Army First SergeantE-8 Noncommissioned Officer, U.S. Army
Army Promotion to E-8 First Sergeant
First Sergeants share promotion requirements with Master Sergeants as they hold the same grade.
The centralized promotion system, brought into effect for First Sergeants/Master Sergeants on 01MAR1969, identifies RA soldiers as prepared for promotion to the grade of E-8.
The STEP evaluation framework applies to soldiers seeking First Sergeant rank in the same way it does those seeking Master Sergeant, identifying those soldiers worthy of promotion based on qualifications and performance.
Based on career performance so far, soldiers seeking promotion to First Sergeant/Master Sergeant seek inclusion on an annually-generated slate of soldiers the Army views as worthy of promotion. As noted previously, this slate is automatically-generated based on two criteria: The first is fulfillment of requirements for promotion (analyzed largely by STEP) and the second is time in service. Once a soldier has fulfilled the requirements for promotion and has the time in service, they will be included on the slate. From that point on, they have three chances to be selected by the board for promotion. If they stand unselected, they will be retired from the Army at their current rank after serving the required amount of time.
The board, comprised of more senior NCO’s and Officers, evaluates soldiers included on the slate for E-8 based on the qualifications and career performance of the soldier in all arenas, deciding whether or not the soldier stands worthy of promotion.
Integral to this analysis and evaluation process are Non-Commissioned Officer Evaluation Reports (NCOER’s). These are reports filed periodically on soldiers from the time they achieve the rank of Sergeant by their senior sergeants and officers. Such reports stand important for all soldiers seeking promotion past the grade of E-4, but they become increasingly important as soldiers seek promotion to higher grades, especially those of E-7 thru E-9.
Want to learn more? Read about the Army's First Sergeant rank on Military-Ranks.org.