Air Force Promotions – SMSgt and CMSgt

The Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt) and Senior Master Sergeant (SMSgt) promotion selection program has always been extremely competitive. The following information explains how the promotion program operates.

Promotion Eligibility Criteria
Promotion To: Time-in-Grade (TIG) Required Time-in-Service (TIS) Required Promotion Eligibility Cutoff Date (PECD) Testing Month Promotion Months
CMSgt (E-9) 21 Months 14 Years 31 Jul Sep Jan – Dec
SMSgt (E-8) 20 Months 11 Years 30 Sep Dec Apr – Mar

Calculating Points and Factors for SMSgt and CMSgt Promotions
If the factor is then the maximum score is
USAF Supervisory Exam 100 points.
Board Score 450 points.
EPR (Performance Evaluation) Score 135 points.
Decorations 25 points. Assign the point value based on the decoration’s order of precedence.
Time-in-Grade (TIG) 60 points. Credit one-half point for each month in current grade, based on DOR, up to 10 years, computed as of the first day of the last month of the promotion cycle.
Time-in-Service (TIS) 25 points. Credit one-twelfth point for each month of TAFMS, up to 25 years, computed as of the last day of the last month of the promotion cycle.
Note: Cut off scores after the second decimal place. Do not use the third decimal place to round up or down. Computation of points for TIG and TIS: Count 15 days or more as 1 month and drop period of less than 15 days.

Board members assess an individual’s promotion potential by making a “total” evaluation of each record based on the factors listed below. These factors have been reviewed and approved by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force as being the most important to consider in the “whole person” assessment. The factors are not listed in any priority sequence nor is any specific weight assigned to any one factor.

  1. Performance: All aspects of the EPR are considered: Job description, individual rating factors, period of supervision, overall evaluation, indorsement level, and the narrative word picture. A strong performer’s report should convey to the board that he/she has demonstrated qualities of leadership and managerial potential.
  2. Professional Competence: The Air Force Chief of Staff has emphasized the need for careful selection of individuals for promotion to the top two NCO grades. It is imperative that those selected for senior NCO grades be the best qualified people available. It is crucial that they have sufficient leadership and managerial experience to prepare them for the challenges they, and the Air Force, will face.
  3. Leadership: Each board member’s judgment, expertise, and maturity is relied upon to glean from each record an assessment of an NCO’s potential to be a leader. Do people react to the individual in such a way that the job gets done better? What have the rating officials said about leadership potential? What haven’t they said?
  4. Job Responsibility: There are many jobs at base level that demand just as much of an individual as jobs at higher command levels. Consideration is given primarily to what the individual has been asked to accomplish and how well it has been done. Is the individual in, or has he/she been in, a job that requires significant decisions, or is it a type of job that is routinely carried out on the basis of someone else’s decisions? Has the individual proven to be an effective manager in superintendent positions where there is responsibility for directing the work of others, or is he/she responsible only for his/her own performance?
  5. Breadth of Experience: This factor refers to the overall professional background, experience, and knowledge gained. Some items considered are: Does the individual have knowledge and/or practical experience in areas other than the current specialty? If the individual has remained in one career field, is there wide exposure across the career field? Is there potential for filling different types of jobs? Is there supervisory and managerial experience?
  6. Specific Achievements: These are often recognized in the form of awards and decorations; however, there are many other significant accomplishments that are often addressed within the narrative comments of the EPRs. Such recognition, either in the form of decorations or narrative comments, can help distinguish the truly outstanding performer.
  7. Education: The NCOs who are considered will have a broad range of academic achievements. When the board evaluates academic education as part of the whole-person assessment, the most important consideration should be the degree to which the education enhances the NCO’s potential to serve in the next higher grade.