The U.S. Army has promoted over 10,000 noncommissioned officers (NCO) over the last few years who have not completed the required military education and training academies.
According to Army data, a temporary pandemic-era policy in 2021 that allowed NCOs to be promoted without the courses has promoted about 52,000 NCOs, with about 20% of those yet to have completed their courses to retain their new rank.
“We are conducting a review of all Soldiers with exceptions to the STEP [Select, Train, Educate and Promote Policy] policy prior to suspension,” the Army said in a statement. “As we align policies we will ensure that we are taking care of Soldiers, informing commanders, units and Soldiers of the changes and correcting any actions that are counter to the suspension of the STEP policy.”
Although the NCOs were supposed to lose their rank if they did not complete courses within a year of being promoted, the Army reportedly did not want to issue such a large number of demotions at one time.
From Fox News:
In September, the Army issued a news release detailing how it will reinstate its "Select, Train, Educate and Promote" policy for the following January, again requiring NCOs to complete professional military education training courses before they can be promoted. The decision, however, was reversed in December. The Army told the outlet that there was no timeline for the policy’s reinstatement.