Pre-reqs for attending WLC and locations

First, thank you for this great information board and its members. I'm writing this for my daughter, who is in AIT now so her time is limited.

She entered the Army as a Specialist, and is now about half-way through her 35F training at Ft. Huachuca. This is her first enlistment, but she loves the Army. I know that 35F is presently a STAR MOS. She has a 285 score on PT and missed Expert by one shot, which she intends on achieving. She is doing very well at her AIT school. She has a B.A. degree. By the time her AIT ends, she will have been in for about 8 months. She is regular Army.

Can she go to WLC right after AIT or must she wait for a period of time? If possible after AIT, does she apply for it now? Are WLC schools at most larger installations or just a select few? Since she is in a STAR MOS, it would seem to me that if possible she should do the WLC as soon as possible, is that correct?

Is there a requirement that the WLC be taken within a certain amount of time (minimum or maximum) prior to going for promotion? She is hoping that she can get a TIS waiver and thus be eligible for E-5 by November of 2012, which would give her 12 months TIG and 19 months TIS.

Thanks in advance and this is a great board.

Original Post
Hello Dave,

Primary Zone
•Sergeant (E-5) - 8 months TIG as an E-4 and 36 months (3 years) TIS.
•Staff Sergeant (E-6) - 10 months TIG as an E-5 and 84 months (7 years) TIS.

Secondary Zone (Exceptional Performers)
•Sergeant (E-5) - 4 months TIG and 18 months TIS.
•Staff Sergeant (E-6) - 5 months TIG and 48 months (4 years) TIS.

Here are the new RCP time frames just as a FYI:

Total Active Service in Years
(Old) Total Active Service in Years
(as of 1 June 2011)
Private (PVT) - Private First Class (PFC) 8 Years 5 Years
Corporal (CPL) / Specialist (SPC) 10 Years 8 Years
Corporal (CPL) / Specialist (SPC) Promotable 15 Years 12 Years
Sergeant (SGT) 15 Years 13 Years
Sergeant (SGT) Promotable 20 Years 15 Years
Staff Sergeant (SSG) 23 Years 20 Years
Staff Sergeant (SSG) Promotable 26 Years 26 Years
Sergeant First Class (SFC) 26 Years 26 Years
Sergeant First Class (SFC) Promotable 29 Years 29 Years
First Sergeant (1SG) / Master Sergeant (MSG) 29 Years 29 Years
First Sergeant (1SG) / Master Sergeant (MSG) Promotable 32 Years 32 Years
Command Sergeant Major (CSM) / Sergeant Major (SGM) 32 Years 32 Years
Thanks for that info Sarge G. Yes, by Nov 2012 she would be qualified for secondary zone.

Should she try to apply for WLC while she is in AIT or does she need to wait until she finishes AIT and goes to her first duty station? She pretty much excels at everything she does, as she is doing in AIT and did in BCT.

This is more of a decision for her unit, not her. It's great that she is motivated, but if I had a brand new soldier out of basic training/ait that told me they wanted to go to wlc, I would make them wait. I'd probably be impressed that she even knew to ask about wlc, but she would wait all the same.

Wlc is a school that is supposed to help develop young nco's. Anyone straight out of IET is not ready to be an nco. Period. The knowledge of how the army works is not there, regardless of how intelligent the person is.

Additionally, there will be senior spc's and junior sgt's that are still waiting to go to wlc when she gets to her unit. People with real experience doing their job, and they will take priority.

Anyway, like I said it's great that she is motivated, but I suggest she slow down and concentrate on the task at hand. Don't worry about getting promoted. If she knows her job it'll happen.
thank you 11B, that makes a ton of sense. She is someone that has always been extremely motivated and actually demands more of herself than anyone else does. Like when she graduated from BCT, I asked her what she thought were the downsides to it, her answer was that she did not believe they stressed physical fitness or discipline enough. This is from someone that graduated college with a THEATER degree...WHAATTT? (ha ha). But she was serious. That was actually why she went into MI instead of Broadcasting, she wanted a challenge.

At AIT she said the only thing she dislikes is that they will not allow her to delve into subjects in more depth, after she has completed the requirements of whatever they are doing. But that is her.

Amazingly, her fellow soldiers have shown an amazing respect for her leadership qualities. I saw this in how they acted towards her at her BCT graduation. It was almost like they were treating her as a teacher. Now this probably comes from both her being older (24) and having been on her own for a number of years. She is a planner and tries to formulate a number of contingencies plans, they don't always work out, but at least she feels that she has some idea on what may or may not happen.

Her personality traits and goals are also why she wanted to do her first enlistment as an enlisted person and then to possibly try to go on to officer for her second enlistment. Yes, she made up her mind that she was going to do at least 2 before she ever started.

So this is why I was asking about the appropriateness of when to do WLC. She doesn't want to jump the gun, but she does want to understand the options.

Once again, thank you all for this info, it has been VERY helpful.

UPDATE: First, this is a great board with fantastic members.

So, Soldier/daughter completed AIT and is now stationed in S. Korea. While she has only been there one month, and due to all of the holidays, she hasn't actually started her "job", her command has told her she will immediately be attending WLC. No, she did not ask for it. My feeling is that the Army is doing this to give her something to do before/after the Christmas break, until they can actually get her working in her real job.

For her it is kind of a great/not-so-great thing. She has been chomping at the bit to be able to actually start doing what she has been training for, now to learn another month of class. But on the positive side, it was something she was hoping to achieve in the near future, so I guess it works out for the best.

Dave, if everything you're telling us is legit, maybe you should ask your daughter about becoming an officer. With her career so young, a degree, and that much natural leadership talent, it seems like a natural fit. Not that the NCO corps couldnt use her, but it seems like OCS is a better choice for her IMHO.
I am going to have to agree with djhead. Why didn't she just become an officer? She has her degree. We always need good officers, wait that is an oxymoron. Just kidding. But really, after her WLC, she should put in her officer packet. The hard part is done. She graduated from college.

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