Armed Forces News

Salerno, Afghanistan - July 2013: Army Sgt. 1st Class Jessie H. Sanchez with the 4th Brigade Combat Team “Currahee”, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), observes a Soldier doing pushups, during an Army Physical Fitness Test (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

The Army is implementing temporary changes to its enlisted policy, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes affect the active-duty and reserve force. A related decision regarding National Guard troops is forthcoming. The changes would remain in effect until Sept. 30, when fiscal year 2020 ends, unless a decision to end them sooner is made.

•      Commanders can conduct personnel boards virtually rather than in person, and have discretion in determining how to do so. Additionally, battalion command sergeants major can make promotion recommendations based on “one-on-one interactions with an eligible soldier,” Sgt. Maj. Mark A. Clark, the Army G-1 directorate of military personnel sergeant major, said.

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•      Professional Military Education (PME) requirements for staff sergeants and sergeants who need them to complete the Advanced Leader Course or Senior Leader Course are temporarily suspended. Candidates still would be required to complete PME requirements at a later date. The change does not affect soldiers who attend the Basic Leader, Master Leader and Sergeants Major courses. Candidates are expected to complete their requirements through available distance-learning options. Again, the change applies to active-duty and reserve soldiers. The National Guard will issue its own guidance at a later date.

•      Soldiers still must pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) in order to be promoted. They can use the results of their last recorded APFT for promotion and pin-on purposes. Exceptions exist for organizations that are not equipped to perform the APFT. The same extensions are provided for soldiers who need to meet weapons qualifications.

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