Promotions have always been a touchy subject throughout the Army. Army Regulation 600-8-19, Enlisted Promotions and Reductions, dated March 20, 2008, with Rapid Action Review, Dec. 28, 2009, outlines the rules and guidelines that are to be followed.

Although becoming promotable is a career milestone, it is possible to lose your promotable status as quickly as you earned it. Just because a Soldier is promotable does not mean they will be promoted. He or she must continue to maintain Army standards and exemplify the Army values at all times. If you are promotable, you should be performing at the next grade level.

According to AR 600-8-19, if the Soldier is advancing to the grade of E-5 through E-6 (semi-centralized), they must continue to pass all record APFTs. Additionally, Soldiers must maintain their weight in accordance 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 or weight failure will delay their promotion, even if their sequence number has been reached, until they are in compliance with AR 600-9 or processed for removal through HRC.

There is a lot of confusion in the Army community with regards to flags and losing promotable status. Not all flags result in a non-promotable status. The rules and guidelines governing flags are specified in AR 600-8-19 and AR 600-8-2, Suspension of Favorable Personnel Actions.

Question: “If a Soldier is flagged for adverse action pending an investigation, will he be removed from the promotion standing list?”

The answer is no. A Soldier must have received punishment or court martial under Article 15, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, in order to lose promotable status. This includes suspended punishment. The only exceptions to this rule are any summarized proceedings imposed in accordance with AR 27-10, paragraph 3-16.

There are other administrative actions that may cause a Soldier to lose their promotable status. They range from being absent without leave, being convicted by court martial and/or punishments such as pending bar to re-enlistment and failure to maintain the proper level of security clearance.

Another reason Soldiers would lose their promotable status would be because their performance is substandard or other inefficiencies warrant removal. In this case, the unit commander convenes a board for removal from the Recommended Promotion List. Soldiers will be given written notification of the removal board at least 15 duty days prior to the board date. Soldiers appearing before the removal board have a right to decline to appear, challenge a member of the board, elect to remain silent, make an unsworn or sworn statement, or question any witness appearing before the board. AR 27-10, Para 3-26 goes into more detail on the rights of the Soldier. Failing to exercise his or her rights does not negate the board’s proceeding, findings or recommendations.

Once a Soldier has been recommended to be removed from the list, AR 27-10 requires that Soldier be informed in writing of the removal action no later than five duty days after removal. Once the removal has taken place, the action is final and the Soldier will be immediately removed from the recommended list. All Soldiers should be familiar with Enlisted Promotions and Reductions, AR 600-8-19, paragraph 1-10, Non-promotable Status for Noncommissioned Officers. The newest version of this regulation is dated March 20, 2008, and includes new updates.

In conclusion, Soldiers must do what is right at all times to maintain a promotable status. It is not always about failing the APFT or failing to meet the weight standards. The bottom line is, do the right thing, embrace the challenge for promotion, and either meet or exceed the standards.