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Part 4 Board File How to get promoted to SFC in the Army

Updated: Aug 27, 2022

You're tired of watching the Platoon Sergeant sit in the office watching YouTube and perusing Facebook while you slave away making sure that the vehicles are FMC and managing the priorities of the platoon put out in the morning meeting. What do they do anyway? You run all the reports for them.... all they do is go to meetings..... when they are there. You should be getting paid more than you are and you know you could make a difference and do it better. It's time to work towards promotion and here you will find out where to start and what you need to do to get promoted in the Army.

Here in part 4 we are going to discuss the board. This is the first time you are going for promotion without ever speaking to or having facetime with the people determining your fate. This time, the only representation the board members have of you are your board file including a record brief, iPerms records, evaluations, and a letter (if you send one). This time managing your official record is the most important thing you can do.

Sadly most people wait until they are notified they are in the window to be looked at to start correcting deficiencies in their official record. During this time, everyone in the Army that falls into the same window is trying to do the same thing, update their board file and iPerms. This takes a toll on the system and puts you in competition with everyone else in your unit to get time with S1 to make sure everything is straight.

If you are reading this and not in your window yet, please start now. I have had multiple friends that waited until they received the notification and run into problems with the only records clerk being on leave for a month during this window. What a mess for everyone.

The first thing I do when my board file opens up is print off or download my record brief from the board. The record brief the board sees is different than what you are used to. A good portion of the file is redacted so the board members can be less biased while reviewing your records. The military has recently made big changes and removed the board photo, race, and gender as well. Here is a sample of a SFC Record brief with additional information redacted.

SFC Board File Record Brief 2018
SFC Board File Record Brief 2018

If it has changed, let me know.

With any items that the board can see, I pull up the board file iPerms section on the computer and I go line by line on the record brief checking to see if the appropriate documentation is in there. I make sure all certificates and 1059s for school completion are uploaded, then civilian education documentation is correctly added and uploaded, for awards and ribbons the orders are the most important thing in your record not the certificate itself. Your evaluations should all be uploaded and the dates, duty title, and duty MOS on your evaluations should match the dates in your assignments section perfectly. You will also want to make sure that any PCS, TDY, or deployment orders are in your file as well. You should also make sure that marriage, birth, and other supporting documents are in your file even though it doesn't show on the board file.

Another thing I do is check the most recent board AAR comments, Ideally I check both the rank I'm going for plus the next one to make sure I'm shaping my career accordingly. To check the AAR comments, go to AC Senior Enlisted Selection Board Results then select the links that look similar to below:

FY21 AC SFC Evaluation Board FQ List posted 20- January-2021

FY20 AC MSG Evaluation Board posted 8-July-2020

A few good places to visit for HRC guidance on centralized promotion:

HRC selection board info This link has a board prep checklist and sample letter to the board president.

Square away your records well in advance, follow the guidance from the links above, complete Key Developmental (KD) and broadening positions, and you should be golden. Not having a profile also helps.

Stay competitive!

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