Between my other posts and this one, I think everyone is tracking by now my situation. If not, heres a snapshot. I'm an 11B E-5, I was accepted to CI in February and I have a school date for November 2012. I signed a BEAR extension that enables me to reenlist for a bonus with in 90 days of graduating CISAC. Last month my PSG offered me the chance to go to the promotion board in June. I was hesitant because I wasn't sure if getting promoted would affect my acceptance and/ or bonus and retention through the BEAR program.
I touched on it in another post, but in case anyone else was wondering... I spoke with a SFC from CISAC and they told me to go ahead and attend the promotion board. She said as long as I was already accepted it would not negate that.
Today I also spoke with my retention NCO, he's a bit shady, however, he wears the sweet badge so... He said going to the board AND being promoted to E-6 will result in not getting the bonus through the BEAR program (because the MILPER message specifically states it is for E4 and E5). As far as retention, It shouldn't affect my retainability after I graduate school. He said it kind of defeats the purpose of reenlisting through BEAR since you don't get the bonus. His personal opinion was to A) not even try to go to the board to keep things simple, OR B) go to the board, don't actually get promoted to E6 and retain my P status until after I graduate CISAC and reenlist, this way I MIGHT be able to get the bonus and then get my 6 after. The whole reason I personally want to get promoted before I switch to 35L is the points for E6 are much lower for 11 series compared to 35L(which I think is almost maxed most of the time). So if I give up a $23K bonus, I will make up for that with a pay increase and career progression.