E7 in 7 years? | RallyPoint (2024)

TSgt Joshua Copeland, typically when you hear the term 7-in-7, it is referring to individuals that make E7 in under 8 years (ie. 7 years + some months). It's quite rare to find individuals that make it in under 7 years, but it does happen. With that being said, as of the 2014 board, the average TIS for a Soldier being promoted to E7 was 13+ years and E8 was 19+ years.

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When people find out that I was an E8 prior to commissioning, I am often asked how I was able to promote as quickly as I did and I give everyone a similar answer that sounds something like this:

In order to promote quickly in the Army, a number of things must happen, some you can control and others you can not.

The first step is to raise your hand... over and over again; you need to volunteer for every course, every TDY, every deployment, every tiny bit of training that you can get. In order for military leaders to promote you based on your potential, you must first show them your drive and determination to be the most well-rounded (both training & experience) of your peers. Look for opportunities to have experience or training that isn't common in your branch or rank; think outside of the box. If you get a chance to fill a temporary position outside of your career field, take it; it will make you more well-rounded and gives your insight into the needs of others. That includes doing what no one else wants to do. If you volunteer for something hard and do well at it, people will notice.

Next, you must prove that you are both proficient and efficient. A strong work ethic will take you a long way. However, it is just as important to show that you can not only do a job, but do it better. Always be looking for ways to do more with less. The ability to save the Army time and money is always a plus. The Army has many blocks; check them, but then go the extra mile to make each unit you're in better when you leave than when you arrived.

Educate yourself! You should be enrolled in courses at all times. With the exception of deployments, throughout my 13+ year career, I have been consistently enrolled in courses the entire time (night classes, weekend classes, online classes, whatever I could). Despite the ridiculous workload, I was even taking BA and then Masters classes during BNCOC, ANCOC, and IBOLC. Don't let time be your excuse. Even if you're only enrolled in one class at a time, that's better than none. If you simply can not be enrolled in a course (military or civilian) at any given time, then dedicate 30 minutes a day to an Audible.com Course (Great Courses Series), an iTunes U Course, or a daily TED Talk. Knowledge is power! I've already mentioned military & civilian education, but you will also need to have general knowledge as well. Keep up with what's going on in the world. Know a lot about a lot. You'll be surprised how far you'll go if you're able to hold an educated conversation with your peers and superiors. You should always strive to be the smartest man in the room. Just don't be a jerk about it; just because you have something to say, doesn't mean you should always say it.

Finally, there are many things in the Army that you can not control. Often, your assignment (duty station and/or position) is chosen for you. Often, you don't have a say in what training opportunities are offered to you. Often, you are unable to 'take charge' because you're the junior guy. When that happens, make lemonade. Do the best at what you are given to do and simultaneously, look for other opportunities to go that extra mile; boards (Soldier of the Month/Quarter/Year, Audie Murphy, etc...), education (again), volunteering, etc...

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I know that was a bit of a rant, but I figure that was probably the best input that I could give to this conversation. Hopefully, some young Soldier will stumble across it and take something away from it.

With all of that being said, I've known a couple of 7-in-7 (under 8) MSgts in the Air Force. Just take a look at the TACP, CCT, and PJ communities.

E7 in 7 years? | RallyPoint (2024)
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