Select-Train-Educate-Promote (STEP)

What is it?
Select-Train-Educate-Promote, also known as STEP, is a policy that
represents the Army's investment in Soldiers' professional military
education through a deliberate, continuous, and progressive process.
Since 2008, the Army has required master sergeants to graduate from
the Sergeants Major Course before attaining eligibility for promotion to
sergeant major. Effective Jan. 1, 2016, the Army will expand this
standard for
promotion eligibility to the following NCO ranks by
requiring all Soldiers to complete the appropriate level of formal
military education before being determined fully qualified:

--Promotion to sergeant requires completion of the Basic (formerly
Warrior) Leader Course.

--Promotion to staff sergeant requires completion of the Advanced
Leader Course.

--Promotion to sergeant first class requires completion of the Senior
Leader Course.

What has the Army done?
Since the 1980s, the Army has allowed "conditional promotions,"
where Soldiers could get their stripes without having completed the
corresponding professional military education (PME). Recently, the
Army announced the establishment of the Noncommissioned Officer
Professional Development System (NCOPDS); an organizational
framework to develop the next generation of competent and committed
NCOs. Within this framework, a Soldier's stripes will not just be an
indicator of rank or pay -- it will be an indicator that each NCO has
been appropriately trained as a leader.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army is committed to ensuring all Soldiers are provided full career
opportunities to reach their highest potential and enhance overall Army
readiness. This will be achieved in part by continuing to shape policies
that support and sustain our highly capable and ready force.
Why is this important to the Army?

These requirements are enhancements to the Army's talent
management system, which ensures its NCOs are properly developed
and prepared to fight and win in a complex world as adaptive, agile
leaders and trusted professionals. Additionally, Army leadership
endorses that education provides academically, intellectually, and
personally challenging learning experiences. By linking structured
self-development and the NCO Education System to subsequent
promotion, the Army will better prepare NCOs for the complexities of
today's operational environment while reinforcing the benefits of a
deliberate, continuous, sequential and progressive professional
development strategy.
Army Select Train Educate and Promote STEP
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