Army’s fitness standouts now stand out less for promotion to sergeant and staff sergeant
Stars and Stripes April 7, 2023
An Army initiative that alters how points are calculated for promotion to the ranks of sergeant and staff sergeant went into effect this month, giving soldiers a broader array of possibilities to climb the ranks.
Military education and awards now account for a larger share of point tallies while physical fitness scores will carry less weight, according to an Army memorandum issued last year that outlines the changes.
For example, a top fitness score is now worth 120 points, down from the previous 180 points for promotion to sergeant. In the case of staff sergeant, fitness scores saw a 25-point decrease.
The point redistribution also rewards soldiers for having proficiency in basic infantry and medical tasks.
That means badges such as the expert soldier, infantryman and field medical badges have become even more valuable. For those seeking promotion to sergeant, that adds up to a 20-point increase in the awards category.
The changes, which went into effect April 1, have received a wide range of reviews.
A user of the popular Army Reddit forum said it meant that soldiers tipping the scales would have to “find another excuse why (they) didn't get promoted.”
That prompted this retort: “And the dummies will have to read a few more books.”
Others praised the move, noting that the ability to run the fastest doesn’t necessarily translate to leadership skill.
“This is arguably the best thing I’ve seen happen since I’ve joined the army,” wrote another Reddit user.