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Old 7 July 2010, 17:30
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Battlefield promotions

I just read a memo where a PFC (DOR March 2010 and currently serving in Iraq) was being recommended for a battlefield promotion to SGT. I read the reg. but didn't see anything about being able to skip a paygrade.

Anyone here familiar with this sort of thing? Thanks.
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Old 8 July 2010, 14:40
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General Officers have the option to promote outside of the normal channels, not sure if there is an actual regulation that covers it
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Old 8 July 2010, 23:04
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From WIki

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Normally, enlisted men or non-commissioned officers cannot attain the rank of commissioned officer through regular promotion. Starting in 1917, during World War I, the United States Army started awarding battlefield commissions to soldiers to replace the "Brevet Officer" system (the promotion of an enlisted man to a commissioned officer without an increase in pay). The Marine Corps started awarding battlefield commissions in place of the Brevet Medal, which was second only to the Medal of Honor. From World War I to the Vietnam conflict, over 31,200 soldiers, Marines, and airmen had been awarded battlefield commissions. Such a commission is usually advancement from a position of non-commissioned officer to a commissioned officer, generally O-1, also known as Second Lieutenant, or Ensign in the Navy or Coast Guard. The most significant difference between battlefield commissions and other commissions is that with the latter one must attend the Officer Training School/Officer Candidate School, Reserve Officer Training Corps or service academy of their respective service. Battlefield commissions are awarded on the basis of merit and demonstration of leadership and eliminate this step.

The most notable recipient of a battlefield commission was Audie Murphy, who was promoted from Staff Sergeant to Second Lieutenant during World War II.
My mentor, LTG (R) Sam Wilson was promoted from 16 year old private to First Sergeant in 2 years during WWII and then sent to OCS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_V._Wilson
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Old 9 July 2010, 08:05
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I take it that the only reason why there were Battlefield Commissions in other wars was because of the greater amount of casualties. More of a necessity, then of an award for great performance.

Are there more people besides this one guy getting promoted today in combat, or are those days of yester year? Just curious.

Most of the Battlefield Commission Officers in the Army from the Nam era got RIF'd. I did have the pleasure to know a couple of the RIF survivors while on AD, and they were all great men.

Last edited by BKK; 9 July 2010 at 08:07.
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Old 9 July 2010, 08:33
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I have heard of some sort of system now in use, but it's not what the name implies. I think I saw a couple guys in my last OEF rotation get the "battlefield" promotion. But that was just two SPC getting promoted outside of the current system. No TIG requirement and probably no E-5 board. But definately not for anything related to combat.
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Old 9 July 2010, 10:15
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Not the answer you are seeking...But I went from CWO to 1Lt, Viet Nam 69.
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Old 9 July 2010, 10:24
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I was in Marine Corps JROTC. One of our Marine Instructors (Msgt/Capt Roger Craig) had been given a battlefield promotion in Vietnam to Lt and then Capt (from MSgt). He reverted back to Master Sgt after he left Vietnam and while he finished out his time in the Marine Corps waiting to retire... so, during that time he was able to serve at our school. When he retired, he was immediately able to put the Captain bars back on and received O-3 pay as retirement. I believe the wording is that when you retire you retire at the highest rank attained on active duty.. so long as you had no disiplinary actions.
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Old 9 July 2010, 10:29
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I just forgot - one of my buddies in my squad was promoted on the spot during a DMZ patrol on the spot from E-3 to E-4 by Gen. Gary E. Luck.

What sucked is at the time I was also an E-3 and had just switched from on to off about an hour before the Gen. showed up...
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Old 11 July 2010, 13:25
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Originally Posted by KidA View Post
...... one of my buddies in my squad was promoted on the spot during a DMZ patrol on the spot from E-3 to E-4 by Gen. Gary E. Luck.
...
Gen. Luck did that a lot, lol.
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Old 11 July 2010, 14:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidA View Post
I just forgot - one of my buddies in my squad was promoted on the spot during a DMZ patrol on the spot from E-3 to E-4 by Gen. Gary E. Luck.

What sucked is at the time I was also an E-3 and had just switched from on to off about an hour before the Gen. showed up...
General Grey (Former CMC) did it too in DS/DS. The MC has a system now in place for combat promotions from sergeant to staff sergeant and staff sergeant to gunnery sergeant, based on performance in combat and COC recommendations.
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Old 11 July 2010, 15:41
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In OIF-1 I was promoted from E-4 to E-5. No boards or PLDC. My unit simply needed more NCO's. It was done with the stipulation that I would have to go to PLDC once stateside, but I was stoplossed anyways so I ended my enlistment as an E-5.
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Old 11 July 2010, 16:05
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Smile OLD reg....

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Originally Posted by OldSwabbie View Post
I believe the wording is that when you retire you retire at the highest rank attained on active duty.. so long as you had no disiplinary actions.
It used to be this way...
With the advent of numerous Green to Gold programs and Tuition Assistance in the early 90's, they found a high percentage of Senior NCO's transitioning to the Officer side, serving their last 3 or four years, then retiring with CPT Pay.
So -About 10 years ago they changed the wording to read that you had to hold your commission for 10 years in order to retire with it - OR - wait until your 30 yr anniversary to be "awarded" your previously held highest rank.
Many in the Physician Assistant Community challenged this change in the regulation because it happened AFTER we were commissioned. All who challenged, LOST, and retried at their 20 (or whatever) with their percentage of previous enlisted pay and their previous enlisted pay grade on their ID card.
Additionally, guys who were say, E-5 when they went to PA school (2 years) served 4-6 years as a PA then retired at their 20...did not get "advanced or promoted" as if they would have continued their Enlisted career track. They simply retired as an E-5 with 20 yrs. When they hit their 30 yr anniversary, their retirement pay and ID card will change to their highest grade attained...IF they apply for it

PA
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Old 11 July 2010, 16:06
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Originally Posted by 0699 View Post
General Grey (Former CMC) did it too in DS/DS. The MC has a system now in place for combat promotions from sergeant to staff sergeant and staff sergeant to gunnery sergeant, based on performance in combat and COC recommendations.
Never heard of that. Only E-5 and below are/were eligible that I know of.......(to be promoted up to E-6)

So a quick Yahoo Search found this: http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r600_8_19.pdf

Specifically: Chapter 11, page 152
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Old 11 July 2010, 16:45
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Not sure of the other services, or if these still hold true today. While I was active duty a CO could promote one stripe up to E6 - the number of promotes was limited by the size of the command. The only exception to the E6 rule was to be selected fleet sailor of the year which was an automatic advancement from E6 to E7.

At the same time the Air Force had the STEP program (STripes for Excellence Program) where the base commander could promote one person to E7.

Have no idea if they are still available today...
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Old 11 July 2010, 19:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace View Post
Never heard of that. Only E-5 and below are/were eligible that I know of.......(to be promoted up to E-6)

So a quick Yahoo Search found this: http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r600_8_19.pdf

Specifically: Chapter 11, page 152
May only be a Marine thing. AFAIK, it's fairly new; I hadn't heard of the Corps having an "official" combat promotion system until sometime around 2005. Here's links to MCO P140.32D, para 4102 that outlines the combat meritorious promotion program and to MARADMIN 375/10 with the combat promotions for the 3rd quarter 2010.

http://www.yuma.usmc.mil/services/le...OP1400.32D.pdf
http://www.usmc.mil/news/messages/Pa...MIN375-10.aspx
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Old 11 July 2010, 21:45
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In the 70's in the Marines you could be recommended for meritorious promotion at the Battalion level up to the rank of Sgt. That's how I got Lance Corporal. For Corporal and Sergeant it was a competitive board process within the Bn or Squadron. There was a competitive system for Meritorious SSG usually at the Wing or Division level.

At the MCRD's it was possible to make Meritorious SSG and Gunnery Sergeant.

All of the above was based on MTOE numbers.
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Old 11 July 2010, 22:03
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I always thought that promotion to E6 was done with command authority and that E7 and above was controlled by DA. I always thought that E7 was akin to the Holy Grail of promotions because of the authority it took to eleveate someone to that level (and also to knock them down in the event of discipline).

Is that not the case?
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Old 11 July 2010, 22:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetPara View Post
In the 70's in the Marines you could be recommended for meritorious promotion at the Battalion level up to the rank of Sgt. That's how I got Lance Corporal. For Corporal and Sergeant it was a competitive board process within the Bn or Squadron. There was a competitive system for Meritorious SSG usually at the Wing or Division level.

At the MCRD's it was possible to make Meritorious SSG and Gunnery Sergeant.

All of the above was based on MTOE numbers.
There're still meritorious promotions in the FMF up to sergeant; that's how I got promoted many moons ago. When I retired, they were keeping the promotions at division/wing level and Marines would have to win boards from company level up. Had a few of my Marines win meritorious promotions to corporal & sergeant.

Not always a big fan of meritorious boards either. Some were good IMO, requiring a Marine to run PFTs, drill a squad, JOB inspection, BST testing, etc, mixed in with recommendations from the COC and the Marine's SRB. Others were just "appear in front of the interview board in service charlies" and the person who talks best wins...

Not sure how the non-combat meritorious SNCO promotions are done at the MCRDs, but they still have them along with meritorious promotions for SNCOs on recruiting and MSG duty.
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Old 13 July 2010, 13:49
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I always thought that promotion to E6 was done with command authority and that E7 and above was controlled by DA. I always thought that E7 was akin to the Holy Grail of promotions because of the authority it took to eleveate someone to that level (and also to knock them down in the event of discipline).

Is that not the case?
You are correct, which is why you don't hear of the 22 yr old SFC any more.

As to reduction of an E-7 and above: It happens but it takes a LOT to do it. Generally the Army will reassign you before demoting you, just in case your new boss is an asshole with an axe to grind. Of course, this info is based on Army knowledge, not USMC (I don't know how they do it over there).
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Old 13 July 2010, 16:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Helmet View Post
I always thought that promotion to E6 was done with command authority and that E7 and above was controlled by DA. I always thought that E7 was akin to the Holy Grail of promotions because of the authority it took to eleveate someone to that level (and also to knock them down in the event of discipline).

Is that not the case?
You are correct- for the Army at least.

The Battalion Commander is the promotion authority up to SSG. After that it is a centralized board of selection for E7-E9. Then another board for CSM...

There are administrative reduction boards for inefficiency for just about all grades but the boards's ducks better be in a row and quacking in cadence...

Demotion for misbehavior for SFC and above starts at the 2 star level and is NEVER pretty...
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