When you first come into the service, getting promoted seems easy. You do your job, and when you have enough time in service, you make E-2, then E-3. But sooner or later, it seems that you get stalled out. Your boss keeps recommending other people for promotion, but not you. What’s the deal? You’re just as good as they are, maybe even better. So how do you get out of this rut?
Just meeting the criteria for promotion is not good enough. You have to be above the standard if you want to get promoted. Average performance and enough time in grade just doesn’t cut it. Take the first step by volunteering for additional responsibility. When your boss says he needs someone to __________(you fill in the blank), even if it’s a crappy job, raise your hand and say, “Sergeant, I’ll do it.” Your pals may poke fun at you, but you have to show the boss that you are willing to do more for the team.
Teamwork is what it’s all about in the military. When you make yourself more of an asset to the team, you make the team more successful. Start by training yourself to max regular skills tests, such as physical fitness (APFT) and marksmanship. Get a military driver’s license. If you already have one, get qualified on every vehicle in your unit. Sometimes getting qualified on larger vehicles may take time, so take the initiative to learn everything about the vehicles in your unit and practice performing preventive maintenance checks and services (PMCS) on them. Start by reading the manuals and getting smart on the parts and terms. You will find that once you start learning, other Soldiers and NCOs will be willing to show you, especially since this means they can call on you for help when they need it. If they aren’t willing to help you learn, find someone else who is. In addition to vehicles, get qualified on every weapon in your unit.