The U.S. Army has temporarily promoted approximately 52,000 noncommissioned officers under a pandemic-era policy allowing advancement without attending leadership academies. This policy, implemented over the past two years, aimed to facilitate promotions amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Army data reveals that about 20% of these soldiers, totaling 10,588, have not completed the required leadership schooling, raising concerns among service leadership.
The Army faces a dilemma with the one-year deadline for attending leadership academies post-promotion, as many NCOs struggle to schedule their schooling. Factors such as limited availability in certain military occupations, frequent deployments, and long-term training rotations have hindered the ability of units to send troops to these essential courses.