I can remember throughout my career when I had the opportunity to promote Soldiers to the next level. I admired those individuals as they put forth the effort. They were Soldiers striving to become noncommissioned officers, leaders waiting diligently for their sequence number to arrive.

I also remember how the ceremonies were moving as Soldiers and NCOs would invite Family and friends to participate in their joyous occasion. What an awesome feeling. Promotions are exciting.

Promotions are also serious business, so promotable Soldiers should know where to go if they have questions. Army Regulation 600-8-19 (Enlisted Promotions and Reductions dated March 20, 2008) outlines all rules and guidelines that are to be followed.

When a Soldier obtains promotable status, it is always a tremendous relief, whether it is a specialist who just passed the promotion board or a staff sergeant who made the sergeant first class promotion standing list, because it means that they are moving forward in a positive manner and will eventually be promoted to the next rank.

I do find it disheartening however, when Soldiers take the necessary steps for positive progression toward promotion, become promotable and then place themselves in a position where they lose what they have earned due to poor decision making.

You have achieved this milestone; you are promotable, and then you lose your promotable status faster than you gained it. Once Soldiers have obtained promotable status, it is not over. They must maintain Army standards at all times as expected of all Soldiers. According to AR 600-8-19, if Soldiers are advancing to the next grade of E-5/E-6 (semi-centralized), they must continue to pass all record Army Physical Fitness Tests.

Additionally, Soldiers must be in compliance with AR 600-9 (Army Weight Control Standards dated Nov. 27, 2006), or they will lose their promotable status. For Soldiers advancing to E-7 through E-9 (centralized), APFT and/or height-and-weight failure will delay their promotion (if the sequence number has been reached) until they are within Army standards.

There is much confusion in the Soldier population at large in regards to flags and losing promotable status. Not all flags result in non-promotable status. All the rules and guidelines are specified in AR 600-8-19 and 600-8-2 (Suspension of Favorable Personnel Actions).

Here is a common question received in the Inspector General’s office, “If a Soldier is flagged for adverse action, pending an investigation, will he or she be removed from the promotion standing list?”

The answer is no. A Soldier must be punished under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including suspended punishment, in order to lose promotable status. The only exception to this rule is any summarized proceedings imposed according to AR 27-10, paragraph 3-16, are excluded and will not result in a removal from promotable status.

There are many other administrative actions that may cause Soldiers to lose their promotable status. They range from several severe actions and punishments such as going Absent Without Leave and being convicted by court-martial, to lesser actions and punishments such as a pending bar to re-enlistment and failure to maintain the proper level security clearance. All Soldiers should be familiar with the Enlisted Promotions and Reductions, AR 600-8-19, and paragraph 1-10 in particular – Non-promotable Status for Noncommissioned Officers. The latest version of this regulation was released in March 2008, but has been updated since.

As a Soldier, you must do what is right at all times. The bottom line is, do not lose your “P,” embrace the challenge for promotion and always exceed the standard.

Contact your staff judge advocate, IG, or personnel office if you have any questions or concerns. We are “Here to Help.”