By Patricia Streeter
Noncommissioned officers and junior enlisted soldiers received a Military Intelligence Branch Enlisted Overview on Jan. 29 from Master Sgt. Eric Ewing. His brief explained how the Army assigns enlisted MI soldiers.
Soldiers reported to Comanche Chapel Activity Center for a 9 a.m. overview that lasted two hours.
During the overview, Ewing debunked career branch misconceptions. Human Resource Command’s MI Branch only assigns soldiers. If soldiers call or email them about school and promotion issues, the MI office cannot help them.
Three things determine where soldiers are assigned; Army readiness, soldier professional development and soldier desires. Assignments are based on the best available soldier in the right place at the right time. Career branches use availability and qualification to identify eligible soldiers.
Once identified and selected, the MI branch office is required to contact soldiers, but they cannot contact classified email addresses. Soldiers primarily using classified networks must periodically check their enterprise email for HRC correspondence. This can prevent blindside assignments for the soldier, gaining unit and losing unit.
If a soldier misses a report date, it becomes a chain of command issue, which delays their arrival to the gaining unit. This puts the chain of command in a reactive situation.
Especially in cases where a soldier has issues or concerns with the assignment.
“We have all done this … Even if you love and trust your leadership. We think they won’t be able to help us out. We self-select. We don’t give leadership an opportunity. Then we become aggravated,” said Sgt. Maj. TJ Baird.
A soldier’s desires won’t always line up with Army readiness, but communication can give soldiers more control of their careers.
HRC’s MI is responsible for providing personnel for Training and Doctrine Command and Recruiting Command. Female drill sergeants and recruiters are in high demand. Ewing let female noncommissioned officers in attendance know that they can be proactive or reactive about this. Choosing one cancels out the other.
In addition, the MI branch makes suggestions for reducing promotion point requirements for specific military occupational specialties and raising bonuses for retention. Ewing discussed the “Get Well Plan,” which addresses retention needs for the army.
“I like that soldiers have an opportunity before they hit that 10-year mark to see what’s out there … It’s good for junior enlisted to see that. If they only want to get promoted, it’s still cool, because it addresses the needs of the army in those different fields,” said 1st Sgt. James Bell.
For more information about noncommissioned officer career path, soldiers can refer to Department of the Army Pamphlet 600-25. Chapter 15 covers MI professional development.