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Old 05-29-2018, 03:25 PM
 
349 posts, read 217,952 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Correct me if I am wrong here - but the way I understand it, if you are *enlisted* and you do a good job, don't screw up, and you want to do 20 years to get the pension - you can.

While as an officer, you just about have to get one of the relatively few O-6 slots, become a Colonel (or "full bird" Captain if Navy) - or you don't make it to 20. Some ROTC programs may "start the clock" while you are still in college, so those people have a better shot at getting to 20, probably can do it as O-5.

Is this correct?
Not really. The HYT / High Tear of Tenure applies to Enlisted grades. If you do not move up in grade you can get stopped out short of 20 no matter what. That's why it's loosely referred to as "up-or-out."

I was Air Force. For most of my 20 yrs an E-5 could go to 20 and an E-6 to 23. Then there were changes and E-6s were stopped out at 20 years. Now, E-5's must get out at I think it's 14 or 15 years. And E-4s have to punch out at 8 years.

Officers can go to 20 years if they make O-4. That's a Major or, Lt Commander in the Navy/Coast Guard
Captains usually go about 12 or so years and if they don't get picked up for Major it's A) Civvy Street OR
B) They used to have the option to take a bust to E-5 (or their previous enlisted grade whichever was higher) finish out the 20 yrs then retire as a Captain (O-3) Don't know if they still utilize that option. The promotion rate from O-3 to O-4 in the AF when I was in was usually something like 60-ish to 70 & so not that bad

Also, of you had previous enlisted time before getting commissioned say, over 8 yrs, and you didn't get promoted to Major well, you had 10 yrs commissioned time AND 20 yrs service time so you could just retire as an O-3 anyway.

I hope that wasn't too confusing
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Old 05-29-2018, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,420 posts, read 42,801,145 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fallstaff View Post
Not really. The HYT / High Tear of Tenure applies to Enlisted grades. If you do not move up in grade you can get stopped out short of 20 no matter what. That's why it's loosely referred to as "up-or-out."

I was Air Force. For most of my 20 yrs an E-5 could go to 20 and an E-6 to 23. Then there were changes and E-6s were stopped out at 20 years. Now, E-5's must get out at I think it's 14 or 15 years. And E-4s have to punch out at 8 years.

Officers can go to 20 years if they make O-4. That's a Major or, Lt Commander in the Navy/Coast Guard
Captains usually go about 12 or so years and if they don't get picked up for Major it's A) Civvy Street OR
B) They used to have the option to take a bust to E-5 (or their previous enlisted grade whichever was higher) finish out the 20 yrs then retire as a Captain (O-3) Don't know if they still utilize that option. The promotion rate from O-3 to O-4 in the AF when I was in was usually something like 60-ish to 70 & so not that bad

Also, of you had previous enlisted time before getting commissioned say, over 8 yrs, and you didn't get promoted to Major well, you had 10 yrs commissioned time AND 20 yrs service time so you could just retire as an O-3 anyway.

I hope that wasn't too confusing

No, not that confusing. I had wondered about an O-ganger who had say like 18 years, if he could offer to finish up as some sort of senior non-com to make it to 20. Apparently at one time at least, this was an option.

My point, poorly articulated, was that enlisted promotions are not as "slot-limited" (except to E-9) as officer promotions are. You can't make it to Lt. Col. just for doing a good job as a Major, there has to be a billet for a Lt. Col available, and there are a lot more slots for Majors than Lt. Col. Or so I have heard and read.

I can see where a previously enlisted guy has a better shot at getting to 20 as an officer - as well as having, I would think, a more "hands on" understanding of what his people are doing, in principle should be a better leader, having "been there and done that".
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Old 05-29-2018, 05:29 PM
 
17,995 posts, read 9,883,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
My point, poorly articulated, was that enlisted promotions are not as "slot-limited" (except to E-9) as officer promotions are. You can't make it to Lt. Col. just for doing a good job as a Major, there has to be a billet for a Lt. Col available, and there are a lot more slots for Majors than Lt. Col. Or so I have heard and read.
That can effect enlisted as well. The reason Air Force enlisted promotions were so slow during my career is because the Air Force had a high retention rate, and the Air Force only promoted for anticipated losses--that is, "slots" that would be open.

It wasn't as precise as officer selections might be, but the promotion score cutoff was a matter of how many slots they anticipated would come open the next year.
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Old 05-29-2018, 05:29 PM
 
Location: East Helena, MT
765 posts, read 482,279 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
No, not that confusing. I had wondered about an O-ganger who had say like 18 years, if he could offer to finish up as some sort of senior non-com to make it to 20. Apparently at one time at least, this was an option.

My point, poorly articulated, was that enlisted promotions are not as "slot-limited" (except to E-9) as officer promotions are. You can't make it to Lt. Col. just for doing a good job as a Major, there has to be a billet for a Lt. Col available, and there are a lot more slots for Majors than Lt. Col. Or so I have heard and read.

I can see where a previously enlisted guy has a better shot at getting to 20 as an officer - as well as having, I would think, a more "hands on" understanding of what his people are doing, in principle should be a better leader, having "been there and done that".

The thing you have to remember is that there is a stark difference between officer and enlisted, in the way that you are evaluated. As enlisted, my evaluations were about 30%, your technical test was about 30%, and the rest was comprised of your PT, and what they call military bearing. You didn't really have to please anyone, if you knew your job, and could take tests well, you could promote. I made E4 and E5 my first time up.


For officers, there is a lot of politics involved. If the people in your command hate you, if the other officers hate you, it doesn't matter how good you are at your job, you won't advance. So most of the officers that get never move up, it wasn't because they were bad people, or bad officers. They just couldn't play the game.


A former Lt. Colonel that I coached football with told me that he went up for Colonel 3 times, and was passed over. When I asked him why, he said that he refused to take a staff position, he liked to be in the field. He personally didn't feel that being on the staff of a General, would somehow make him a better officer. So he was a unit C.O. for the rest of his career, and got out.


Another advantage that officers have is that they can move directly over to the National Guard, and many have a good shot at being full time Guard. That is very difficult to do for enlisted.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:30 AM
PFM
 
Location: Endicott, NY
102 posts, read 102,202 times
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You can also be a victim of circumstances beyond your control. I entered a small MOS in the Army in 1984 - turns out in the 8 years I was Active, I saw exactly 1 person promoted to E-6 and 0 to E-5. I was a promotable E-4 for years - maxxed the board, maxxed PT, etc., but the then primary and secondary cutoffs never dropped from 998 (max on scale at the time). Apparently DA had inadvertantly promoted too many to E-5 several years before I joined and it gummed up the works for good. I was in the process of reclassing when they dropped 350,000 after Desert Storm, and I got my letter saying my services were no longer needed, so I took the early out and went home to join the Army Reserve, where they pinned my E-5 on me as soon as I came back from my new MOS school.
I seem to remember there being some anxiety after Somalia because they got rid of so many experienced E-5/E-6 and O-3/O-4 in the rush to cut the defense budget after DS/DS. I predict the same thing in the future as they try to grow the force, when a majority of kids aren't eligible to join and they realize they kicked out a bunch of good, in many cases combat experienced personnel for the sake of the budget. The policies have changed back and forth over the last decade or two, depending upon manpower needs. I can remember being in Iraq in 2004 and being told by other prior service that the Army now wanted them back on Active - as long as they repayed their separation bonuses from 12 years before. Don't know if it was true or not, but certainly not out of character for the big green machine.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:32 AM
PFM
 
Location: Endicott, NY
102 posts, read 102,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post

I can see where a previously enlisted guy has a better shot at getting to 20 as an officer - as well as having, I would think, a more "hands on" understanding of what his people are doing, in principle should be a better leader, having "been there and done that".
You'd think so. Some of the best officers I ever served with were prior enlisted, but also some of the worst.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:45 AM
PFM
 
Location: Endicott, NY
102 posts, read 102,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
No, not that confusing. I had wondered about an O-ganger who had say like 18 years, if he could offer to finish up as some sort of senior non-com to make it to 20. Apparently at one time at least, this was an option.

My point, poorly articulated, was that enlisted promotions are not as "slot-limited" (except to E-9) as officer promotions are. You can't make it to Lt. Col. just for doing a good job as a Major, there has to be a billet for a Lt. Col available, and there are a lot more slots for Majors than Lt. Col. Or so I have heard and read.

I can see where a previously enlisted guy has a better shot at getting to 20 as an officer - as well as having, I would think, a more "hands on" understanding of what his people are doing, in principle should be a better leader, having "been there and done that".
Not as slot dependent as officers on the Active side Army-wise, but very slot-limited if you are talking about the Guard. I retired out as an E-6 because I didn't have time to travel across the state for an E-7 slot and things on the civilian side began to take precedence. I had a former 1SG in the Guard that was a 1LT and resigned his commission - he was placed as an E-5 and worked his way back up the line. Never seen or heard of a field grade doing it.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:56 AM
 
Location: SW OK (AZ Native)
14,630 posts, read 6,726,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PFM View Post
You'd think so. Some of the best officers I ever served with were prior enlisted, but also some of the worst.
Same experience. The better ones with prior experience used the knowledge they gained wisely and kept the fact that they were prior service more or less to themselves. The worst ones were arrogant know-it-alls. Not surprisingly, they failed.
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,742 posts, read 47,557,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PFM View Post
You'd think so. Some of the best officers I ever served with were prior enlisted, but also some of the worst.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SluggoF16 View Post
Same experience. The better ones with prior experience used the knowledge they gained wisely and kept the fact that they were prior service more or less to themselves. The worst ones were arrogant know-it-alls. Not surprisingly, they failed.
I served with a lot of crewmen who applied for commissioning programs, a few were selected. But obviously, as soon as they were selected for those programs, they disappeared.

I have never served on any sub that had LDOs.

I served briefly [3 years] on a sub-tender, and it was loaded with LDOs. They seemed to stay in the wardroom and generally away from underfoot. So my interfacing with any of them was extremely minimal.

My impression was that LDOs generally went to Auxilary vessels [tenders and supply ships] or shore duty.

At sea our officers were generally ring-knockers. The exception being the Chop, all Chops were accountants and they could have came from any university.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
8,332 posts, read 5,858,004 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
At sea our officers were generally ring-knockers. The exception being the Chop, all Chops were accountants and they could have came from any university.
Chops = supply corps officers?
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