Sergeants first class with dates of rank of Oct. 23, 2009, or earlier, and basic active service dates of Oct. 23, 1988, or earlier, will be considered by the Qualitative Service Program boards that meet in October unless they’re in exempt military occupational specialties:
■Regular Army: All MOSs may be considered except 18B, 18C, 18D, 18E, 18F, 29E, 35Q, 42S, 51C, 68B, 68C, 68F, 68L, 68N, 68U, 68Y, 79R and 89D.
■Active Guard and Reserve (Army Reserve): All MOSs except 09L, 12A, 12B, 12H, 12N, 12Q, 12Y, 15Q, 15R, 15T, 15U, 15Y, 19D, 25B, 25S, 25U, 25W, 25Z, 27D, 31B, 31D, 31E, 35F, 35G, 35L, 35M, 35P, 36B, 37F, 38B, 42A, 46Z, 51C, 56M, 68A, 68E, 68K, 68S, 68W, 68X, 74D, 79R, 79V, 88H, 88K, 88L, 88M, 88N, 88P, 88U, 89B, 91K, 91X, 92A, 92G, 92M, 92R, 92S, 92W, 92Y and 94W.
Selection boards that meet in October to recommend sergeants first class for promotion will dothe biggest retention screening yet under the Qualitative Service Program.
The QSP reviews apply to sergeants first class of the Regular Army and the Active Guard and Reserve (Army Reserve) who meet these criteria:
■ Promoted to sergeant first class Oct. 23, 2009, or earlier.
■ Entered active service Oct. 23, 1988, or later.
Soldiers will not be considered by the QSP boards if they are in promotable status to master sergeant, or have an approved retirement as of Oct. 11. Retirement-eligible soldiers who want to retire rather than undergo a retention screening must submit their voluntary retirement requests by Oct. 11.
The QSP panels will meet in conjunction with the fiscal 2014 master sergeant promotion boards that convene Oct. 22 at Fort Knox, Ky.
Army personnel officials would not speculate on how many soldiers will be forced out by these boards, but more than 500 active-duty senior noncommissioned officers have been separated or retired early since QSP panels were implemented in April 2012.
As with previous QSP boards, the October panels will focus on soldiers in overstrength military occupational specialties, MOSs with limited promotion opportunity, or both.
The Regular Army QSP board will target soldiers in all but 18 of the Army’s 180 enlisted MOSs. Specialties not included in the screening are from Special Forces, electronic warfare, military intelligence, acquisition, medical, recruiting and ammunition.
The specialties subject to the review represent the most MOSs included in any QSP screening so far.
The Active Guard and Reserve screening will exclude soldiers in more than 60 MOSs from these fields: engineer, aviation, armor, signal, military police, military intelligence, civil affairs, psychological operations, acquisition, medical, recruiting, transportation, mechanical maintenance, supply and electronic maintenance.
Pentagon personnel officials estimate that about 20,000 enlisted soldiers and 5,000 officers will be involuntarily separated from 2014 through 2017 to meet an objective end strength of 490,000 by 2018.
Opting for early-out
Because the zone of eligibility includes senior NCOs with more than 15 years of service, some soldiers selected for separation may opt for the Temporary Early Retirement Authority if they have at least 15 but fewer than 20 years of active service.
Soldiers who are approved for early retirement receive the same benefits as those who retire with 20 or more years of service, except their retirement pay is reduced accordingly.
The QSP review has certain implications for soldiers who want to transfer unused educational benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill to family members. Army policy requires that GI Bill benefit transfer requests be approved before the QSP selection list is approved by Pentagon officials.
“Because board approval dates vary, eligible NCOs are advised to ensure they take the necessary steps to retain transferability (of benefits) as soon as possible,” an Army directive outlining the policy says.