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Try
03-24-2014, 05:21 PM
It’s pretty difficult for the best MSgts to make SMSgt (congrats to those 999 this year). That said, it’s that much harder for those same folks to make Chief. In your past experience (especially you Chiefs out there) what are those differences that will promote those SMSgts to Chiefs…? Certain jobs (e.g., must have been a Sq Superintendent or another special duty or MAJCOM position), # of Amn supervised, strats, additional deployments, or something totally different.

For those of you that have gone through or are going through this…what do you see as the difference in your AFSC (if there is one).

sandsjames
03-24-2014, 06:42 PM
From my experience with those SMSgts I know trying to make Chief, the key is to have at least two "brown bag" lunch mentoring sessions a month with your unit NCOs and Airmen.

BRUWIN
03-24-2014, 07:36 PM
Chief was actually a lot easier to pick up than SMSgt. I don't know about anybody else's experience.

Big Blue
03-24-2014, 07:45 PM
It’s pretty difficult for the best MSgts to make SMSgt (congrats to those 999 this year). That said, it’s that much harder for those same folks to make Chief. In your past experience (especially you Chiefs out there) what are those differences that will promote those SMSgts to Chiefs…? Certain jobs (e.g., must have been a Sq Superintendent or another special duty or MAJCOM position), # of Amn supervised, strats, additional deployments, or something totally different.

For those of you that have gone through or are going through this…what do you see as the difference in your AFSC (if there is one).

One of my former Command Chiefs said the reason it is so difficult to make SMSgt is that they are in essence picking the next Chiefs. He also said a portion get content at that rank and it's gravy on top of their previously anticipated MSgt retirement and take the pedal off the medal and that's why they don't make Chief. I'll let the big dawgs that have made it speak on it. I just thought that was a good analogy.

Calmo70
03-24-2014, 08:06 PM
Chief was actually a lot easier to pick up than SMSgt. I don't know about anybody else's experience.

Of course, I'm a bit older than you (sewed on Senior in 1987 - 17 years TIS; sewed on Chief in 1992 - 22 years TIS). But, Senior was easiest for me, 1st time eligible, highest board score and #1 selectee in my AFSC as a "functional" advisor for systems development down at Gunter - but I just had duty title on top of my records, no performance reports, etc). But, took 4 times to make Chief and that was after being a sq supt and then assigned to a MAJCOM staff. I think I needed the other two jobs before selection.

Just FYI - would have retired at 20 (1990) - but got caught up in stop-loss from Desert Storm, by the time I got released from that, had the line number for Chief.

Mr. Happy
03-25-2014, 12:22 AM
Chief was actually a lot easier to pick up than SMSgt. I don't know about anybody else's experience.

Agree. Breaking into the SMSgt ranks was the hardest for me too. Took me four cracks at that one. Then I busted out chief first try; which was a total shock to me. I figured it would take me a few cracks at chief to make it; if ever. Some are destined to make it to SMSgt or Chief regardless, but for most, it's about perseverance and staying the course. A little luck and timing always goes a long ways too as was the case for me I believe. Trying for chief is much easier because the pool of eligibles you are competing against are (1) smaller, (2) the promotion rate is about double, and (3) attrition due to HYT, burn-out, fitness hits on EPRs, normal retirement, etc takes out a lot of the competition. If you are SMSgt who has adequate TIS left and the desire to make chief, there's nothing to stop you so long as you don't "check out".

Chief_KO
03-25-2014, 01:04 AM
Me: 2x for SMSgt (22 TIS) (would have made it first time if I had studied), 1x for Chief (24 TIS)
Mr Happy nailed it, a lot of SMSgts "self-eliminate" from making Chief. I say this because most are at their desired retirement location, spouse has a good job, kids are in high school/college, home is established, network is in place. Making Chief is almost always a ticket to PCS, since that SMSgt (now considered a CMSgt for assignment purposes) typically has more time on station than the Chief that is there.

I was never at any MAJCOM, NAF, nor office holder in any private org (till VP of Chiefs Group as the "jeep chief"); I personally think all those are highly overrated and MAJCOM/NAF positions are pushed a lot by the O-6s when they "mentor" an NCO (quotes used for sarcasm).

Chief_KO
03-25-2014, 01:19 AM
One of my former Command Chiefs said the reason it is so difficult to make SMSgt is that they are in essence picking the next Chiefs. He also said a portion get content at that rank and it's gravy on top of their previously anticipated MSgt retirement and take the pedal off the medal and that's why they don't make Chief. I'll let the big dawgs that have made it speak on it. I just thought that was a good analogy.

I think the part I bolded is one command chief's attempt to over dramatize the board system and add his/her own fuel to the inflation fire. There is nothing wrong with being content at any rank...just so long as you don't $hit on those wanting to move up, go ROAD, or just don't give a $hit.

Gonzo432
03-25-2014, 01:25 AM
Just to piggyback on Chief_KO's observation that Mr. Happy nailed...
I made SMSgt in 05, 6th try. It took me a total of 6 tries to make SSgt, TSgt and MSgt. I figure I'd have made Chief 2nd try since a bud who made SMSgt when I did and pretty much had the same assignments I did made it then. I "self-eliminated" from Chief because it was time to move on.

Measure Man
03-25-2014, 04:14 AM
I agree with those above. If you made SMSgt, you can make CMSgt. Once you make SMSgt, you are in the line for chief. A lot of people step out of the line for family reasons mostly...or whatever. A select few cut the line based on some super award or something...but, most of us stand in line and wait our turn. It just depends on if you have enough time before HYT or not.

That said...I tested 4 times for Chief, more than any other rank. There might be some truth to the idea that I took my foot off the gas a little. SMSgt had always been the one rank I looked to. When I was coming up all my flight chiefs were SMSgt...Chief was for HQ weenies and I did not identify with that.

OtisRNeedleman
03-25-2014, 04:25 AM
A very interesting thread. Have learned a lot.

ex prosup
03-25-2014, 09:54 PM
In my case making Chief was much easier than SMSgt given that the E-9 promotion rate was 20% and to E-8 was 4%. As others have said the hardest step to making CMSgt is getting a line # for E-8.

Big Blue
03-25-2014, 10:22 PM
A very interesting thread. Have learned a lot.

Agree, great thread so far...

sandsjames
03-25-2014, 11:51 PM
How do you think this will change now that there's a board for MSgt? Are they also going back 10 years for that? If so, then I'd think that if your package is good enough for MSgt then it's going to be good enough for SMSgt...(with the only difficulty being the percentage promoted being for less to E8 than to E7).

mikezulu1
03-26-2014, 02:50 AM
How do you think this will change now that there's a board for MSgt? Are they also going back 10 years for that? If so, then I'd think that if your package is good enough for MSgt then it's going to be good enough for SMSgt...(with the only difficulty being the percentage promoted being for less to E8 than to E7).

I know the MSgt boards have been kicked around forever and word is FY15 but has anyone seen anything concrete(official) on this? would hate to start studying then they pull the rug out from under people and go with a board

Ripcord
03-27-2014, 12:38 AM
I know the MSgt boards have been kicked around forever and word is FY15 but has anyone seen anything concrete(official) on this? would hate to start studying then they pull the rug out from under people and go with a board

Nothing official has been released but word on the street from sources very high up the food change is it will be this year. One interesting nugget I gleaned from the email short brief was that not all TSgts will be boarded. Only the top % (lets say 60% but that hasn't been determined yet) based on PDG/SKT results will have there packages boarded. Only those boarded will be eligible for promotion. Takeaway for MSgt Hopefuls...STUDY...STUDY...STUDY if you want a ticket to the party! Only then will your records will do the dancing.

Another unrelated but interesting nugget was a comment about promotion rates being pretty pitiful (in line with 14E8) for SSgt-CMSgt for the next 2-3 years while force shaping does its thing. After that it will level out. oh and the AF will not be cutting 25k this year. The number is more like 16.4k with the remaining coming out of next year's round of force shaping.

BRUWIN
03-27-2014, 04:49 AM
I know the MSgt boards have been kicked around forever and word is FY15 but has anyone seen anything concrete(official) on this? would hate to start studying then they pull the rug out from under people and go with a board

Still have to study...many a 400+ board scorers have relied on their records...and didn't make it because they didn't study. They usually learn and then pick it up the next year. Most 400+ board scorers have to study some if they are low in TIG/TIS points. It's not an automatic.

BUDJR8
03-27-2014, 05:52 AM
Still have to study...many a 400+ board scorers have relied on their records...and didn't make it because they didn't study. They usually learn and then pick it up the next year. Most 400+ board scorers have to study some if they are low in TIG/TIS points. It's not an automatic.

Indeed, I see folks get burned every year with this. They'll finally get the 400+ board score they've been chasing only to bomb the test with a very low score...hurts a bit...

DWWSWWD
03-27-2014, 05:08 PM
Every promotion cycle, I realize that I just never appreciated how hard this is for folks doing all the right things. I made SMSgt the first time. #4 board score out of 360 or so eligible. I made Chief the first time and I found out a couple of years later that I had a mismarked block on my EPR. I was one from the left in leadership on the front side. That was my top EPR for the Chief board. I don't know.... Most SMSgts that I run across are pretty hard charging folks. A lot of them time out or just don't want to hang out. Usually, the point in folks' lives where kids start high school, families get tired of moving etc.

sandsjames
03-27-2014, 06:24 PM
Indeed, I see folks get burned every year with this. They'll finally get the 400+ board score they've been chasing only to bomb the test with a very low score...hurts a bit...

Could it be that the people who get the 400+ spend most of their time checking all the boxes in a trade off for studying time?

BUDJR8
03-28-2014, 07:26 AM
Could it be that the people who get the 400+ spend most of their time checking all the boxes in a trade off for studying time?

Quite possible, but it goes both ways...I've seen the opposite...it's a hard balance to find and you just never know what the board is looking for.

imported_DannyJ
03-28-2014, 12:04 PM
Nothing official has been released but word on the street from sources very high up the food change is it will be this year. One interesting nugget I gleaned from the email short brief was that not all TSgts will be boarded. Only the top % (lets say 60% but that hasn't been determined yet) based on PDG/SKT results will have there packages boarded. Only those boarded will be eligible for promotion. Takeaway for MSgt Hopefuls...STUDY...STUDY...STUDY if you want a ticket to the party! Only then will your records will do the dancing.

Another unrelated but interesting nugget was a comment about promotion rates being pretty pitiful (in line with 14E8) for SSgt-CMSgt for the next 2-3 years while force shaping does its thing. After that it will level out. oh and the AF will not be cutting 25k this year. The number is more like 16.4k with the remaining coming out of next year's round of force shaping.

Not meaning the hijack the thread, but have to say something on this. I was DEAD worried they were going to board every eligible TSgt. Due to about 500 reasons, that scenario wouldn't work out well for me. How Ripcord is explaining it makes me feel much better about my chances. Actually, I think this is the best scenario there could be. It still will allow for some inclusion of TIG/TIS points (btw I get the absolute rock bottom on both as a first time tester and a 7 year TSgt, but recognize the value of experience) but reward those that put in the effort to study while cutting out those that don't even care.

The fact that the powers at be are even considering a route like this reinvigorates my motivation to study!

ChiefB
04-26-2014, 06:33 AM
Could it be that the people who get the 400+ spend most of their time checking all the boxes in a trade off for studying time?

If you have a complete package, your test scores will be THE most competitive you can muster. The Chiefs on the board are very cognizant of a drawback on the throttle in any area and the Colonel, specifically, will be very critical of marginal/poor/lame achievement in any area that is totally under your control.

Performance on the test is a go-to signal and is "objective" rather than the more subjective aspects of your package. It is a very easy "eliminator" and can overcome your best efforts in the other areas of consideration.

Outside of testing, demonstrating leadership and competency in the "Chiefly arts" of communication, problem solving/resolution, mentorship and can-do, go to guy reputation seal the deal. There can be NO indication of slowing down, ROAD or inception of the Peter Principle in play.

Believe it or don't.

Gonzo432
04-28-2014, 02:30 AM
If you have a complete package, your test scores will be THE most competitive you can muster. The Chiefs on the board are very cognizant of a drawback on the throttle in any area and the Colonel, specifically, will be very critical of marginal/poor/lame achievement in any area that is totally under your control.

Performance on the test is a go-to signal and is "objective" rather than the more subjective aspects of your package. It is a very easy "eliminator" and can overcome your best efforts in the other areas of consideration.

Outside of testing, demonstrating leadership and competency in the "Chiefly arts" of communication, problem solving/resolution, mentorship and can-do, go to guy reputation seal the deal. There can be NO indication of slowing down, ROAD or inception of the Peter Principle in play.

Believe it or don't.

I believe! :clap2