The Air Force has released the names of those 15,669 senior airmen promoted to staff sergeant.
More than half of the eligible 30,651 airmen were selected this year, making it the highest rate in 16 years at 51.12 percent. The selection rates were 42.25 percent and 44.3 percent in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
The staff sergeant promotion rate increased “because of the requirements to provide capabilities to a growing force,” according to an Air Force Personnel Center news release.
The Air Force has already brought its active-duty end strength up from 313,000 to 325,100. The proposed fiscal 2019 budget aims to add another 4,000 active-duty airmen and 700 more guardsmen and reservists.
Promotion selection rates for staff sergeants have now doubled since bottoming out in the midst of the massive drawdown of 2014.
Of those 15,669 airmen who were selected for promotion, 11.7 percent had “Promote Now” recommendations, 29.7 percent had “Must Promote” recommendations and 58.5 percent had “Promote” recommendations, the release said.
See the full staff sergeant promotion list here: 18E5 Staff Sgt Worldwide Selects
It’s also available on the Enlisted Promotions page on the AFPC website, the Air Force Portal and myPers.
The selected airmen will be promoted, starting Sept. 1, according to their promotion sequence number.
The last time selection rates were this high was in 2001 and 2002 when the service picked nearly 65 percent and 63 percent of eligible airmen for staff sergeant, respectively. The number of selectees is also the second-highest in 16 years. In 2016, the Air Force chose 16,506 for promotion to staff sergeant, but other than that, this year’s selection will be the highest since 2002.
Reporter Stephen Losey contributed to this report.