Army CorporalE-4 Noncommissioned Officer, U.S. Army
Army Promotion to E-4 Corporal
Corporals achieve the rank after spending time in the grade of Specialist and then graduating from the Basic Leader Course (BLC), upon graduation from which they are given a team to lead.
The reason that Corporal is a more rare rank in the Army derives from the needs of individual Army units. Oftentimes, Specialists hold the position of team leader, attend BLC, and are promoted to Sergeant, the next most senior rank, upon graduation. The reason for this is that Sergeants are responsible for leading squads and hold more responsibility than Specialists or Corporals. The Army is often in need of NCO’s of this capacity, leading to the promotion of Specialists directly to Sergeants upon fulfillment of the required time in service, time in grade, courses, and performance requirements.
Specialists become Corporals when there is a greater need in units for NCO’s to serve as team leaders rather than squad leaders or when more senior NCO’s or officers identify that a Specialist with the requirements for Sergeant needs more time to develop leadership capabilities, thus leading to the lateral promotion to Corporal with Sergeant to follow once senior leaders identify that the required maturation has occurred.
Want to learn more? Read about the Army's Corporal rank on Military-Ranks.org.