Gunnar went to the E5 promotion board today. He was an E5 (Sergeant) when he was enlisted the first time but dropped a couple ranks when he re-enlisted. He's been an E4-P (Specialist-Promotable) for many months and due to completely stupid circumstances, he has not gone to the board yet. Lots of factors determine if a soldier is promotable including, time at their current rank, time in service, and an accrual of points. Then the soldier goes in front of a promotion board where the 1st Sergeants for the battalion and the Command Sergeant Major ask a series of questions to the soldier. They can include unit and division history, uniform guidelines, Army programs, leadership, how to read a map, land navigation, first aid and many more topics.
The soldier has to be recommended to the board by a sponsor, usually the platoon sergeant. When Gunnar's platoon get a new platoon sergeant, one of the first things he said was that he wanted Gunnar to be promoted. He recommended him to the board and helped to complete his promotion packet. In December Gunnar's company got a new 1st sergeant and the previous one forgot to hand in the promotion packet. So no board in December. January's board was canceled for some reason. February's board was canceled as well. Gunnar found out yesterday that they canceled the cancellation and the board was back on.
He did really well today considering he just found out about it yesterday. Luckily, I had taken his fancy dress uniform to the cleaners and his boots were shiny as they could be. He answered all of their questions well. All of the 1st sergeants at the promotion board voted that he should be E5. The Command Sergeant Major voted no. The funny thing is that the CSM doesn't get a vote. But he voted. And he voted no. Because of that, every other soldier that went before the board today was promoted. All except for my husband.
I am mostly shocked. And sad. I feel awful for how Gunnar must be feeling right now. He isn't home from work yet, even though all of his co-workers were released hours ago. He will have another opportunity to go to the promotion board "down range" aka Afghanistan. I hope he gets it there because it's well known that he deserves it.
Clearly, hard work doesn't always pay off.