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How to Get Promoted Before Going to Basic

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Most soldiers do not have opportunities for promotion prior to going to basic training. However, there are a few ways to jump from E-1 to E2 or E3, thus earning a higher pay-grade while gaining more leadership skills. The military branches offer promotions through several initiatives, such as friend referrals and pre-basic task list completion. Therefore, with a little effort you can achieve a higher rank, which is a great head start prior to shipping out.

Inform your recruiter about any college credits or university degrees that you have received. Provide an official transcript to your recruiter and get promoted to E-2 with over 24 college credits, to E-3 with over 48 college credits, and to E-4 with a Bachelor's degree.

Receive accelerated promotion in the military service if you qualify for advanced placement in a college ROTC program.

Perform a list of tasks through the Stripes for Skills program, which includes knowing military time, identifying rank structure, learning first aid skills, and completing the physical training test.

Gather some recruiting materials for friends who are interested in joining the military. Refer them to your local recruiter, who will then promote you if a friend joins.


Nicole Newman is a Dartmouth College associate who works in Tiltfactor Laboratory, Dartmouth's premier game design center. Her research has included investigating the digital humanities through "Writing as a Dimensional Artifact" and "Evolution of the Ghetto: The Decline of America’s Inner Cities," a research initiative on urban design.