More deserving Soldiers will be promoted sooner and fewer school seats should go vacant under the Army’s new Enlisted Centralized Promotion Board process, said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey.
Dailey took part in a Facebook Live session, May 29, with Sgt. Maj. Mark Clark of the G-1 Directorate of Military Personnel Management. They discussed changes to the Army’s noncommissioned officer boards scheduled to be implemented over the next three years.
“It used to be called a promotion board; in the future it will be called an evaluation board,” Dailey said. Future boards will evaluate Soldiers for schooling, assignments and promotion.
Under the new process, if an NCO cannot go to school for any reason, then the next in line will immediately be offered the seat, he said.
The fundamentals of how NCO records are evaluated by the boards will not change, he said. The big change will come on how those deemed fully-qualified are sequenced.
“Previously, board members would vote; and would rack and stack individuals based on DA Pam 600-25 and then they would be re-sequenced based on time in service, time in grade. That process will not happen anymore,” Dailey said. “It will be a true, talent-based list.”
When the board decides a Soldier is the most talented and all prerequisites have been met, that Soldier will be No. 1 on the list.
“That number, for the first time in the history of our centralized promotion board system, will show you how you rated against your peers,” Dailey said. It won’t be based simply on seniority.
“We want to change our system from largely a time-based system to a talent-based system,” he said, where the most talented is promoted first.
“I can assure you that it is the right direction to take our NCO Corps,” Dailey said.
After future boards, a sequenced promotion list will not be published, Clark said.
A list of all fully-qualified NCOs will instead be published, alphabetically.
“So, there won’t be a committed list where you have to wait 12 to 18 months to be promoted,” he said.
NCOs will first be evaluated 18 months out from when eligible, Dailey said.
“The perception is going to be that we will promote Soldiers too fast,” Dailey said. “That’s not true.”
An NCO must still meet all the qualifications before being promoted, he stressed.
Under the old process, boards drew a line across the sequenced list based on an estimate of how many NCOs in that MOS would be needed at that rank. Only those above the line would be promoted.
“Sometimes, we got it right. Sometimes, we didn’t,” Dailey said.
The new process will allow more NCOs to be promoted mid-year, if more are needed, he explained.
“This is an evolving, adapting and changing Army,” he said.
“Most importantly, this process will improve Army readiness,” Clark said. “We will now be able to promote Soldiers, assign them and train them, based on being the best-qualified to man our forces …”
Education about the new board process begins this year with sergeants major and will be followed by training for the trainers. All Soldiers will get a comprehensive education on the new system over the next three years, Dailey said.
Current sequence numbers from recent boards remain in effect, for now, Dailey said. The new process will be adopted over time, to keep from hurting any NCOs, he said.
The old, centralized promotion process served the Army well for 50 years, Dailey said. “That doesn’t mean we can’t improve upon it,” he added.
“It rewards those who are working hard to do what the Army needs them to do,” he said.