New to the Army? Fresh out of AIT? You're probably anxious for that first promotion. Although the Army has a minimum time in service and time in grade requirement in order to eligible for promotion, there are waivers to that policy that can allow you to be promoted early. Many units are allotted only a few waivers at a time and it is usually up to the platoon sergeants to recommend those soldiers who they feel deserve the promotion.
Waivers at not just handed out to those who just follow the rules and stay out of trouble but are awarded to soldiers who have demonstrated a desire to advance and have shown leadership and trustworthiness. Here are some tips to help you get a waiver.
Uniform: Everyone where's the same uniform in the military so it's hard to distinguish your personal appearance from others. Ensure you always have a fresh haircut, clean boots, and clean uniform. Make sure there are no little threads hanging off and there are no wrinkles or stains showing. This will allow you to stand out from everyone else and shows that you take pride in your appearance.
Work ethic: Be a self-starter and do your best. If you do not know how to do something then learn it by asking questions and researching. By saying “I don't know how to do that” you start to seem useless. Try not to take shortcuts in your work either. Complete the task to standard each and every time. You will begin to stand out and your leadership will learn that they can count on you to accomplish important tasks without having to supervise your every move.
Promptness: Ensure you are always early to anything and everything. You may not get recognition for this but if you are late then you will definitely stand out in a bad way.
Volunteer: There are always tasks that need to be done and your leadership must try to manage them all fairly. When you volunteer for a task it makes their job easier and you will definitely stand out as hard-working.
Ask for a waiver: You should go after the things that you want and not wait for them to come to you. After demonstrating all of the above for a reasonable amount of time and building your reputation you can then ask your leadership for a waiver. Tell them why you deserve it and keep pressing it and reminding them. Be respectful but also persistent. Ask them what it will take to get a waiver if they will not recommend you immediately.