The best and brightest from this week's Army Times


Army redraws promotion path to sergeant major

The Army has redrawn the noncommissioned officer career road map, giving enlisted soldiers standard and predictable promotion waypoints to the ranks of sergeant through sergeant major.Several policy changes to be fielded over the next two years include a new plan that envisions most soldiers being promoted to sergeant at about 4½ years of service, followed by advancements to the other grades every six years.

The goal of the new timeline is to move career-minded soldiers through the lower ranks into the sergeant major ranks at 24 to 25 years of service, and to provide them with an opportunity to serve a tour as a battalion command sergeant major before retiring at 32 years of service.


New deployment plan will beef up soldier protection

The Army’s brigade combat teams in Afghanistan soon will be replaced by smaller, tailored Security Force Assistance Brigades of 1,500 to 2,000 soldiers tasked primarily with advising and mentoring the Afghan army and police.

It is a radical redesign of the deployed Security Force Assistance Teams — small teams of senior noncommissioned officers and officers — hastily deployed in April to help accelerate the transfer of responsibility to the growing, fledgling Afghan security forces.


Tens of thousands still paying for the new, free GI Bill

Did Uncle Sam charge you $1,200 for a benefit you can get for free? Probably, yes.

So far this year, 90 percent of recruits across the armed services — more than 100,000 people and counting — have enrolled in the old Montgomery GI Bill, which requires recruits to pay a buy-in fee of $100 a month over their first 12 months of service.

More than three years after Congress created the new, free Post-9/11 GI Bill, and almost a year after lawmakers enhanced it with changes that largely made the old bill irrelevant, recruits continue to be automatically enrolled in the old GI Bill, because the law still states that all troops must be enrolled in the Montgomery GI Bill unless they specifically request to opt out.Find out how to get your $1,200 back in the latest issue of Army Times.


Get all of the details — including how to get your $1,200 back — in this week’s issue of Army Times, on sale now.


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