The Air Force Personnel Center on Thursday released the list of 14,181 senior airmen who have been selected for promotion to staff sergeant.

In an accompanying news release, AFPC said 13.57 percent of those chosen for E-5, or about 1,924 airmen, received the highest ”promote now” recommendation. Another 32.76 percent, or about 4,646 airmen, had ”must promote” recommendations, and the remaining 53.67 percent, or about 7,611, had ”promote” recommendations.

Those airmen were chosen out of 32,006 eligible senior airmen, AFPC said last week, resulting in a selection rate of 44.31 percent. The average time-in-grade of selectees was 1.94 years, and their average time-in-service was 4.39 years.

The average overall score for selectees was 349.05. The average enlisted performance report score was 210.96, the average decoration score was 0.78, the average promotion fitness examination score was 67.96, and the average specialty knowledge test score was 68.86.

The number of senior airmen eligible for promotion dropped considerably from the 39,064 who were eligible last year. But very little of that decline had to do with the Air Force’s decision to make airmen ineligible for promotion if they missed a Jan. 1 deadline for finishing their online professional military education course, said AFPC spokesman Mike Dickerson.

Only 115 senior airmen were ineligible for promotion this year due to the EPME requirement, Dickerson said. The EPME requirement was a much bigger factor in last month’s technical sergeant promotions, in which 5,489 staff sergeants were not allowed to compete to make E-6 because they didn’t finish that course.

Dickerson said this promotion cycle’s decline is primarily due to usual fluctuations in population size.

The career fields with at least 10 selectees that had the lowest cutoff scores, indicating where competition was lighter, were: 2A8X1G mobility air forces integrated communications, navigation and mission systems airmen specializing in the KC-135; 2A8X1C airmen specializing in the C-130 and WC-130; 2A8X2B mobility air forces integrated instrument and flight control systems airmen specializing in the C-17; 2A7X5 low observable aircraft structural maintenance; and 3E2X1 pavements and construction equipment.

The career fields with at least 10 selectees that had the highest cutoff scores, indicating where competition was toughest, were: 3E8X1 explosive ordnance disposal; 3N1X1 regional band musicians; 2A0X1K avionics test station and components, specializing in A-10s, B-2s, C-17s, CV-22s, F-16s and Air Force Special Operations Command avionics systems; 1B4X1 cyber warfare operations; and 2P0X1 precision measurement equipment laboratory airmen.

The list of selectees can be found here.

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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