The Air Force on Tuesday released the list of airmen who have been selected for promotion to senior master sergeant.
The Air Force Personnel Center said last week that 1,184 master sergeants out of 15,544 eligible airmen had been selected for promotion to E-8 — a selection rate of 7.62 percent.
That selection rate is a significant drop from the last couple of years, and the lowest rate since 2014, when the Air Force was in the midst of a painful drawdown. The lower selection rate was partially due to a significantly larger pool of eligible airmen, personnel officials said, and the Air Force had a lower number of promotion slots allocated to meet its requirements.
According to statistics released by AFPC, the average time in grade of selectees was 3.74 years, and the average selectee served 18.08 years. Selectees had an average age of 38.14 years and an average board score of 407.06.
This is the first promotion cycle for E-8s since the Air Force last year decided to drop the Weighted Airman Promotion System testing for senior noncommissioned officers. SNCOs are now selected for promotion based solely on the promotion board process, similar to the board process used by officers. Air Force leaders said last year that the change would mean SNCOs are selected more on their performance, and not on how good they are at taking tests.
Selectees will begin to be promoted starting April 1.
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 Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.