How did you get promoted?


War Hero
Army - 4 and a bit years in, GW1, NI, Germany. 0 courses, 0 promotion! Probably a lot to do with i was a bit of a bellend.

RAF - OR7 (Promotion?! i thought i was doing well in not getting fired).


Book Reviewer
You obviously let too many people have more than one sausage.
What can I say, I'm generous to a fault, besides which it wasn't my food or money!
How did I get promoted? Simple. After almost 4 years of pissing it up and being an arse, I met my missus as a Signalman (Private) and she put me on the straight and narrow (and I don’t mean in a Harry/Meghan sense).
How did I get promoted? Simple. After almost 4 years of pissing it up and being an arse, I met my missus as a Signalman (Private) and she put me on the straight and narrow (and I don’t mean in a Harry/Meghan sense).
On posting to BAOR from my first home posting, my yearly report said" This soldier would have been promoted to L/Cpl in April." or words to that affect. I got posted in February. By April in my new posting, i got my one and only promotion.( It also helped that on arrival at 1st AD HQ & SR while on the 3 month stint RP staff, i caught a "civvie" taking photos in the Starnet control cabin. Behind the guardroom. ;)
You wouldn't the 1st and you certainly wont be the last :)

I also witnessed people being shamelessly promoted to LCpl in an attempt to get them to retract their signing off papers.

That was a standard bribe. When the cold wind of amalgamation was blowing, some COs would do literally anything to keep up the numbers.

It was somewhere between pitiful and shameful to witness.
Deployed as a Jock with a different duty coy for force protection in Afghanistan, came back to do a JNCO cadre where I performed mediocrely (heart wasn't in doing conventional warfare stuff in between tours following a lengthy PDT), went back out to Afghanistan to join my actual coy, told by OC I probably wouldn't promote within 12 months due to JNCO cadre performance. Stepped up to the role of lead BARMA dismount commander due to a lack of JNCOs, performed admirably and received a 1* commendation on tour, subsequently promoted on tour. Currently in talks with various film makers for rights to the story (last bit may or may not might be shite).
I was slow getting my first tape, mainly due to a compassionate posting which I wont go into deatails about , but nothing seedy, didn't get my first tape till year six, which was very slow for an outstanding VM A such as myself
I did however get my full screw after just a year as a lance jack so back on track , Sergeant at 13 years and artisan staffy for my last 3years

the thread is named "How did you get promoted?"

a qusetion asked by many of my previous bosses....... often
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The bit about "Lcpl stripe being the hardest to earn" may be outdated in this era when there is more promotion based on job or fixed time served.

The adage does however have a long pedigree. Decades ago I was on a parade when some inspecting General whose service must have started not too many years after WW1, asked one of the men,
"Do you have any family in the army"
"Yes Sir, my brother is in the Prince of Wales's [of Yorkshire] Regiment"
"Very good, and what rank is he"
"Only Lance-Corporal, Sir"
"Hardest rank in the British army to achieve"
and then the general moved on down the ranks.

My elder brother, was convinced he was only picked for a long overdue promotion to L/Bdr for two reasons,

It had come to the notice of the CO one of his Gunners, had organised with a local coach company to run a weekend coach London from the Norfolk coast for his fellow soldiers - it was the only way he could see his then girl-friend (later wife of 50+ years) as he got a free seat for his trouble.
Secondly, someone had finally taken the trouble to look at his docs and discovered that he as an ex-Woolwich boy soldier, was the only one in the regiment with a Army Cert of Education 1st Class - (even the RSM only had ACE 2, something that wouldn't have happened in later years.)
I think it always rankled with him at being a Gunner for two years in army of mainly NS soldiers despite being a good soldier- he put it down to apathy of those in the COC who weren't interested in being pro-active in promoting the right (or indeed any,) material - something I would guess goes on to this day although I'm given to understand there is now an attitude of 'why hasn't this man been promoted' that didn't exist in the distant past.
After that first tape though, his rise was meteoric, becoming a precociously young WO2(AIG) after completing the Long Gunnery Staff Course before he was 25.

I did wonder how many promising soldiers were lost to the army because when asked why they were leaving prematurely simply said "Don't like the army Sir" instead of saying "Look sir, I have all this experience and attributes (quals, clean sheet & so on) and simply feel I'm getting nowhere and have spent enough time at the bottom of the pile, compared with other promoted soldiers"
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Book Reviewer
Failed one element of my LRO(T) course ( TP) and was waiting to re-sit when I moved from London to Wessex Division.....which folded 6 months after I joined.

Joined a TA unit in '97 as a 40 year old Pte. Full screw in 2002. Left in 2007 having passed cadre course for Sgt but lacking Trade qual (B1). Thus ended my inglorious military career :)


Book Reviewer
Send key setting. Over.
Leading Radio Operator( Tactical) - ( Teleprinter ) - a.k.a 'Bunting-tosser', ' Bunts' , 'Flags', 'Wings', 'Yeo' or ' Hey You'


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I had to sleep with the boss.

I was very, very lucky. I usually took over from someone who was absent, or not very good at his job.
Easy to shine when your guidelines are an absentee, or a knob.
Nearly got unlucky at WO1, but by the time they found out I was newly single and divorced, I already had the badge and the pay.
(Yes, it was that long ago) :)
Had a radar tiffy IC fitter section in Iraq. He tried getting us in the shit and blown-up but failed so all in all a good bloke.
...we also had a VM Artisan SSgt to keep said wobbly in order a Sgt VE, a Sgt Tech, 1 x Cpl, 1 x LCpl + 2 x Cfn VMs plus a reccy mech and myself. Quite top heavy for an armoured recce sqn fitter section but it worked well.
I joined the Irish Air Corps in 1984 as an Aptce. 47 of us in our class. We qualified in 1988 and within 3 months of finishing school, we were down to 12. Most left because they were pissed off being treated like criminals and coincidentally, Qantas came calling looking for mechs and lots (about 140 techs out of a total strength of all ranks of just under a thousand) went to Sydney. The Irish Govt and the Dept of Defence simply shrugged it's collective shoulders. So, a mass clearout got me on an NCOs course (16 weeks) and two stripes in year 6. Stayed for another 5 and declined the offer to become a Sergeant as it would have meant 16 more weeks of shit. made great friends for life but glad I got out.
Should have got my first after 2 and a half years, my then OC rejected Glasgows promotion. Should’ve got it 2 years later, got kept back a year to help move a department, even though every other Signaller in the Regt got moved around to get them promoted. (Thanks Russ, That year difference in Seniority affected the rest of my career).
Second was three years later, third was three years later, Staffy was three years later, was WO2 on my last tour in Afgh (which got me a commendation, recommendation for promotion to WO1 and recommendation for commission) but retired before I could promote proper.
Great times though

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