PAO -- promotion is a real pain the ....

You know everytime I pick up the Army Times and glance at the section for promotions our field (46) has a very small list of Soldiers to make sergeant.

At the moment I'm just hitting my three year mark (April 14th) and preparing to takle the promotion board so I can become a sergeant.

I mean we'll be needing a few for sure in Stewart (many people are getting out), which boogles my mind why not more are elgible (Nov. has 8!) or that our points are not low like some other lucky punks.

Yeah this job is hard, a majority of 46s become smokers to handle it but damn why do we have to bust our butt for promotion?

Maybe I'm just slightly peeved because 463 is easy except I'd probably need like 550 to be considered going against 12 other people that have likely been competing for a slot for a while.
Original Post
Trust me all you need to do is impress your chain and get sent to the board and you'll be just fine.
The reason why probably not more people are eligible is because they probably already got promoted the months prior....but then again I'm not really looking at the points right now.
Think of it this way: I'd rather compete against 12 people to go to the board than to compete against 1000 people who are promotable.

I should be #40 out of about 1000 people that are promotable in my MOS, 42L. I also have 759 promotion in other words, I'd rather compete against 12 guys, go to the board and make cut-off the first month coming right out of the board than seeing dozens of people who went to the board after me, with half the time in the Army as me, make cut-off before me....
Well now I'm just kind of venting.. Razzer
Ok, here just my two cents worth, as a fellow 46Q.

I recently got promoted at 2 years 7 months (back in October). I had 645 points that I worked my tail off for every one of them (I started corrospondence courses as soon as I got to my first duty station, knowing I'd need them later). My only advice is to just keep working hard at it. I have a friend who's been a Q for 5 years and is still a specialist (only 400 points) and I tell him all the time it's not like the good days a year or so ago, when we were always 350. The automatic integration took care of that.

As for why they are promoted so few every month (besides the integration filling a lot of slots), well there are other factors to that. The main one is the Army only looks at how many 46Q sergeants are needed Army-wide, not just at each unit. So you have a unit like mine, with only one E-5 46Q slot, and we have 4 E-5s in the unit. A gross misuse of personnel when the reality is they should just PCS the three extra to a unit who needs them.

Anyway, at this point it looks like the points kepe dropping, but I would still do whatever possible to get as many points as possible. I know a lot of people who got comfortable when they were always 350 and are struggling now to make points because they have been so high.

And I completely hear you on the smoking. I keep quiting and then the crap hits the fan and I'm stressed again.
Yeah I'm definitely thinking I squandered to muh of my free time in the Army.

Right now I'm slightly under 400 and hitting the courses which is really, really tough to do while deployed.

I just entered my secondary zone two weeks ago and never really gave the sergeant idea any thought.

Now my officers Col. Whetstone and Capt. Lewis are really insisiting I bust my ass off the next two months in courses so I'm elgible for promotion on my 3 year mark in April.

My boss after hearing about my desire to go to 1st BCT, 3ID (it's going to be a division transfer because they are short) is pushing for me to work at getting those chevrons.

I'm doing pretty good right now but damn, the old 350 sure look good now.

expesically when I'm like 80 short!

I'm not sure about this but do each ribbon count as points?

If so where can I look that up?

Smart move starting early on the correspondence courses. I'm kind of pissed at myself for not looking forward sooner until my boss hinteed I'd be a good NCO.

I'm definitely going to make it mandatory when I counsel someone that they take mil/civ courses to help them in the future.

Until then I'm going to be working my ass off.

By the way, I think I met you back in June during my NTC rotation. Were you, or are you now the editor for the base paper?
How do the points work when you have 100 plus college credit hours?. My MOS is going to be 42A. I'm always willing to hear your thoughts on the Mos. Also if it's possible I would like to know if anyone knows what the typical day for 42a is like. After all the training in everything is done. what maybe the duties of a PFC holding a 42a slot.

For ribbons / awards, different ones are worth different points. Same with Certificates of achievement. If you go ot there is a worksheet you can click on. You just enter in all the information (credit horus, awards, etc) and it will calculate your points for you.

As for meeting me, I can't remember if we met. I was recently the interim editor fo my paper, but still a staff writer back in June. I'm 5'4", brunette, blue eyes, female. sound familiar? When would we have met?

and ballerofftop, if you max out an area, then anything above that doesn't count. Sorry.
Hey Thanks!

Whoa, I didn't realize every certificate (05 and above right?) was worth 5 points.

That little bit of points makes my day because I got 4 from volunteer work.

Here's another thing that's been on my mind. Recently people over here in Iraq say that the humvee drivers course also counts as correspondence credit.

What's the deal with that?

I thought that was a mandatory thing everyone was required to learn. then again BRM, and the combat lifesavers course count as points so I don't know what to make of that.

Anyhow, maybe June was a little off. I was last hanging out in Irwin with Briskey and Jensen in July at a barracks party near Briskey's room.

People were using beer bongs and guitar playing and what not. It was defintitely a blast!
Ballerofftop - I have no clue what a 42a does. Sorry.

RICKY_BRANCH - Humvee course might count because it's a week-long course (at least here). Any course that takes 40 hours to complete count for military ed points. Just make sure you have the paperwork. CLS counts becuase it's not a required course, same with a couple others.

You seem to be doing great on getting ready for the board and getting your points together. I know how tough it can be sometimes. I know I just had to order one of my Soldiers to do correspondence courses in her off time at the office becuase she was always screwing around. Just keep on earning those points. And points are extremely hard to predict sometimes. You might get luck come April and they may drop. At least you are moving int he right direction.

And barracks parties over there are always crazy like that. Smiler But at least it's fun.
Frosty1 - Hey Thanks! You've been a big help. I'll take care of the bar tab one day.

Good move making a Soldier take some courses. She may hate losing her free time but in a year she'll thank you for it.

I predict points will not be a problem because after my bosses informed me about going for the chevrons, I downloaded an Army studyguide and they then stuck me on nightshift for the month of November to study.

I'm slotted for the Soldier of the Month board and I'm planning on nailing it for the points and experience.

Till then I'm working hard on studying and courses.

I average one a night (that's including off-time) and have made 120 points in a week and a half on this duty thus far.

Speaking of courses:
If you haven't done the ones for maintenance I recommend them; they are sooo easy!

I've just finished two of them because they are not too long (10 questions in fact).

By the way, you got any recommendations over there that have made the PAO job easier for you?

Below is what I've been collecting to kick ass more in the job.

- Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing

- AP Guide to Punctuation

- Newspaper Designers Handbook
(SSG Dodge's old copy)

- Grammatically Correct: The writer's guide to punctuation, Spelling

- The Army Dictionary and Desk Reference *I highly recommend this one.*

I've been building my little library to use when I'm in my own shop in 1st BCT but I'm always on the lookout for more.

Balleroftop - 42a???

That's a new one to me. Are you sure you don't mean a 42Q or 42R because I don't believe 42a exists. I've been gone for 11 months so I could be wrong, but I highly doubt it! Cool

Whew! Carpel Tunnel syndrome! (I think that's what people get typing to fast while looking at a monitor!).
Whoa crack head moment!

I was typing the last time before I was off work and it was a long day.

Balleroftop - I thought you typed 46a, which I know doesn't exist.

I'd only be guessing at your MOS so I suggest going to an Army recruiting website to find out or make a post in a section labeled "What does a 42A do?"

Someone here is bound to know more or is in the MOS and can fill you in on the job.

I maxed out my military ed points thnks to correspondence courses. But I'll be sure to recommend those maintenance courses to my Soldier. And good luck at the board. My first board was almost tramutizing. I was so ill-prepared for it and nervous. But it gets easier each time and by the time I went to my promo board, I nailed it.

As for good reference material, if you do any layout, then Newspaper Layout and Design: A Team Approach is an amazing reference. It's by Daryl R. Moen and is amazing.

I'm sure you will make points. You are going about it in the right way by preparing yourself and doing courses. It sucks to have to use free time to do them, but it's worth it in the end.

Originally posted by RICKY_BRANCH:
429 is where I'm sitting at currently after only doing 165 hours of correspondence courses.

That's great!!! Just keep working on them. You still have a few more months to go, which is plenty of time to max out on points. When are you going to the SoM board? Good luck with it.
In December! By the way, the friend who introduced me to the Public Affairs field is married to a Marine also.

She's now working in the Pentagon doing the PAO thang for the big dogs up there. She 'might' be able to help you out on your situation or at least relate to any difficulty your having.

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