Leadership: May 21, 2001


The Army has reinstated the policy of promoting the best three percent of soldiers graduating from Basic Training to Private E2 (one stripe), something that had been accidentally left out of last year's revision of the regulations. Promotion to E2 is otherwise automatic after six months in uniform unless blocked by a unit commander. Promotion to Private First Class (E3, one stripe up and one down) is automatic at 12 months of service (assuming 4 months as an E2) and promotion to Specialist is automatic at 26 months, both assuming commanders do not move to block promotions. Currently, each battalion is allowed to fill 17% of its E4 positions with soldiers who were given accelerated promotions to Specialist with as little as 18 months of service.--Stephen V Cole


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