Changes to retention control points for soldiers
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Changes to retention control points increase promotion opportunity for Mid-career Soldiers
NOTE: Please download and read the complete Army Directive at the bottom of this page to get all of the information.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service) -- Sergeants first class seeking another stripe saw increased
opportunity during the fiscal year 2016 master sergeant promotion board, as the selection rate
jumped 35 percent, from 8.4 in FY15, to 11.8 in FY16.

Those increased opportunities to serve come as a result of projected openings in the master sergeant
ranks that will come as a result of changes to retention control points for sergeants first class, master
sergeants and sergeants major, that were announced, May 26, in Army Directive 2016-19.

According Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey, the changes to RCPs are part of an effort to
right-size the Army for the current mission, reduce the need for forced separations, and create
increased opportunities for promotion.

Similar increases in selection rate to sergeant first class are also expected during the 2016 board.
Last year's board selected about 25.4 percent of the staff sergeants considered.

Beginning Oct. 1, some senior enlisted Soldiers will find they have a new "expiration, term of service,"
or ETS, as a result of changes to their retention control points.

Those changes roll back RCPs for sergeants first class and above who are in the Regular Army, or
who are serving under the Active Guard Reserve program. The changes will shorten RCPs by two to
three years, and will help reduce the total size of the Army, in keeping with congressional mandates
to do so; shape the NCO promotion system and NCO Corps; and help ensure upward mobility for
mid-grade NCOs.

An RCP indicates the number of years of time in service a Soldier may not exceed for the grade they
serve in. For instance, the RCP for a sergeant is 14 years. Sergeants must either leave the Army at
14 years, or get promoted to staff sergeant. The RCP for staff sergeants is 20 years. At 20 years, a
staff sergeant must either retire, or get promoted to sergeant first class in order to continue to serve.
The new RCPs will require as many as 3,000 NCOs to leave the Army earlier than they expected,
but they will not all leave at the same time. Instead, the Army will stagger the adjustment of their
RCPs over a period of about three years. All of those NCOs will be able to retire with at least 20
years of service, but most will retire with more than that, Conner said.

While for many NCOs, a new ETS will be a surprise for them, every Soldier affected will have more
than a year to plan their retirement. For instance, for sergeants first class and promotable sergeants
first class, the implementation of RCPs will be staggered in this fashion:

-- Beginning Oct. 1, 2016, for SFC and SFC(P) who enlisted Oct. 1, 1992 or earlier, their RCP will be
reset to 26 years.

-- Beginning Oct 1, 2016, for SFC and SFC(P) who enlisted between Oct. 2,1992 and Apr. 1, 1994,
their RCP will be reset to 25 years.

-- Beginning Oct 1, 2016, for SFC and SFC(P) who enlisted Apr. 2,1994 and after, their RCP will be
reset to 24 years.

A similar staggering of RCP implementation will happen for master sergeants, command sergeants
major and sergeants major so that they too will have plenty of time to plan their retirements.

Download the Complete Army Directive for all of the details and information
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Changes to retention control points increase promotion opportunity for Mid-career Soldiers