NCO promotions will be linked to Structured Self Development
By Sgt. 1st Class Jason Stadel – July 11, 2013
Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh released Army Directive 2013-15 on July 1, which established Army
policies that link completion of structured self-development (SSD) and professional military education courses
with promotion under a newly defined “select-train-promote” methodology. The directive applies to Active
Army, Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.
Effective January 1, 2014, specialists and corporals cannot be promotable until they complete SSD-1.
Soldiers are automatically enrolled into SSD-1 upon completion of initial entry training. The directive outlines
the differences between all Army components.
In the Active Army and Army Reserve, specialists and corporals will be eligible for the promotion board to
sergeant once they complete SSD-1. In the Army National Guard, they must complete SSD-1 before attaining
eligibility for promotion against a valid promotion vacancy.
Also taking effect January 1, commanders will no longer have the ability to waive the Warrior Leader Course
requirement prior to a sergeant being promoted to staff sergeant. In the past, if circumstances allowed
(deployment, etc.), commanders could allow promotable sergeants, who hadn’t yet completed WLC, to
advance in rank and grade to staff sergeant with a waiver, provided the newly promoted staff sergeant would
successfully complete WLC after redeploying. That authority has been rescinded. Now every sergeant, in
each componet, must complete WLC prior to being promoted to staff sergeant.
The Army Directive also said all staff sergeants must complete SSD-3 to attain eligibility for promotion
consideration to sergeant first class. In addition, all sergeants first class must complete SSD-4 before they
are considered eligible for selection to master sergeant.