Yesterday I was informed that I have been selected for promotion to Staff Sergeant. According to my Team SGT, who spoke with the Brigade, tells me that I was made up to Staff Sergeant as of 15 Dec. The orders promoting me to Staff Sergeant should arrive soon. Very nice. It will mean an extra $500 a month or so. At last, I’ll be wearing rank that almost fits my age. Almost.
Staff Sergeant, E-6, has been a long time in coming for me. I made E-5 in Feb of 1985, while I was still on active duty with the Navy. I tried several times to make E-6 in the Navy. I always met the requirements for advancement but there were never any slots to advance into. Now, 23 years after making E-5, I have finally made E-6.
What this means in terms of my military career I haven’t decided yet. The Army still has not paid me the enlistment bonus that was part of my initial contract. I am hesitant to re-enlist if the Army cannot make good on their first contract. However, now with 13 good years in the military I only need to do 7 more and I’ll be eligible for retirement. Given my current financial status, I will likely need all the help in retirement that I can get.
If I were to pursue military retirement, making E-6 almost assures me of making E-7 which is really where I’d like to be. Sergeant First Class is a fairly comfortable place to finish out a military career. High enough up to be exempt from most of the busy work, and still low enough to avoid most of the political infighting.
For now, I’m glad I made E-6 early in the deployment. The rocker makes it a little easier to get things done. Officers find it a little harder to ignore an E-6. For the moment, I am a “Sergeant Promotable”. Seriously, someone thought that sounded OK. You really can’t make this stuff up. Seems like I was a Sergeant Promotable as soon as I was eligible to put my packet in for Staff Sergeant. Seems like I would now be Staff Sergeant Select. Nope. Not in the Army. You really can’t make this stuff up.
Smittie aka SSG Smith (Blue)