SUBJECT: Preparing for the Promotion Board
1. The purpose of this counseling is to inform you of and prepare you for the promotion board.
2. The next board will be 11 March 15. Soldiers selected to attend will be evaluated in six areas:
a. Personal Appearance and Military Bearing. I will check the fit and condition of your uniform before the board. If necessary, have your uniform dry cleaned. Use a ruler to check the placement of all items IAW AR 670-1. There is only so much you can do to get your uniform in proper order. Don't over-think it. Once your shoes are shined, ribbons match your ERB, and your uniform is neat and clean, you're good to go as far as uniform.
b. Confidence and Verbal Ability. First, you have already demonstrated a level of competence that qualified you to meet the board so confidence in your ability is not an issue. The members of the board will merely observe your demeanor and responses and ensure you are capable of performing the duties that will be entrusted to you. Don't be nervous. I have been on promotion boards before and these senior NCOs are often just as nervous as you might be. Many of them spend hours researching and debating which questions to ask. They are as anxious to do a good job and select the right candidates as you are to present a good impression.
c. Military Programs. It's important to be aware of the military programs available to you and your subordinates so that you can ask for or provide help when it's needed. Examples are financial counseling, the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention program and the retention programs.
d. Basic Soldiering. It's only natural that a knowledge of basic soldiering be evaluated. This should be a welcome return to what we know. Questions are likely to be on the chain of command or OPSEC or the Code of Conduct.
e. Current Events. Watch the news every day for the 10 days or so preceding the board. You may be asked about natural disasters occuring in other countries, political movements or military events. There is normally no right or wrong answer to these types of questions. They are used to guage your awareness of world events and being able to knowledgeably expound on any topic presented would be a plus.
f. Attitude. The attitude expected is a cheerful acceptance of a challenge (the board) and the willingness to take this opportunity to advance one's career -not necessarily for him or herself but for the benefit of the unit and the Army. It's doing our part and meeting our responsibility as Soldiers and facing new responsibilities without fear.
3. There are three actions that you can take that will help you have a successful board appearance. Those actions are preparing your uniform, studying and rehearsing.
a. Uniform. Do this first. It takes time to order ribbons or have your uniform tailored.
b. Studying. If there is one, get a copy of the memorandum that lists the subjects that will be discussed. Study these topics in the battalion study guide but also be prepared to answer other questions. Watch the news and be prepared to express your opinions on local, national, and world events. Know your chain of command and unit history.
c. Rehearsing. Practice reporting to the board. Again, don't over-think this or get nervous about reporting. Rehearsing is only done to let you know the routine and what's supposed to happen. To get you in the promotion board mode, we will practice asking random questions. If you don't know the answer to a question, don't lose your military bearing. No one is expected to know everything. If you don't know the answer, explain how you would find the answer even if it's as simple as asking your platoon leader. Be prepared to tell the board members why you think you should be promoted. The best answer is because, although you may have different opinions on important topics, you understand the absolute need for order and discipline and following orders. In addition, explain how you have advanced in your training records.