribution to a soldier's promotion-point total.

But it's up to soldiers to make sure those awards, badges and other achievements are accurately listed in their Enlisted Record Brief, Army personnel officials said.

Keeping the record up to date can help boost a soldier's competitive edge when it's time for promotion.

The menu of achievements that qualify soldiers for promotion points in Section B of the Promotion Point Worksheet was revised in 2011, along with the introduction of new point calculation formulas.

While the 800-point ceiling for promotion points has been retained, the Army has instituted separate systems for distributing those points in the matrixes for sergeant and staff sergeant as follows:

Military Training: 340 maximum for sergeant, and 255 maximum for staff sergeant.

Awards, Decorations, Badges and Certificates of Achievement: 125 max for sergeant, and 165 for staff sergeant.

Military Education: 260 max for sergeant, and 280 for staff sergeant.

Civilian Education: 75 max for sergeant, and 100 for staff sergeant.

How to get your score

To calculate points for awards, decorations and badges, soldiers should multiply the number of points authorized by the number of awards and badges received. (See related charts.)

Under the changes made to the semicentralized promotion system in June 2011, only awards and badges listed qualify for promotion points.

Awards and decorations earned from another U.S. military service receive the same points as corresponding or equivalent Army awards.

This means soldiers who previously served as uniformed members of the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard can receive promotion points for awards earned in that service, provided there is an equivalent Army award.

This also means that soldiers who earned an award from a sister service while in the Army can receive promotion points for that award.

For example, a soldier who is awarded a Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard Achievement Medal can earn 10 promotion points, the same number of points earned for the Army Achievement Medal.


Conversion credits for badges are more complicated, as the services have different criteria for skill badges.

For example, there are no sister-service equivalents to the Combat Infantryman Badge, Combat Medical Badge, Combat Action Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge and Expert Field Medical Badge, which each are worth 30 promotion points.

Section 2 of the Promotion Point Worksheet also authorizes promotion points for certificates of achievement (DA Form 2442).

Five promotion points are authorized for each certificate, up to a maximum of 20 points.

To qualify for points, the certificate must be awarded by a general officer, commander or deputy commander in rank of lieutenant colonel or higher, or a brigade-level command sergeant major.

More for parachutists

In addition to the points that can be earned for the award of airborne badges, soldiers who are jump-qualified and assigned to a position that qualifies for Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay can be awarded additional promotion points without regard to the maximum point rules for the awards category as follows:

Parachutist serving in a table of organization and equipment or table of distribution authority, 20 points.

Senior parachutist serving in a TOE or TDA position, 25 points.

Master parachutist serving in a TOE or TDA position, 30 points.


Award or Promotion Decoration Points

Soldier's Medal or higher 40

Bronze Star with "V" device 35

Bronze Star with "V" device 30

Purple Heart 30

Defense Meritorious Service Medal 25

Meritorious Service Medal 25

Air Medal with "V" device 25

Army Commendation Medal with "V" device 25

Air Medal 20

Joint Service Commendation Medal 20

Joint Service Achievement Medal 10

Army Achievement Medal 10

Good Conduct Medal 10

Reserve Components Achievement Medal 10

Armed Forces Reserve Medal 10

Military Outstanding Volunteer

Service Medal 10


Combat Infantry Badge 30

Combat Medical Badge 30

Combat Action Badge 30

Expert Infantry Badge 30

Expert Field Medical Badge 30

Master Parachutist Badge 20

Master Explosive Ordnance

Disposal Badge 20

Senior Parachutist Badge 15

Senior Explosive Ordnance

Disposal Badge 15

Presidential Service Badge 15

Vice President Service Badge 15

Drill Sergeant Badge 15

Basic Army Recruiter Badge 15

Parachutist Badge 10

Parachute Rigger Badge 10

Divers Badge 10

Basic Explosive Ordnance

Disposal Badge 10

Pathfinder Badge 10

Air Assault Badge 10

Aircraft Crewman Badge 10

Secretary of Defense Service Badge 10

Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge 10

Army Staff Identification Badge 10

Tomb Guard Identification Badge 10

Driver and Mechanic Badge 10

Certificates of Achievement 5

Source: Human Resources Command

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