How do PROMOTIONS work in the AIR FORCE??

What’s up, everybody? Welcome back for another video. I’m going to be talking about promotions today. So we’re going to go over promotions and rank, how long you have to be in that rank and how that process all works.


So when you first go to basic training, everyone is an e one, which is an airman basic. So no one has stripes. When you graduate BMT, you could become an e two or an e three based on if you have a college degree or if you signed any special contracts or if there were any incentives at the time that you joined. So that is something you’re going to have to talk to your recruiter about to see if you qualify for a quick track promotion from e one to e three or even an e two. So for those who don’t have any special contracts or don’t have a college degree, in order to promote to e two.


So when you first join, you’re an airman basic, which is an e one. In order to promote to e two, you have to have six months time and service. So that time and service starts the day that you leave for basic training. So mine is August 14. That is the day that I left to go to basic and I landed in San Antonio.


So that is my time and service date. August 14, 2018. So from an e one, when you get to basic, that’s what you are. Airman basic. You have to be an e one for six months, and then you promote to e two, and you will have one stripe.


So if you joined the air force on March 1 and came in as an e one, you would be promoted to e two on September 1. So that’s pretty fast. You won’t be an airman basic for long at all. I know. For me, I signed a special contract, so when I graduated tech school, my tech school was about five and a half months long.


I jumped to e three because I signed a six year contract. So that’s what I mean when signing special contract or having college degree, there’s just different incentives. So definitely talk to your recruiter about that. So from promoting from e two, which is an airman, to an e three, airman first class, you have to have more experience. So in order to jump from e two to e three, you have to have ten months of time and grade.


So time and grade is from the date that you promote. So from whatever date you promoted to airmen e two, you have to have ten months from that date to then promote to an e three. So from ranks e one to e four, it’s all about how long you’ve been in, and you will automatically promote, unless you have some disciplinary action that bars you from promoting. But for mostly everyone, you will just automatically promote based on your time and service and your time and grade. And then when you get to promote to e five, that’s when you start testing, and you have to have strong performance reports and things of that nature.


So I’ll get into that, too. So, from e three airman first class to e four, which is a senior airmen, you have to have 28 months time and grade, which is time of being that rank, or 36 months time in the air Force with 20 months of time in grade, whichever comes first. That’s for the automatic promotion. Now, there is what’s called BTZ, which is below the zone, which, if you get below the zone, you promote to e four six months earlier. And six months might not seem like a long time, but it made a difference as far as me being in the testing cycle, to be able to test for staff sergeant.


So that’s how I was able to put on e five staff sergeant in under four years. So I became a staff months before I even hit my four year mark. Now, from promoting from a senior airman to a staff sergeant, this is where it gets more competitive, and now you have to test. So promoting the e five requires three years time in service, three years in the air Force, and six months time in grade as an e four. So as a senior airman, you have to score high enough on your waps test, which is your weighted airmen promotion system test, and you have to receive good ratings on your latest eprs, which is the enlisted performance reports, and you have to have completed airmen leadership school prior to promoting.


So promoting the e five is a lot more in depth than the other ranks, so there’s just more that goes into that. But for me, let’s backtracking. I was an airman first class in e three from March 2019 to August of 2020. So a little over a year, I was an airman first class, and then I made below the zone. So I put on senior airmen August of 2020.


I made it six months early, and then I tested for staff sergeant that following summer. So I tested for staff in May of 2021. I made it. So I then put on staff sergeant in May of 2022.


You promote pretty fast in the air Force from e one to e four, so you will definitely be in e four if you sign a four year contract. Definitely. It’s not guaranteed that you’ll make staff if you only sign a four year contract, but you definitely will be a senior airman if you do not have any severe discipline action that prevents you from promoting all.


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