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Army Lieutenant Colonel

O-5 Field Officer, U.S. Army
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How to get promoted to Lieutenant Colonel Army Promotion to O-5 Lieutenant Colonel

A Lieutenant Colonel is a Field Officer in the United States Army at DoD paygrade O-5. This page describes how the Army determines who is eligible for the promotion list to Lieutenant Colonel.

Promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel follows the same pattern of competition that began with promotion to the rank of Captain.

A Major who has served a minimum of fifteen years time in service and five years time in grade becomes eligible for promotion to Major, provided such officers continue to meet the physical requirements and stay out of legal trouble. That said, officers generally do not see promotion to Lieutenant Colonel until around eighteen years of service have been completed.

In their time serving as Majors, officers are graded on their performance by their commanders (as with Captains, a lieutenant colonel at the battalion level and then a colonel at the brigade level). These performance grades are recorded in OER’s filed on the Majors seeking promotion, further adding records of career performance to the OER’s officers have already accumulated from service in lower ranks and grades.

As detailed previously, the Army automatically generates a slate based on the fulfillment of the requirements for Lieutenant Colonel. The slate includes all Majors who have met the requirements.

A board selects officers to be promoted to Lieutenant Colonel based on their career performance so far, determining whether or not they should be promoted based upon records of performance (OER’s) examined in tandem with the performance of the aspiring Majors in professional-development assignments completed during their time in grade (i.e. graduate school, army-internal courses, etc.).

Want to learn more? Read about the Army's Lieutenant Colonel rank on