Leadership: October 13, 2002


Senior US Army sergeants say that the new promotion system designed to fill the shortage in the E-5 (sergeant) and E-6 (staff sergeant) ranks is producing well-motivated troops who simply lack the skills to do the job. The new system awards extra promotion points for doing well on the physical fitness test and firing range, and for taking civilian classes, but this results in soldiers getting promoted before they fully learn the skills of their jobs or how to lead troops. Soldiers who approach the required time in grade for promotion tend to put in a lot of extra time at the gym or at private firing ranges to push their scores up, and to take courses at the local college that score them extra points.--Stephen V Cole


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