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NEWS | Oct. 20, 2023

Army Reserve leader sets goal for junior enlisted Soldiers

By Sgt. Natalie Pantalos U.S. Army Reserve Command

Lt. Gen. Jody J. Daniels, chief of Army Reserve and commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command, has a challenge for Army Reserve leaders and junior enlisted Soldiers called “E-5 in 5.” The goal is for Soldiers to promote to the rank of sergeant within five years of joining the Army Reserve.

Leaders can put the challenge into action through efficient management by enrolling Soldiers into the Distributed Leader Course (DLC), scheduling Basic Leader Course (BLC) rapidly, hosting flexible promotion boards, and using temporary promotions when possible. They must be committed to developing junior enlisted Soldiers to sustain the Army Reserve’s readiness by retaining and growing our future leaders for today, tomorrow, and the Army of 2030.

“We have a lot of potential out there, and I need my sergeants and above helping my specialists become sergeants,” said Daniels. “I need my specialists to have confidence that they can become sergeants and work on their distance learning, getting their packets ready, and getting to BLC.”

Daniels emphasized that many teams are focused on “are they ready?” instead of “do they have potential?” This perspective shift is a key component of this initiative.

Sgt. Asuerus Thompson, assigned to the 200th Military Police Command, was promoted to E-5 in under five years. “My leadership felt that I was more than ready for the NCO ranks,” reflected Thompson. “They were very supportive in assisting with my packet and updating my records to ensure a quality presentation of myself.”

At the recent Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Daniels encouraged leaders to look at how they are taking care of their junior enlisted Soldiers and preparing them to become noncommissioned officers. While setting realistic timelines for such promotions, ask how quickly are you taking care of your Soldiers in order to turn them into sergeants.

She will be reviewing promotion metrics this year to evaluate the effectiveness of the E-5 in 5 initiative. The Army Reserve has an opportunity to outpace both the active component and the Army National Guard in E-5 promotions through a dedicated program that supports timely and predictable rank progression.