The Air Force on Monday released the list of 530 airmen who were selected for promotion to chief master sergeant.
With 2,529 senior master sergeants who were eligible for promotion, that resulted in a selection rate of 20.96 percent, the Air Force Personnel Center said in a release.
This was the first time the E-9 promotion process was conducted without using the Weighted Airman Promotion System test, known as the promotion fitness exam, or considering points for decorations. In early February, the Air Force announced that all senior noncommissioned officer promotion boards would now focus only on performance.
Board members scored records both ways — with the current score process, as well as reviewing the last five years of evaluations and all awards and decorations, AFPC said.
“This promotion board validated that we’re selecting the right airmen to serve in our highest enlisted rank,” Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright said in the release. “With performance as the driving factor that we consider when selecting our senior NCOs, airmen can be sure that only those with the strongest leadership potential will earn the promotion they deserve.”
Wright said earlier this year that dropping tests will make sure the wrong airmen don’t end up in leadership positions simply because they’re good at taking tests.
The average board score for selectees was 396.69. Their average time in grade was 2.94 years, and their average time in service was 21.41 years.
Selectees will be promoted beginning Jan. 1, according to their promotion sequence number.
Stephen Losey covers leadership and personnel issues as the senior reporter for Air Force Times. He comes from an Air Force family, and his investigative reports have won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover Air Force operations against the Islamic State.