Promotion Troubles

Need some advice on promotion.

Im well behind my peers even though Im medically fit, pass pfts and CFTs, no history of ill disciplin, never had a single AGAI, never had even a show parade since I left training. Ive had 5 reccomends on the bounce on my last 5 SJARs and most of my peers have come off on their 2nd or 3rd look.

Been in with the boss today and he has informed me that he did his best to get in the top third but unnamed individuals at the Regiment grading and shading board shouted him down. He says he was trying to get a top third with a strong reccomend, but was lucky to get away with a middle third and a standard reccomend.

This is the third time in a row Ive been at the top of the Squadron, then Ive downgraded to middle third when it gets to the Regimental board. Add to this I have been refused an RCMO interview for 2 years running. What this boils down to is that somebody above me has thrown enough dirt and its stuck because Im 4 years behind my peers and people are apparrently thinking "well it must be true because he still hasnt promoted" - and this is actually what the boss said to me on the QT.

I cant go the redress route because I will just make enemies and probably end my career because I cant put any concrete evidence down. The boss wouldnt tell me who was slinging the dirt or what it was so I can defend myself against it.

Is it normal for those who are not in your CoC to slate you at a grading and shading when your OC is trying to fight your corner?

Any ideas on how to go about finding out what Im being slated for because it certainly isnt on my MPAR and nobody in my CoC is raising any concerns with my performance?

Any other genuine advice will also be welcomed.

Whose wife was it?


Book Reviewer
If the mud is sticking that badly then a transfer may be problematic. Another Corps may look at you and wonder why you are 4 years behind your peers. You could only hope that they would take you on face value.

Not sure if you have approached your CoC fully yet - how well do you get on with you Tp staffy?
If you really don't want a transfer then it may be time to go full out for promotion. Organise everything you possibly can and get onto a committee or two. Maybe see if you can get local rank to get on a course or two (I know that courses for Siggies are sparse, so you would probably need a stripe to do anything decent).
Without knowing your exact situation we on here cannot comment and it seems that you are not fully in the know as to what has been going on.
I'm not 100% sure if it still exists but have a look at "representation" on your SJAR. Redress is there for when there are factual errors on your report, representation is there (if it still is) where you feel that you deserve something better. You will have to come up with reasons and evidence as to why you should receive a better recommendation or report.

I have sat on quite a few Regimental and Company junior rank grading boards and it can sometimes be down to the "fight in the dog". If your OC is saying that he was shot down then he either doesn't have the desire to fight for you (read into that either he doesnt rate you that highly or he is weak) or he just gave you an answer that took responsibility away from himself.

Good luck.
This is exactly the problem. The OC has been awesome but he wont say what it is, only hinted that it was from years ago. Been all out for promotion in last few years. In the last year I have organised a battlefield tour, organised the xmas do, been an instructor on adventure training and been acting up on a 3 month exercise with a glowing report from an infantry officer.

Any ideas how to get whatever it is blighting me out in the open so I can deal with it because I am certain I have not done anything that bad in my career to warrant it?
Have you done all of those things in the last year? If so, are they on your report?

If you have any good mates who are placed above you, are you close enough to ask to see their report?

I am a little bit guilty of assuming that you are at a unit where there are loads of blokes to compete against, if this isnt the case, maybe its just that you are up against a strong cohort? If so, your report might well say that you are middle third but your OC can caveat that with the fact that you have performed above your level and sit in amongst a very competitive group.

I think you should ask for a formal interview with your RCMO via your OC if your OC is unwilling to say what the problem is. If that is refused speak to the Padre.


Interesting all your evidence is all about what you haven't done, no AGAIs etc.

What about giving them something that can't be undersold at a grading board? Such as unequivocal evidence that you're already operating at a higher rank's level by leading this, running that and managing the other.

It's not about keeping your nose clean. It's about not giving them the option of leaving you tread water as one of the unit's many grey men.

The truth is any unit will always have their favourites, the ones you want to see in the top third because they're the guys you want to see running the unit in the next generation. They don't want people who returned library books on time and always pressed their kit. They want people with balls who'll make decisions and 'gets it' by taking part in anything and everything whilst commanding respect.

Sounds to me like you need to develop your presence. Start running a sports team, get involved in the mess, run the Sqn subs. Basically you want to make sure most, if not everybody in the room during your next grading conference knows who you are so when your name gets read out and placed on the white board, it attracts looks of familiarity and nods all round, instead of blank looks and an OC hopelessly trying to prove what a 'good egg' you are.

Hope that helps.
Thanks for the advice so far, Ive done everything I can, I forgot to mention that I also did a 75mile mountain cycling challenge which like the rest of the stuff I mentioned before didnt get on to my SJAR either (I also forgot to mention that the OC said he was told to "dull down" what he wrote the first time he drafted the SJAR).

I also believe my OC when he says he fought my corner, the central issue for me is Im being slated for something behind closed doors and not told what it is so I can redress it. I dont think its a fair or professional way to do buisness and I want it out in the open so I can either say "fair point gov" or fight it tooth and nail because it simply isnt true. Any ideas on how to bring that situation about?
As I said, you cant redress but you can use representation. Speak to your clerk for the DIN that refers and then ask for a formal interview with the RCMO....

Im not really sure what other practical and pertinent advice you can get
What has your OC advised you to do? As for him being shouted down, my assumption would be that it was an LE doing the shouting, probably the QM. There is a possibility that there are people that need to be promoted before they ceiling so they are being placed ahead. I would follow the advice and demand to see the RCMO. Also, look at bugging out of there ASAP. If you aren't pulling top of the top third after 4 yrs you need to move on.

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I hate to have to say this, but with your time in already and no promotion to show for it, you are flogging a dead horse. The advice about representation, RCMO interview, being the first among your peers and getting your face known are all valid recommendations to enhance promotion prospects, but in reality they are probably too little too late for you.

You might want to start thinking about a plan 'B'. You already mentioned transferring, which can be very fruitful for ex-scalies, especially if you are fit, driven and miltary-minded. Another option is specialist training; the Signals have more opportunities than others in that area. Or, and I am guessing this is your least favourite option, start preparing yourself for civvy street as there is little as sad as a guy who has been flogging his guts out receiving a brown envelope.

Sorry mate, but there it is.
Any half decent OC wouldn't allow himself to be 'shouted down'. It's up to him to represent the interests of his soldiers. If, as you suggest, you really are at the top of your Sqn that I find it highly implausible that you would end up as 'lucky to be in the Middle Third' at Regimental level. So either:

a) You are not being completely honest about your performance or your reports.

b) Your OC is telling you porkies about how much he has pushed your case - either because actually you aren't as good as you think or because he is too spineless to tell you the truth or maybe because he is trying to let you down gently.

If your OC really rates you then he should create opportunities for you to shine in front of the other key figures in the Regiment eg by being seen during visits to your Sqn or by being given responsibilities for or involvement with Regimental events. I assume you have completed a cadre and, if so, where did you come on that?

If all else fails then there's always Redundancy!


Get fit and volunteer for specialist work, get away from your unit/branch, you are being shafted.

Its up to you how you do it, however I wouldnt sit by and watch twats get promoted above me when you are ticking the boxes. Unfortunately there are lots of blokes like you that get treated like it and dont promote. Its your own fault not shining your own light, or letting others hold there lights for them.

If you are on Armynet look up the big three and there is a fourth specialist unit, or go SFC.

You need to retrade, rerole or get out, I know what I did in the past, however its your decision, good luck mate.

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