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Eva Lefoy
02-28-2014, 07:02 PM
I have a question about timeline for promotions.

How long would it take the typical soldier to make:

Corporal
Sergeant
Leiutenant
Major

I know that some of these E2-E4 are pretty easy to get, and then get harder from there but I don't have a handle on the time in service required for the higher ranks.

Anybody here ex Army can tell me?

Thanks,

Eva

Physsica
02-28-2014, 07:10 PM
My husband is in the air force (which has the same ranking system) and this is what he told me:
For your officers:
Once you commission (either through OTS or ROTC or some other path) you start out with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. 2 years later you get 1st Lieutenant (it would be very unusual to not make it in 2 years). In four years from your commissioning you get Captain. For a Major the range can be from 8-12 years, so average would be 10.

As for enlisted... found this from a SGT online:

•Private (E-2) - Six months time-in-grade (TIG) as a private (E-1).
•Private First Class (E-3) - Four months TIG as a Private (E-2) and 12 months time-in-service (TIS).
•Specialist/Corporal (E-4) - 6 months TIG with 24 months TIS.
This is all correct, however, keep in mind that you are not automatically given the rank of CPL. CPL is a leadership rank as it is apart of the NCO corps. You are automatically promoted to SPC and have to prove yourself a leader to gain the rank of CPL. This is generally reserved for Infantry and those that deserve promotion but can not make points to SGT.

Eva Lefoy
02-28-2014, 07:14 PM
Thanks!

Telergic
02-28-2014, 09:31 PM
Is it still the case that professional degrees like doctors or lawyers start at Captain or Major?

Physsica
02-28-2014, 09:40 PM
Is it still the case that professional degrees like doctors or lawyers start at Captain or Major?

I have friends that went to medical school via AF scholarships and ROTC program, and they started as 2nd Lieutenants. My husband is an astro-engineer and he started at 2nd lieutenant as well.

I have heard that if you enter with a degree, and experience, that you can enter as a captain. Usually that's just in the field of medicine though, and it depends on how specialized it is, or its high demand.

Telergic
02-28-2014, 10:04 PM
I have friends that went to medical school via AF scholarships and ROTC program, and they started as 2nd Lieutenants. My husband is an astro-engineer and he started at 2nd lieutenant as well.

I have heard that if you enter with a degree, and experience, that you can enter as a captain. Usually that's just in the field of medicine though, and it depends on how specialized it is, or its high demand.

I see. My uncle, an ophthalmologist, entered as a captain and left as a major during the Vietnam era, but he entered as reserves after completing med school.

Physsica
02-28-2014, 10:12 PM
I see. My uncle, an ophthalmologist, entered as a captain and left as a major during the Vietnam era, but he entered as reserves after completing med school.

That would do it then.

Shadow_Ferret
02-28-2014, 10:24 PM
A "typical" soldier will never make Lieutenant or Major. Those are commissioned officer ranks. Enlisted usually stay enlisted.

I made the equivalent of Sargent (E5) in about 3 or 4 years, but I got an accelerated advancement by taking advances classes and extending for an additional 2 years.

SergeantC
02-28-2014, 10:30 PM
Is it still the case that professional degrees like doctors or lawyers start at Captain or Major?

These days, lawyers at least, and probably doctors as well, start out as 1st Lieutenants.

NeuroGlide
03-01-2014, 01:00 AM
A "typical" soldier will never make Lieutenant or Major. Those are commissioned officer ranks. Enlisted usually stay enlisted.

I made the equivalent of Sargent (E5) in about 3 or 4 years, but I got an accelerated advancement by taking advances classes and extending for an additional 2 years.

Privates and corporals are the enlisted ranks, Sargent and up are Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO). While it's rare, it has happened that NCOs have been promoted to officer ranks, usually during times of conflict. There's also those that gain a commission by attending an Officer Training Course (OTC). Promoted NCOs have to attend OTC as well.

Usually an officer will be commanding a unit with an NCO who's both older and more experienced than (s)he is, especially in the lower ranks. A good officer will ask his/her NCO for advice before making a decision. Officers are generalists, NCOs and enlisted are specialists. Once the decision is made, however, everyone follows the plan. Good officers will also make clear their intent, that way if a situation comes up that wasn't planed for, units can decide how to deal with it without having to contact HQ.

WeaselFire
03-01-2014, 01:35 AM
Is it still the case that professional degrees like doctors or lawyers start at Captain or Major?
That pretty much ended with the draft and some other changes. The rank was honorary and issued so that the doctor could direct a nurse ranking lower than he. Lieutenant is normal now. It's also, in some commands and specific situations, allowable for lower ranked personnel to command higher ranked so there's less need for the rank formalities than in previous eras.

Though I have a friend who was drafted in as a Major in the 60's, even though he was in college working on his doctorate. He never left college or his lab, never was issued a uniform and never did any military training. His grad project was DOD funded and they ramped it up and added military personnel under him to get the work done. :)

By the way, I have a friend who's son became a Marine Captain three years out of the academy. Combat helps get promotions.

Also: www.military-ranks.org

Jeff

blacbird
03-01-2014, 09:36 AM
Just because I've seen two posts making this error, the spelling of the rank is "sergeant", not "sargent".

caw

Eva Lefoy
03-01-2014, 08:49 PM
Well this is all very confusing to me but at least I spelled it right! :)

Eva Lefoy
03-02-2014, 01:32 AM
So what I'm hearing is that if you're enlisted off the street you can maybe rise in rank to Sergeant class in 5-10 years being promoted. But if you're educated and /or commissioned before you enter, you start out at the Lieutenant level or higher. So there would actually be a goal of reaching Major? Or is Major so hard to get that you might as well be invisible?

Telergic
03-02-2014, 02:29 AM
So what I'm hearing is that if you're enlisted off the street you can maybe rise in rank to Sergeant class in 5-10 years being promoted. But if you're educated and /or commissioned before you enter, you start out at the Lieutenant level or higher. So there would actually be a goal of reaching Major? Or is Major so hard to get that you might as well be invisible?

As I understand it, entering as a regular army Lieutenant, the earlier grades do have some requirements aside from seniority, but the real make-or-break rank is full Colonel, which many officers will never make. I get the idea that most Lieutenants will eventually make it at least to Major if not to Lieutenant Colonel.

Trebor1415
03-02-2014, 03:21 AM
So what I'm hearing is that if you're enlisted off the street you can maybe rise in rank to Sergeant class in 5-10 years being promoted. But if you're educated and /or commissioned before you enter, you start out at the Lieutenant level or higher. So there would actually be a goal of reaching Major? Or is Major so hard to get that you might as well be invisible?

What time period are you talking about? WWII era, now, or when?

Assuming you are talking about current/recent:

The thing about enlisted promotions is they can be very dependent on MOS (military occupational specialty) and, to some extent, what branch you are in. (Infantry, Armor, Artillery, etc).

There are only so many slots per rank and for branches or MOS's with more soldiers typically have slower promotions.

An enlisted soldier with a good record should be able to make E-4, (Specialist/Corporal) or E-5 within one enlistment term or possibly at the start of their second enlistment.

The jump from E-5 to E-6 (Staff Sergeant) is more significant and takes longer and the jump from E-6 to E-7 (Sergeant First Class) is even more significant and takes even longer, if at all.

For officers, they come up through the military academies (West Point for army), ROTC, or OCS. 2nd Lt is the lowest officer rank, followed by 2nd Lt, and then Captain.

A 2nd Lt would typically be a platoon commander, as would a 1st Lt (although he'd be a senior platoon commander) and a Captain would typically be a Company Commander.

The jump from Captain to Major is pretty significant as Major is the start of what is termed "Field Grade" officers. This is very obtainable for a career officer and failure to make Major would be a sign that something is significantly wrong and your career is over.

The military general works on an "up or out" system where if you aren't selected for promotion for 2 cycles you are limited to how much longer you can stay in before retirement. Most officers can make Major, but the jump to Lt. Col. does cull some, as does the jump to full Col. and especially the jump to General.

Telergic
03-02-2014, 03:26 AM
The jump from Captain to Major is pretty significant as Major is the start of what is termed "Field Grade" officers. This is very obtainable for a career officer and failure to make Major would be a sign that something is significantly wrong and your career is over.

I thought Lieutenant and Captain are "field officers", and Major and Colonel are "staff officers"?

Eva Lefoy
03-02-2014, 04:55 AM
Thanks everyone. I get the general gist.

Ha no pun intended :)

Trebor1415
03-02-2014, 05:55 AM
I thought Lieutenant and Captain are "field officers", and Major and Colonel are "staff officers"?

Uh, no.

From Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_officer

"A field officer is an army (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army), Marine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_%28armed_services%29), or air force (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_force) commissioned officer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commissioned_officer) senior in rank to a company officer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Company-grade_officer) but junior to a general officer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_officer);[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_officer#cite_note-1) in some navies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navy), it is an officer who is a Lieutenant Commander (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieutenant_Commander), Commander (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commander), or Captain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_%28naval%29)."

and

"United States

Today, a field officer in the United States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States) (here called of field grade) Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force is typically a major (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major), lieutenant colonel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieutenant_colonel), or a colonel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonel):
The [U.S.] commissioned officer corps is divided into 10 pay grades (O-1 through O-10). Officers in pay grades O-1 through O-3 are considered company grade officers. In the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force, these pay grades correspond to the ranks of second lieutenant (O-1), first lieutenant (O-2), and captain (O-3), and in the Navy, ensign, lieutenant junior grade, and lieutenant. Officers in the next three pay grades (O-4 through O-6) are considered field grade officers. In the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force, these pay grades correspond to the ranks of major (O-4), lieutenant colonel (O-5), and colonel (O-6), and in the Navy, lieutenant commander, commander, and captain. "

A "staff officer" is a job description, not a rank description.

Again, from wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staff_officer#Officers

" In most military units (i.e. battalion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battalion), regiment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regiment), and brigade (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigade)), the operations officer carries the same rank as the executive officer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_officer) (XO), but would obviously rank third in the unit's chain of command (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chain_of_command) while the other staff officers are one rank lower. For example, in a battalion, the S3 would hold the rank of major (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major) (like the battalion XO) while the remaining staff officers are captains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_%28OF-2%29)."

Telergic
03-02-2014, 08:06 AM
Learn something new every-- well, once in a while :)

Haggis
03-02-2014, 08:24 AM
So what I'm hearing is that if you're enlisted off the street you can maybe rise in rank to Sergeant class in 5-10 years being promoted. But if you're educated and /or commissioned before you enter, you start out at the Lieutenant level or higher. So there would actually be a goal of reaching Major? Or is Major so hard to get that you might as well be invisible?
You can reach Sergeant (E-5) in less than five years. I did it in about 2 1/2. But that was about a hundred years ago and it might be harder today. For the record, I knew a number of college grads who had been drafted. They all served as enlisted men.

culmo80
03-09-2014, 11:08 AM
Assuming you are referring to the United States Army, and assuming you are talking about modern times, I can give you some insight, though I'm a little late to the party.

Now my experience is 10 years old, but it is still pretty accurate.

Corporal - as someone else pointed out, isn't a rank that every enlisted soldier achieves - it's actually not all that common of a rank as it is. The most common rank for an enlisted soldier who has been out of basic training is Specialist (E-4). A corporal is also an E-4 as well.
Usually, if a soldier demonstrates enough leadership and initiative, they'll be sent to PLDC (primary leader development course) where an enlist soldier receives the training to become a Noncommissioned Officer and thus earn the rank of Sergeant (E-5).

It was my experience that a soldier could advance faster in combat arms than in combat support or combat service support. Combat Arms are infantry, armor, and artillery. I knew a 22 year old who was a Staff Sergeant (E-6).
It is also true that during wartime or in combat operations, promotions generally happen quicker, which was definitely true of infantry officers a decade ago (that was me).

Ten years ago, you commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and usually within 18 months, you were a 1st Lieutenant. And usually within 24 months of that, you were a Captain.

Getting to major took more time - typically, you would be a major at around the 10 year mark in your career, but this fluctuates depending on your MOS (military occupational specialty), needs of the Army, and your performance. If an officer had been infantry, and then served in the Rangers, went Special Forces, he would likely make Major quicker than an officer who worked in any of the support branches.

Something else to remember is that simply being promoted to rank doesn't mean you were necessarily qualified for higher duty positions. For instance, as a Captain, you would not be in command of a company until you went to (what used to be called) Captain's Career Course.

Eva Lefoy
03-16-2014, 07:49 AM
Thanks for the info Culmo. that answers one question. Now I have another. Not sure AW allows searing on this forum but....

Do Army guys /gals swear differently from civilians?

Anybody have an example?

Eva