Dozens of noncommissioned officers received fast-track promotions for graduating the Army's recruiting school in recent weeks — part of a controversial move by the service as it desperately grapples with a depleting pool of NCOs interested in serving in the role.
Of the 145 soldiers who attended the Army Recruiter Course, 56 NCOs were automatically promoted from sergeant to staff sergeant, according to the service. The graduation and promotions occurred Dec. 21, but the Army widely announced it on social media only Thursday.
In November, the service shifted its policy and started allowing automatic promotions for sergeants who become recruiters. The only stipulation is that the NCO be in good standing, but time in grade and attendance of the Advanced Leader Course is not accounted for.
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The move means a freshly promoted sergeant could potentially skip that rank by attending the eight-week recruiter course. It's effectively the only instance in recent history in which a soldier could receive an automatic promotion exclusively for attending a school.
Otherwise, the earliest promotion to staff sergeant requires at least six months time in grade as a sergeant. But the promotion typically takes about two years on active duty — and much longer in the National Guard.
Staff sergeants who volunteer for recruiting school, and recruit 24 applicants during their first year on the…