Are you looking for an avenue to advance your career in the Guard? Or, perhaps you are seriously considering changing your MOS. While advancing your military career through continued education and specialized training is always encouraged, knowing which areas of study will offer the most opportunity can sometimes be a challenge. Similarly, major life changes like getting married, having kids, going back to school or moving to another state could all be factors that motivate a desire to change specialties. And let’s be honest, there may be times when your current MOS is just not the right fit for you anymore. If any of these scenarios ring true for you, then taking advantage of statewide vacancies might be an option to consider.
Statewide Vacancy Announcements (SWVA) fill Army National Guard NCO vacancies in low-density MOSs. Units have the ability to list an SWVA when a vacancy has been identified that cannot be filled through the Enlisted Promotion System (EPS) due to exhaustion of that particular MOS list. This means SWVAs provide a unique opportunity to be promoted – when you meet all promotion requirements – without being number one on the EPS list. This can lead to quicker promotions if you are willing to reclassify, increased pay and the possibility of cross-training into a new MOS before your re-enlistment window. Any Soldier up to two grades below the announced vacancy can apply. Once your packet has been reviewed to ensure you meet the specified requirements, an MOS training course is provided for those not already duty MOS-qualified.
Visit your state’s public website to view listings of SWVAs, and check back often as new vacancies could become available at any time.
Tips to Make Sure You’re Ready When Your Promotion Opportunity Arrives
1. ALWAYS BE READY TO PASS YOUR APFT
Promotion without passing your Army Physical Fitness Test is not an option. So stay on top of your PT and keep a solid base of fitness.
2. WORK TOWARD ADVANCING YOUR EDUCATION
While a degree is not required for every type of promotion, getting a degree goes a long way toward advancing your promotion points and significantly increasing the number and types of MOSs for which you can qualify. Take advantage of the Guard’s tuition assistance programs to get your degree or an advanced degree.
3. COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE COURSES
Participate in e-learning classes through the Army Correspondence Course Program (ACCP). Earn one promotion point for every five hours of completed ACCP training. Search the ACCP to find MOS-specific courses or complete general courses.
4. KEEP UP WITH YOUR SSD
Structured Self Development (SSD) is mandatory for promotion at specific points in your career. Much like your APFT, promotion without your required SSD is not an option. Stay informed about which course levels are required for the rank and/or MOS for which you would like to qualify.
By Staff Writer Tatyana White-Jenkins