Over 10,000 Army Soldiers Were Promoted without Completing Required Military Training
The COVID-19 pandemic caused immense strife across the globe. Businesses were shut down, education went fully remote, and social interactions were severely affected through mask mandates and social distancing. The political tension was palpable, especially with the concerns over the virus’s vaccine that caused great civil unrest. The aftermath of how authorities decided to manage the chaos still lingers today, experts say, and a lot of those effects are unfolding within the military.
When soldiers were required to take the vaccine, many refused. As a result, roughly 8,400 troops were kicked out of service. The military made an abrupt reversal in November of 2023, sending letters to many of the soldiers who lost their positions allowing them to come back. But the attempt to reconcile was not received with open arms. Aside from the vaccine controversy, the Army also changed certain policies during COVID that were intended to help the men and women in the ranks.
The Army’s Select, Train, Educate and Promote policy (STEP) went into effect in 2016 and required “noncommissioned officers to complete professional military education training courses before they can be promoted.” But to relieve stress during the pandemic, the Army set up a temporary promotion policy that allowed servicemen and women to be promoted without completing the required course and training. The aim was that any noncommissioned officer (NCO) who didn’t complete his or her training within a year of the temporary promotion would lose their rank.
However, since this 2021 policy has been in place, 52,000 NCOs have been promoted, but 10,588 have yet to finish the required training. And the Army appears to be doing nothing about it. Leaders announced in September of 2023 that they were going to reinstate STEP and the one-year deadline to fulfill the requirements. Yet, in December, they reversed that decision with no timeline for when they would review it again.
Without the temporary promotion policy, 10,588 NCOs would lose their promoted ranks, but it turns out “the Army did not want to issue such a large number of demotions at one time,” Fox News reported.
Limited spots, deployments, and training rotations make it difficult for NCOs to finish the training promptly, so “our goal is to ensure our soldiers’ careers do not suffer from factors outside of their control,” Army Sgt. Maj. Michael Weimer said. That’s ironic, some say, since 8,400 soldiers were kicked out of the military for refusing a shot they seemingly had no control over. Additionally, the military has been called out on multiple occasions for prioritizing LGBT ideology and abortion policies over preparation for combat.
Lt. General (Ret.) William Boykin, executive vice president of Family Research Council, shared with The Washington Stand, “Under the current leadership, the U.S. military has been in a rapid decline in terms of readiness.” He continued, “With over 10,000 people who have yet to complete required training, it seems obvious to all that we have soldiers, sailors, airman, and marines who are going to potentially be sent off to war and are clearly not ready for what they face. The U.S. military should immediately make all efforts to ensure that every individual wearing a uniform has been thoroughly vetted for their individual readiness.”
In addition to the 10,588 individuals who are not properly trained, Boykin emphasized that the military has “wasted training time on the woke agenda and learning pronouns.” He concluded, “It should be obvious that our military needs to stop now and build a strong base of military people who are fully ready to answer the call.”
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.