The Air Force has selected 44.31 percent of eligible airmen for promotion to staff sergeant ― an increase over the 42.25 percent selection rate from last year, and the highest in seven years.

However, the number of selectees and eligible airmen dropped this year.

There were 32,006 senior airmen eligible for promotion this year, and 14,181 were selected, the Air Force Personnel Center said. That is down from the 39,064 who were eligible in 2016, and the 16,506 who were actually selected for E-5.

The last time the selection rate was higher was in 2010, when it was 47.41 percent.

AFPC said the list of selectees will be released the morning of Aug. 24. Commanders will be told on Thursday which of their airmen have been selected, but they will be told not to tell the airmen any earlier than Aug. 23.

Selectees will begin to be promoted on Sept. 1, based on their promotion sequence number.

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.

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