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Posted: 9/11/2004 10:39:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/11/2004 10:40:10 AM EST by The_Macallan]

Another question from a military-outsider (me):

If you met someone who retired from the military (101st Airborne IIRC) after 24 years of service and who entered the service out of college as a 2nd Lt. and who left as a Major... does that seem like kind of a low rank to retire with considering 24 years of service?

Just curious.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 10:41:09 AM EST
Yes, he was passed over for Lieutenant Colonel.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 10:42:01 AM EST
Depends on how hard charging he was as well as performance.

My XO was a LT. he made capt., 6 months later he was a major.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 10:42:30 AM EST
Could go either way. He could have lost rank a few times or even passed over due to performance. He should at least be a Lt.Col .
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 10:44:57 AM EST
It depends on what branch he was in. If he was a nurse, then he would be a hard charger, but if he was infantry, he's a bit on the slow side.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 10:46:24 AM EST
I was NCO so I'm just gonna guess. If his division, unit, or other type of group was top heavy with officers he could have been held back for lack of need for more advanced rank. You need a layered chain of command.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 4:34:25 PM EST
Are you sure he doesn't have prior enlisted time, or is 4 of the 24 College time? Unless things have changed out at 20 was almost mandatory for O-4s. Then again if he was in some kind of wierd specialty they may have been able to hold on to him AND he wanted to stay. O-4 used to be guaranteed 20 but no more so prior enlisted or college may be getting counted.

Than again almost only Academy and prior enlisteds in ROTC got to count college time. In fact in the early 90's O-4s could get out with as little as 15 years depending on the circs. There was a big push to get the numbers down.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 5:09:36 PM EST

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Another question from a military-outsider (me):

If you met someone who retired from the military (101st Airborne IIRC) after 24 years of service and who entered the service out of college as a 2nd Lt. and who left as a Major... does that seem like kind of a low rank to retire with considering 24 years of service?

Just curious.



I was a captain for 7 years before getting my DA letter for major. As I understand it you can be a major for about the same time....That's on the edge Macallan...possible...but probably not something that happens often...Id' hesitate before calling the guy on it. Hell, he may have refused to kiss ass which may explain it...and therefore I commend him
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 5:10:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Another question from a military-outsider (me):

If you met someone who retired from the military (101st Airborne IIRC) after 24 years of service and who entered the service out of college as a 2nd Lt. and who left as a Major... does that seem like kind of a low rank to retire with considering 24 years of service?

Just curious.

I was a captain for 7 years before getting my DA letter for major. As I understand it you can be a major for about the same time....That's on the edge Macallan...possible...but probably not something that happens often...Id' hesitate before calling the guy on it. Hell, he may have refused to kiss ass which may explain it...and therefore I commend him
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 5:21:03 PM EST
As someone who was commissioned in 1982, I can tell you what should be expected for my year group and if he was commissioned during the same time frame you can extrapolate from there. Mind you, the promotion rates were faster during the Viet Nam era, but once that conflict/police action/war was over, there was a huge reduction in force (RIF).

For my year group, the majority that are still in are Lieutenant Colonels (LTC) with some of the golden children being Colonels also known as full bird Colonels. Chances are your friend was passed over for LTC. I'm willing to bet he didn't get picked up for the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) which more often than not is a career killer, although some do make it to LTC without it.

The Army has an up or out policy. So after getting passed over so many times for promotion, you are forced to leave. I do think that once someone makes it to LTC, they can stick around for 30 years, but don't hold me to that one.

It doesn't mean he was a toad. You only have to piss off one guy and your career is pretty much toast.

Do you know what his branch was, i.e, Infantry, Armor, Field Artillery, etc.?

I hope this helps.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 5:23:21 PM EST
Depends. Was ANY of his time as an enlisted?

Otherwise, YES, that's EXTREMELY low.

In the USMC it's different, but I've not seen that in the other services.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 5:34:45 PM EST
2 yrs as a 2nd Lt
2yrs as a 1st Lt
6 years as a Capt
6-8 years as a Major.


Most people don't make Lt. Col until somewhere in the 16-18 year range. Back in the late 70's to mid to late 80's, rank was slower to achieve.

I had an uncle who went into the Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet program at the end of WWII. Earned his wings at 18-19 (which got him his commission - now it is the other way around; commission first then wings).

He stayed in after WWII, went to the Air Force when it was formed in 47, flew in Korea, flew B52's in Nam, sat SAC alerts loaded with nukes. After 33 years of active duty, he retired from McCoy AFB in FL with full military honors. They gave him a big parade when he retired in 1977.

After 33 years, he was only a Lt. Col. It wasn't due to a lack of motivation or bad OPRs. It was because he never got his college degree. Once upon a time, that could be done.

Another possibilty, especially in the example you cited, he could have been an enlisted man for part of his career. If he was Vietnam vet, he could have earned a battlefield commission, thus entering the officer ranks late in his military career which could also have held him back from further promotions later in his career.

Link Posted: 9/11/2004 5:35:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By PaDanby:

Than again almost only Academy and prior enlisteds in ROTC got to count college time. In fact in the early 90's O-4s could get out with as little as 15 years depending on the circs. There was a big push to get the numbers down.



FYI - Our time at the academy counted as 'in service' but did NOT count towards retirement.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 7:13:56 PM EST
Well, I'm here to tell you that our time at the Academy may have counted for "in service", but it DIDN'tT count for retirement OR rank seniority/pay.

Oddly enough though, my year at NAPS DID.
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