The U.S. Army is revising its two-year-old policy of promoting noncommissioned officers (NCOs) before they complete required academy training. This change, set to be effective in January for active-duty enlisted soldiers and the Army Reserve, comes after challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and academy capacity issues. However, exceptions remain, allowing some early promotions based on specific circumstances.
- The Army will return to its traditional practice of requiring NCOs to complete academy courses, like the Advanced Leader Course, before being promoted.
- The policy adjustment comes after the 2021 decision to allow promotions without academy completion due to capacity constraints and pandemic-related complications.
- Soldiers promoted without the required schooling had a year to finish their education or face demotion.
- Commanders still have discretion in certain situations, like when there’s a shortage in specific ranks, to promote NCOs before they complete academy training.
- Initial policy changes in 2015 aimed to formalize NCO training, emphasizing Army doctrine and promoting professional development.