The Army now will require soldiers to complete professional military education (PME) courses before promoting them. Beginning in January, for example, specialists who are in line for sergeant E-5 will have to finish the Basic Leader Course. Sergeants looking to become staff sergeants (E-6) will need to finish the Advanced Leader Course first; promotion to sergeant first class (E-7) will require successful completion of the Senior Leader Course. Promotion-eligible soldiers still will find their names on the lists of those recommended for promotion. But if they do not complete the required courses, they will be passed over. The change applies for active, reserve and National Guard troops.