November 23, 2020

Putting Together a Promotion Packet

One of the most frustrating tasks I have completed in my military career is how to put together a promotion packet. This is the packet required for advancing to any NCO rank within the US Army. For me, I'm attempting to earn my stripes and become a Sergeant.

In an effort to leave the world a better place than I found it, I'm documenting my process because apparently I'm the first person to be confused by this process.

This is a living and breathing document that I will continue to update until I have succesfully submitted a promotion packet.

All of the information that we will be gathering and putting together can be found in Army Regulation 600–8–19

Collect the following forms:

These two forms really guide everything that follows. Below, I've attempted to list all the paperwork you might need, where to find it, and what to do with it. I've also tried to indicate what to do if something is missing.

Gather the Information and Supporting Documents

APFT/ACFT Score:

  1. Log into My Training Tab
  2. Scroll down to the DTMS section
  3. Collect APFT/ACFT information

Weapons Qualification:

  1. Log into My Training Tab
  2. Scroll down to the DTMS section
  3. Select the "Weapons Qualification" tab
  4. Collect Weapon Qualification information
  5. Log into iPerms and collect last uploaded Weapons Qualification Scorecard
  6. Your Training NCO should have this if you don't
  7. If not there, download DA Form 3595 and fill it out based on your DTMS numbers
Additional notes on Weapons Qualification and APFT/ACFT

Army sites are finicky. All the information is actually stored in DTMS, but most soldiers can't access it. For example, AKO has a link that takes you to DTMS that shows you your weapons qualification score. But guess what? You probably don't have access. If you can't find this information on your own through the DTMS tab at My Training Tab, go to your training NCO and ask them to provide your weapons qualification and the date. This is the way.

  • My S1 told me that "This (APFT) gets updated in DTMS with Training NCO. It will then automatically
    reflect on your ARB."
  • My previous leadership lost my APFT card, which led me down a long and annoying path
  • I ended up writing a new APFT card based off my DTMS values and having my SGT sign it. That is what I am including in my packet.
  • My advice, ALWAYS TAKE A PICTURE OF YOUR APFT CARD. Especially in the Reserves where your AGRs cannot be trusted to update your records appropriately

Additional Forms to gather

  • ARB/ERB Enlisted Record Brief - Ensure this is updated. Your S1 can assist as needed.
  • Current or pending Mobilization/Deployment Orders. Can be found iPerms under the "Documents" tab and "Service" folder
  • All Copies of DD-214s. Can be found iPerms under the "Documents" tab and "Service" folder
  • Documents supports Civilian Education (Official Transcripts only)
  • Provide security clearance and date of investigation. (Memorandum)
  • All NCOERS (As a lower enlisted, I have none)
  • Military Academic Reports for all military courses (DA Forms 1059/Certificates of Training).
  • Military awards/decorations
  • Official College Transcript- Needs to also be included in iPerms
  • Civilian Technical Certs

Complete Point sheet

Fill out the names and dates on the top of the DA 3355 as needed.

Section A "Military Training"

  • APFT - Take most current score and plug it into apftscore.com and enter the results
  • Weapons Qualification - Enter your most recent score
  • Points earned can be found on pages 46 and 48 of "AR 600-8-19"

Section B "Administrative Points"

Awards, Decorations, Badges, COAs, etc...

  • If you have awards they’re worth points. Search AR 600-8-19 for the name of your award
  • This includes honor graduate

Military Education:

Civilian Education (3–19. Civilian education of AR 600-8-19)

  • If you have a degree, 2 points per semester(credit) hour completed (Max 135). Transcript required
  • Technical Certs earn you 10 points per cert, Max 50 points

Putting it all together

Now that you've accumulated all of the required documents and figured out how many points you have, it's time to bring it all together. I'm breaking this into two seperate sections, digital and physical

Digital

This is what you should put most of your time into. You will be building the physical packet based off the contents of the PDFs I'm going to lay out below. The digital copy also serves as your personal repository for all of your documents. This is important because, despite this being the year 2020, the Army is woefully inadequate in it's record keeping. I don't know if it's poor training, apathy, bad databases, or a combination of the above, but you CAN NOT count on your command/leadership to upload and store the appropriate digital documents where or when they are supposed too. The fact that ALL of your leaders have a "I love me book" is a testament to this truth.

So, here's what I suggest. As you compile all of your documents save them with the following format "NUMBER_DOC NAME_LAST NAME". The Number in the file name should be correlated with what order you want the documents to be printed out in.

More to come on this...


I will update this post as I work through this process. Please let me know of any corrections, additions, or clarifications you would like added. As always, I can be reached at mike@mikehelmers.com