The new rules were laid out in a Nov. 25 MILPER message involving structured self-development and semi-centralized promotions.
The message says that beginning in December, Soldiers who complete the SSD-I course will not get any points for it. The message
also makes it clear that the SSD-I course is a requirement for promotion to sergeant.
Sgt. Maj. Jonathan A. Uribe-Huitron, chief of the Enlisted Promotion Branch at Army Human Resources Command, said SSD-I is a
requirement to attain eligibility for promotion recommendation to E-5, and a prerequisite for attendance at the Warrior Leader
Course. That requirement is one reason the points awarded for completion of the course were dropped.
“It is a mandatory requirement for all Soldiers to have it, so there is no need for us to award points for a requirement that they need to
have,” he said.
In the past, he said, promotion points were offered for SSD-I because it was a correspondence course. Soldiers had earned four
points for each week of the four-week course.
Soldiers can still earn points elsewhere to make themselves competitive when they go before a promotion board, Uribe-Huitron said.
He explained those Soldiers need to realize that they are competing against peers in their own military occupational specialty, known
as an MOS, for promotion.
COMPETITION WITH MOS
“Their promotion potential will depend on what the rest of their peers are doing in that same MOS,” Uribe-Huitron said. “Soldiers must
familiarize themselves with how the Army awards promotion points. This is where non-commissioned officers come into play as they
coach and mentor their Soldiers. NCOs, having experienced this process, will have a thorough understanding of how Soldiers can
earn more points to become more competitive.”
How many Soldiers can be promoted depends on how many slots within an MOS that the Army needs to fill, Uribe-Huitron said. If the
Army needs to fill a lot of empty slots in an MOS at a particular grade, it will set the promotion points requirement low. If it needs to fill
fewer slots, the promotion points requirement will be higher.
OTHER PROMOTION POINTS
Soldiers can earn up to 255 promotion points in military training, Uribe-Huitron said, and that includes weapons qualification and the
Army Physical Fitness Test.
They can earn as many as 195 points for awards and decorations. Up to 280 points can be earned for military education, which in the
past included completion of SSD-I. They can also earn up to 100 points for civilian education. An additional 30 points may be earned
for airborne advantage.
Soldiers also earn 80 promotion points for attending the Warrior Leader Course. They may earn more than that through exceptional
performance in the course. Those Solders who make the commandant’s list, for instance, will instead earn 92 promotion points.
Graduates of the course who earn “Distinguished Honor Graduate” status or “Distinguished Leadership Award” will now receive 104
While Soldiers will no longer earn points for attending SSD-I, no changes were announced for the points earned by completing SSD-III
or SSD-IV. The SSD-V course is still under development, Uribe-Huitron said, and is not available at this time.