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    This guide has been prepared to provide some direction and guidance for the enlisted soldiers of the United States Army. Although this guide guide is based on Army regulations, field manuals, training manuals, and general policy, it is my own work and does not necessarily represent official government policy.

    This book is more than just a study guide for promotion boards. It contains the ground rules for being a better soldier and the information to be a better supervisor and NCO. It is a guide to get the most from your time in the military. There are other resources for learning. Manuals, online or web-based study guides, and hands-on training are three of them. This book compliments those assets and is usable when a computer or electrical power is not available. It is a tool to help you advance. It is a tool you may find useful during your entire military career. If you committed three questions a day to memory, within a year your military knowledge would be phenomenal.

    Every soldier has the potential and the opportunity to advance to the highest enlisted grades or to become a commissioned or warrant officer. Much of the opportunity offered in the Army is wasted, however, because many soldiers do not work to their full potential. They do just enough to get by and then hope that promotion and advancement will come.

    Many soldiers believe that advancement is automatic. However, "keep your mouth shut, do what you're told, and you will do well in the Army" no longer applies. Modern equipment, advanced technology, new programs, and a smaller force have made such advice obsolete. Although there are many soldiers in today's Army, there can be only so many sergeants, first sergeants, and sergeants major.

    Everyone desires success. It is more fulfilling to spend twenty or more years in the military and retire as a sergeant major than to spend twenty years and retire as a staff sergeant. Even if a soldier plans to spend only three or four years in the service, he or she will find it more rewarding to be discharged as a sergeant than as a private or a specialist.

    It is not that difficult to get promoted and attain positions of responsibility if you are willing to work a little harder to do well. Things of value have a cost. If you want to advance and have a successful Army career, you need to set priorities and then follow them. It is up to you to decide how far you will advance. Now is the time to start.

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