COVID-19 Enlisted Promotions
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WASHINGTON -- In response to the COVID-19
outbreak, the Army has initiated several policy
exceptions that will impact enlisted promotion
cycles scheduled until the end of this fiscal year,
unless terminated sooner, G-1 officials announced
Tuesday.

Due to the recent restrictions placed on travel and
training, the Army is altering its approach to semi-
centralized promotion boards, along with changing
the training requirements required for promotion
eligibility, said Sgt. Maj. Mark A. Clark, the Army
G-1 directorate of military personnel management
sergeant major.

The exception will impact the active-duty and Army
Reserve force, with many of the alterations taking
effect during the May promotion month, Clark said.
The National Guard will produce additional
guidance at a later date.

As the COVID-19 environment continues to evolve,
the Army will continue to review its policy exceptions
every 30 days and make any necessary changes.
The modifications will be in place until Sept. 30.

VIRTUAL BOARDS

Commanders are now authorized an alternative
means to evaluate personnel during a monthly unit
promotion board, Clark said.

With the exception to policy, commanders can
conduct a promotion board within a virtual
environment. It will be up to the command team to
determine their proper means of communication,
he added.

In addition to the virtual boards, leaders can also
rely on their battalion command sergeant major to
make promotion recommendations based on their
"one-on-one interactions with an eligible Soldier,"
Clark added. Battalion CSMs can obtain input from
their chain of command or through the NCO support
channel to make an informed decision about an
eligible Soldier.

PROFESSIONAL MILITARY EDUCATION

Starting in May, the Army will temporarily suspend
its PME course requirements for staff sergeants
and sergeants first class who need to complete
the Advanced Leader Course or Senior Leader
Course, respectively, Clark said.

The temporary suspension of PME will not waive
the PME requirement, Clark said. Soldiers will still
be required to complete the course at a later date
and will be prioritized first in the training pipeline to
ensure they meet this training requirement.

U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command has
distance learning options for Soldiers attending the
Basic Leader Course, Master Leader Course and
the Sergeants Major Course, therefore negating a
need for an exception to policy for these respected
ranks, Clark said.

AFPT, WEAPONS QUALIFICATIONS

The Army Physical Fitness Test will continue to
be a promotion eligibility requirement, officials said.
However, Soldiers will be able to use their last
recorded APFT for promotion recommendation
and pin-on, regardless of when the fitness test
was administered.

The policy exception also prevents Soldiers from
falling off of the promotion standing list because of
an expired APFT, Clark said. Further, commanders
cannot flag Soldiers for failing to take the APFT
during this time.

Soldiers who previously failed the APFT will remain
flagged until they can successfully pass their fitness
evaluation. Additional guidance will be published at
a later date, officials said.

Beyond the APFT, the Army is also providing the
same extension to weapons qualifications, Clark
said.

Until the exception of policy is lifted, a Soldier's
promotion points will be based on their most recent
weapons qualification, regardless of when
completed, officials said.

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Army Enlisted Promotions
COVID-19 Army Enlisted Promotions Exception to Policy