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Reclass now, and save your career

7,410 re-ups OK'd in overstrength career fields

Apr. 29, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
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First sergeants and master sergeants with dates of rank of June 4, 2009, or earlier, and basic active service dates of Sept. 2, 1986, or later, will be considered for possible involuntary separation under the Qualitative Service Program if they hold one of the following specialties as a primary military occupational specialty. The QSP boards will be held in conjunction with the Regular Army and Active Guard and Reserve sergeant major boards that convene in early June:
Regular Army

11Z Infantry senior sergeant
12X General engineering supervisor
12Y Geospatial engineer
12Z Combat engineering senior sergeant
13Z Field artillery senior sergeant
14Z Air defense senior sergeant
15P Aviation operations specialist
15Z Aircraft maintenance senior sergeant
19Z Armor senior sergeant
25B Information technology specialist
25T Satellite/microwave systems chief
25U Signal support systems specialist
25W Telecommunications operations chief
27D Paralegal specialist
31B Military police
31D CID special agent
31E Internment/resettlement specialist
35X Intelligence senior sergeant
35Z Signals intelligence senior sergeant
36B Financial management technician
42A Human resources specialist
56M Chaplain assistant
68E Dental specialist
68G Patient administration specialist
68J Medical logistics specialist
68K Medical laboratory specialist
68Q Pharmacy specialist
68R Veterinary food inspection specialist
68S Preventive medicine specialist
68W Health care specialist
74D Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist
79R Recruiter
79S Career counselor
88Z Transportation senior sergeant
89B Ammunition specialist
91Z Mechanical maintenance supervisor
92A Automated logistics specialist
92F Petroleum specialist
92G Food service specialist
92M Mortuary affairs specialist
92R Parachute rigger
92S Shower/laundry and clothing repair specialist
92Y Unit supply specialist
94Z Senior NCO logistician
Active Guard and Reserve

11Z Infantry senior sergeant
12Z Engineer senior sergeant
25B Information technology specialist
31D CID special agent
31E Internment/resettlement specialist
56M Chaplain assistant
68A Biomedical equipment specialist
68W Health care specialist
88Z Transportation senior sergeant
91Z Mechanical maintenance supervisor
92G Food service specialist
92Y Unit supply specialist

The version of this story which ran in the May 6 issue of Army Times incorrectly identified the program as the Qualitative Management Program. It is correct as the Qualitative Service Program in this version.

FORT KNOX, Ky. A new program gives senior commanders the authority to re-enlist some soldiers in overstrength military occupational specialties who otherwise may reclassify or leave the Army.

The Commanders Allocation Process is a prime example of how commanders will continue to play a critical role in the re-enlistment process during a drawdown that is expected to see the Regular Army shrink by another 50,000 soldiers in four years.

The program is targeted at junior enlisted soldiers in specialties identified as overstrength in the in/out reclassification calls.

The targeted MOSs include nine combat arms, combat support and combat service support fields.

The program authorizes re-enlistments for 7,410 Skill Level 1 soldiers assigned to any of nine major Army commands worldwide.

Skill Level 1 soldiers typically are on their first enlistment and have not attended the Warrior Leader Course.

The overstrength specialties are:

■12B combat engineer

■19D cavalry scout

■25B information technology specialist

■25Q multichannel transmission systems operator and maintainer

■74D chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist

■88M motor transport operator

■91D power generator equipment repairer

■92A automated logistical specialist

■92G food service specialist

The major commands with authorizations are Forces Command, Intelligence and Security Command, Military District of Washington, Network Enterprise Technology Command, Training and Doctrine Command, Army Central Command, Army Europe, Army Pacific and Army Special Operations Command.

“Basically, we allow a limited number of soldiers in those overstrength MOSs to re-enlist to stay in the MOS,” said Jim Bragg, chief of the enlisted retention and reclassification branch of Human Resources Command. “Once we get to our limit for those MOSs, we will require soldiers to reclassify, but we have not reached that point yet. We check this every day to make sure we do not go over the strength levels we have projected for each MOS.

“We are not stopping soldiers from staying in the Army; we are just making sure that we don’t make an overstrength MOS really overstrength by keeping too many soldiers in the specialty,” Bragg said.

From the big Army standpoint, each command has been given a number of soldiers it can re-enlist in each of the program’s MOSs.

“If they want to go over their cap, they need to contact us, and we will look at manning levels in the other commands to determine if that request can be approved,” he said. “It is set up where commands can help their own brigades and battalions without going over a certain strength level, and where Human Resources Command monitors MOS strength levels Army-wide.

“We have to draw down the Army, but at the same time, we have to shape the Army,” Bragg said. “Soldiers should look at their MOS, and determine if people are getting promoted in that specialty. If not, they should determine if there is another MOS where they can increase their promotion potential.”

“If a soldier’s MOS is overstrength, as displayed in in/out calls, that soldier should determine if it is time to move to an MOS the Army will need in the future,” Bragg said. “Soldiers are rolling the dice if they stay in an overstrength MOS.”

He said it is not expected that any MOSs will be authorized to increase strength authorizations.

“So, if an MOS currently is overstrength, and the Army has to make cuts, the first place it will go is the overstrength MOSs,” he said.

Looking for BEAR

If a soldier is interested in reclassifying, the first place he should go is the Bonus Extension and Retraining program, Bragg said.

These are priority MOSs for the Army, so much so it will pay soldiers to retrain and reclassify into one of these shortage specialties.

The BEAR program was last updated Feb. 4, and the 11 MOSs and bonus rates listed in that announcement remain in effect.

Bonuses are available to soldiers in the ranks of private first class through sergeant first class, and range from about $3,000 to $50,000, depending on specialty and length of service extension.

“We wouldn’t be spending money on this program if we didn’t need soldiers in those MOSs,” Bragg said.

Other MOSs that are good candidates for reclassification, but are not included in the BEAR program, include:

■31D CID special agent, primarily for soldiers at Skill Levels 1 and 2.

■15R AH-64 Apache helicopter repairer, for Skill Level 1 soldiers.

■15W unmanned aerial vehicle repairer, for Skill Level 1 soldiers.

■ 35Q cryptologic network warfare specialist, for Skill Level 2 soldiers.

“This is a hot MOS for the Army, but we are fighting with the Air Force and Navy for training seats,” Bragg said.

■ 25S satellite communications systems operator and maintainer, for Skill Level 2 soldiers who are airborne-qualified.

If a soldier is interested in reclassification, he should contact his unit career counselor, Bragg said.

The counselor will know about qualifications and standards for the various MOSs, as well as Army rules for reclassification.

Career counselors also have access to an automated retention management system, RETAIN, that allows reclassification processing to be conducted at a soldier’s home station.

Several publications can help soldiers research a job change, perhaps the most important being the reclassification in/out calls, last published in February. The calls indicate by rank if an MOS is short-handed, balanced or overstrength.

First-term soldiers also should consult cutoff scores and the monthly sergeant and staff sergeant promotion trend analysis to determine advancement opportunities in MOSs that are candidates for reclassification.

Specialists, corporals and sergeants also can improve their promotion prospects if they are in one of several chronically short-handed specialties called STAR MOS.

Once boarded, these soldiers can be promoted in two months provided they make the monthly cutoff scores.

As of late April, there were 18 STAR MOSs at the rank of sergeant, and 17 at staff sergeants.

The senior ranks

While reclassification actions primarily involve first-term and midcareer soldiers, the Army is shaping the senior ranks of its enlisted force with the Qualitative Service Program.

QSP boards focus on senior noncommissioned officers, who are at or near retirement eligibility, and who are in overstrength MOSs, and specialties with limited promotion opportunity, or both.

Since being implemented in 2012, the QSP retention review process has been used in conjunction with senior NCO promotion boards for the Regular Army and the Army Reserve component of the Active Guard and Reserve.

As a result of those reviews, nearly 500 soldiers of the active component have been selected for separation, according to Scott Kuhar, chief of HRC’s enlisted transition branch.

About 90 percent of those soldiers are retirement eligible under the Temporary Early Retirement Authority, the 15-year early retirement option, or the regular military retirement system because they have 20 or more years of service.

The next QSP reviews will be conducted by the Regular Army and Active Guard and Reserve sergeant major boards that convene in early June.

The zone of eligibility for QSP will include first sergeants and master sergeants in selected MOSs who will have fewer than 28 years of active federal service as of the mandatory separation date for soldiers who are denied continued service by the screening boards.

The projected mandatory separation date for these soldiers is Sept. 1, 2014.

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