New NCO career rules: Road map to 32 years in service

New rules for noncommissioned officer careers will give thousands of soldiers more time in grade and more time to get ready for duty at the next rank.

Younger soldiers will be expected to move up or out faster to get rid of rules that “perpetuate mediocrity.”

An NCO leader development strategy that tightens the linkage between promotions and military education, and introduces new methods for selecting and preparing soldiers for promotion, will be implemented in phases for the active and reserve components beginning in early 2014.

See the new timeline in this week’s Army Times.

Army’s 1,000-unit overhaul: 10,000 soldiers must move

The Army will inactivate 194 units as part of a massive organizational overhaul slated to take place over the next four years.

The cuts are part of a comprehensive effort to shrink the active-duty force by 80,000 soldiers — bringing the force from a wartime high of about 570,000 to 490,000 — and reorganize the Army’s brigade combat teams.

On June 25, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno announced the Army will cut 10 BCTs and reorganize the rest by adding a third maneuver battalion to most of the infantry and armored BCTs and boosting the engineer capabilities in each.

Find out what it means for you in the July 22 issue of Army Times.

VA opposes more GI Bill funds for math, science majors

A bill that would pay more to student veterans pursuing math and science degrees than to English or political-science majors is drawing opposition from the Veterans Affairs Department.

Although science, technology, engineering and math degrees can lead to employment in high-demand occupations, VA doesn’t like the idea of using GI Bill education benefits to steer academic choices.

“The bill could create inequity of payments among veterans who have all earned the same benefit,” VA officials said in a written statement to the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Read more in the latest Army Times, on sale now.

Army Times Soldier of the Year

This year’s Soldier of the Year, Chief Warrant Officer-2 Karen D. Beattie, made a commitment to raising Gold Star awareness after losing her husband in Iraq. Find out more about CW2 Beattie and the other Military Times Service Members of the Year at

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