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  #1  
Old 02-28-2011, 03:58 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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What rank does a second lieutenant get demoted to?

Let's say someone who entered the military as a commissioned second lieutenant gets "busted down." What rank does he then become?
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2011, 04:01 PM
friedo friedo is online now
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You don't get demoted below second lieutenant, but you won't exactly find yourself in line for a promotion very soon, either.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:05 PM
SanDiegoTim SanDiegoTim is offline
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Civilian.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:19 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Officer ranks are not like enlisted ranks. Officers don't get 'busted', but they can be passed over for promotion and eventually may be forced out of the military. If court martialled, an officer can be sent to prison, forfeit all pay and allowances, and receive a dishonorable discharge.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:19 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2011, 04:24 PM
robby robby is offline
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Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
Let's say someone who entered the military as a commissioned second lieutenant gets "busted down." What rank does he then become?
Commissioned officers cannot be reduced in rank via nonjudicial punishment (NJP) or even by court-martial. They can, however, be dismissed from service (which is a punitive discharge that is equivalent to a dishonorable discharge) or administratively separated from service.

On the other hand, while commissioned officers cannot be "busted down," neither do they get second chances. A [junior] enlisted person might possibly be able to recover from a reduction in rank or other punishment received via NJP by subsequently getting their act together and continuing their military career.

A commissioned officer taken to NJP will either be immediately separated from service, or will never promote and will be administratively separated from service after failing to promote. The chances of a commissioned officer ever being promoted after NJP or court-martial is essentially zero. Note that a commissioned officer cannot remain in service at the same rank--it's "up or out."

Last edited by robby; 02-28-2011 at 04:25 PM..
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:29 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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What are some examples of things that can lead to that kind of punishment?
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:34 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
What are some examples of things that can lead to that kind of punishment?
Pretty much anything that a civilian criminal might do: theft, murder, arson, rape. Additionally, there is treason, disobeying orders and desertion.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:44 PM
Fedup Fedup is offline
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Second Louie

There is nothing lower than a second lieutenant.

Last edited by Fedup; 02-28-2011 at 04:44 PM..
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:23 PM
Raguleader Raguleader is offline
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Pretty much anything that a civilian criminal might do: theft, murder, arson, rape. Additionally, there is treason, disobeying orders and desertion.
Also, having people who work for you doing these things likely does not bode well for your career. A number of Air Force generals have been cashiered because their units had major cock-ups or failed too many inspections. As I recall, one general was fired recently because there was suspicions that funds set aside for PCSes (basically, the cost of airmen moving to a new base when they get reassigned) were being spent inappropriately. Note that in none of these cases did the General himself do anything wrong short of the utterly unforgivable crime of not leading his men in such a way that these problems were avoided.

It's also a tradition in the Air Force that Officers In Command of Finance sections (the shops that handle payroll) keep a set of Service Dress blues all ready to go in case they get "called on the carpet" by a high-ranking officer for some problem his section had getting peoples' pay straight.

Put it another way: If a ship is lost at sea, it is tradition for the Captain to be court martialled. If the ship ran aground, he will likely be punished and kicked out. If the ship was torpedoed in battle and sank, his punishment is less likely unless he was torpedoed due to a serious error on his part. If the ship is attacked by Godzilla out of nowhere, his name will likely be cleared with minimal fuss. But he is *always* court martialed, because he lost his ship.. Mind you, in this case, the court martial is also a chance to review the case and officially clear the officer's name if it really wasn't his fault the ship had a chunk bitten out of it by a sea monster and sank.

EDIT: I never actually stated the point I was trying to make: An officer's job is to lead men. As Captain Kirk said in Star Trek VI, an officer is responsible for the actions of the men under his command. If his men screw up, he obviously led them poorly.

Last edited by Raguleader; 02-28-2011 at 05:24 PM..
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2011, 05:24 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Originally Posted by robby View Post
Note that a commissioned officer cannot remain in service at the same rank--it's "up or out."
When I was in basic training (during the Spanish-American War ), I was told that a certain sergeant was previously a brigadier general, but after being passed over for promotion three times, he elected to be an em for a few years to qualify for a larger pension rather than being booted out. I was further told he retained his same pay. Does anyone have the straight dope on this?
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:40 PM
yoyodyne yoyodyne is offline
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When I was in basic training (during the Spanish-American War ), I was told that a certain sergeant was previously a brigadier general, but after being passed over for promotion three times, he elected to be an em for a few years to qualify for a larger pension rather than being booted out. I was further told he retained his same pay. Does anyone have the straight dope on this?
That is not possible.
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  #13  
Old 02-28-2011, 08:19 PM
John DiFool John DiFool is offline
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M*A*S*H-inspired question: could you stay on at your current rank as a doctor in the service if you managed to offend a higher-up somehow yet were still a genius in the operating room?
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:25 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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That is not possible.

ISTM a BG (holding an actual regular BG rank, not a temporary "operational rank") who dead-ended would simply be moved to the Retired Reserve List when and if it suits the needs of the service. The service time/age requirements for a BG should put him/her over the pension entitlement cutoff by the time it becomes mandatory to get out.

If an officer has a temporary "operational" higher rank posting s/he may be "busted" from the nominal higher rank back to his/her lower regular/permanent grade if s/he messes up at the higher post, e.g. Henry J. F. Miller.

In the past it was not unknown to have the situation of someone who had risen from the enlisted ranks on an "Army of the United States" commission, as opposed to a "United States (Regular) Army" commission, serving in wartime as a junior officer, then upon a peacetime reduction in forces reverting to his Regular Army enlisted status because his officer slot simply disappeared from the books, and sticking around if he was close to earning a pension entitlement. I knew a now deceased gent who went through this.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:30 PM
Poysyn Poysyn is online now
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We just had a high profile court martial where a Captain was convicted and was taken down to 2nd Lt and dishonorably discharged.

So it can happen. Capt Semrau prior to CM.

Last edited by Poysyn; 02-28-2011 at 08:33 PM.. Reason: Can't believe I spelled it wrong!
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  #16  
Old 02-28-2011, 08:39 PM
SeldomSeen SeldomSeen is offline
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A commissioned officer taken to NJP will either be immediately separated from service, or will never promote and will be administratively separated from service after failing to promote. The chances of a commissioned officer ever being promoted after NJP or court-martial is essentially zero. Note that a commissioned officer cannot remain in service at the same rank--it's "up or out."
The U.S. Navy has two types of officers - line officers and staff officers. Line officers are general command-type" officers, staff officers are specialists....doctors, civil engineers, etc. A staff officer can command a hospital, a construction battalion or whatever, but cannot command a ship. Do the other branches of service make this distinction, and are staff officers given some slack in NJP, or in the "move up or move out" department?
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  #17  
Old 02-28-2011, 08:47 PM
wolfstu wolfstu is offline
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Note that a commissioned officer cannot remain in service at the same rank--it's "up or out."
While the OP may have been asking for specifically US-oriented answers, I note that not every country has this "up or out" progression model. In Canada it is possible to remain at the same commissioned rank for many years, whether in the Regular or Reserve Force. A colleague of mine in the maritime (regular) force has been at the Captain level (called Lieutenant in the navy) for about 19 years. Not for disciplinary reasons, but because he's happy to stay in a job that calls for his particular skills but doesn't entail promotion to Major (Lt Cdr). And far from kicking him out, after (IIRC) 16 years in rank, he was selected for a subsidised advanced degree program, meaning he'd be in the Forces for the two years it took to get his MSc at the military college, and four more of obligatory service beyond. That'll take him pretty close to retirement, I believe -- still wearing the same rank.

On the reserve side, there are definitely people who hang around for ages; there are plenty of career tracks that max out at Captain -- I know two Captains with over 32 years of service (not all at that rank).

In both of these cases, the individuals provided valuable skills in an occupational category that needed them, and continued to benefit the Forces. Tossing them away would have meant losing that knowledge and experience, and in none of the three cases could they have been easily replaced by new people; it's not like they were blocking advancement for young up-and-comers. Sometimes it's good to have a few village elders among the young warriors
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:53 PM
Uncertain Uncertain is offline
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Didn't Admiral Kirk get busted down to Captain? But maybe the rules are different in the 23rd century (or whenever).
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:27 PM
robby robby is offline
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...Note that a commissioned officer cannot remain in service at the same rank--it's "up or out."
To clarify my previous statement, change this to: "Note that an active-duty commissioned officer in the U.S. military cannot remain in service indefinitely at the same rank--it's 'up or out.'"

There is a maximum time in service for various officer ranks, but these can be extended for various specialties (such as physicians). In addition, different maximum times in service apply to reservists.
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  #20  
Old 02-28-2011, 10:31 PM
robby robby is offline
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Originally Posted by Poysyn View Post
We just had a high profile court martial where a Captain was convicted and was taken down to 2nd Lt and dishonorably discharged.

So it can happen. Capt Semrau prior to CM.
If I'm not mistaken, Captain Semrau was in the Canadian armed forces.

My comments were applicable to the U.S. military. Sorry if I over-generalized.
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  #21  
Old 03-01-2011, 12:50 AM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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In 1990 the head of procurement for the Israeli Air Force, Brig. General Rami Dotan, was convicted of embezzlement, fraud and taking kickbacks from aerospace companies. He was sentenced to 12 years in military prison - and demoted to buck private.
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  #22  
Old 03-01-2011, 03:47 AM
Raguleader Raguleader is offline
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Didn't Admiral Kirk get busted down to Captain? But maybe the rules are different in the 23rd century (or whenever).
To be fair, Starfleet is not the United States military, so there's no reason it should be assumed to act like it unless it's shown to do so.
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  #23  
Old 03-01-2011, 04:02 AM
Nobody Nobody is offline
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What about Warrant Officers?
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:12 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Going back to the officer finishing career as enlisted side issue ...

I knew a guy who was a USAF officer & pilot at the trailing end of Viet Nam. His highest rank attained was Captain (O-3).

When the USAF shrank at the end of the war, he was in effect laid off. Involuntarily separated without prejudice. Happened to hundreds of officers and many thousand enlisted troops.

He later enlisted in the USAF and was a Staff Sergeant (E-5) at the time I knew him.

He was making SSgt pay, but with his pay rate years of longevity including his officer years of service. When he eventually got enough years of service to retire I believe he'd draw retired Captain pay, not retired whatever-sergeant pay.

Looked really weird to see USAF pilot wings on a Sergeant's shirt. USAF hadn't had enlisted pilots since the USAAC/USAAF days in WWII, if then.

I always wondered if there wasn't, shall we say, a bit more to his story than he was telling. But the bald facts of him being a prior officer finishing his career as enlisted to obtain a retirement pension were/are indisputable.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 03-01-2011 at 09:15 AM..
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:13 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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What about Warrant Officers?
What do you want to know about them? Not much of a discernable question here to answer.
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:49 AM
silenus silenus is offline
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I think Nobody is asking if the procedures are the same for warrants as they are for line officers, ie "up or out" and separated instead of busted to ranks.

Because warrants aren't in the regular chain of command structure, there isn't the pressure to achieve higher rank as a career goal.

Last edited by silenus; 03-01-2011 at 09:50 AM..
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  #27  
Old 03-01-2011, 10:13 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Didn't Admiral Kirk get busted down to Captain? But maybe the rules are different in the 23rd century (or whenever).
I thought he requested the demotion so that he could get away from a desk job.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:37 AM
BlinkingDuck BlinkingDuck is offline
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There is nothing lower than a second lieutenant.
Not even Private. Agreed.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:40 AM
The Man In Black The Man In Black is offline
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I thought he requested the demotion so that he could get away from a desk job.
Not in the movie. In the book it may have been different. But in the movie he did not ask for it.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:46 AM
What Exit? What Exit? is online now
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Originally Posted by Raguleader View Post
...
Put it another way: If a ship is lost at sea, it is tradition for the Captain to be court martialled. If the ship ran aground, he will likely be punished and kicked out.
...
Actually the Captain's I know of that were commanding a ship that either ran aground or ran into another ship were not kicked out but given non-ship command duties. One from the Big "E" went on to command the Great Lakes bootcamp and the other was shuffled into a relatively minor shore-side position for one of the fleets. Neither was likely to ever make Admiral after their disgrace but they were not cashiered.

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M*A*S*H-inspired question: could you stay on at your current rank as a doctor in the service if you managed to offend a higher-up somehow yet were still a genius in the operating room?
Probably but he needed other high ranking officers to protect him. On the enlisted side I got a mild rebuke and had to write an essay of all things when I missed ship's movement as the Division Officer and our Senior Chief both put in very good words for me with the XO. There were some other areas where just being valuable protected me from minor issues. So a skilled surgeon could be protected as they would have a high value.

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Didn't Admiral Kirk get busted down to Captain? But maybe the rules are different in the 23rd century (or whenever).
Star Fleet does not follow US Navy rules and is often inconsistent in military matters based on writers of the shows/movies.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:48 AM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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I thought he requested the demotion so that he could get away from a desk job.
No, though, early in Star Trek II, Bones tells him to "get his command back", and get away from a desk job.

One of the final scenes of Star Trek IV (the one with the whales) is a court-martial trial for the command crew of the Enterprise, for their actions in Star Trek III (disobeying orders, theft of the Enterprise, sabotage of the Excelsior). Charges are dismissed for everyone else but Kirk, who's busted down to Captain ("the duties for which you have repeatedly demonstrated unswerving ability: the command of a starship.").
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:51 AM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Didn't Admiral Kirk get busted down to Captain? But maybe the rules are different in the 23rd century (or whenever).
Save a planet and the rule book doesn't always apply to you.
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:58 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Sometimes it's good to have a few village elders among the young warriors
I've always wondered about this "up or out" policy. If a particular officer (or for that matter NCO) is very good at his current job level, say captain, but it is suspected he wouldn't make a good major, why not keeping him as a captain (while for instance still giving him pay increases on a regular basis or dependant on the judgement made about his capacities).


In my uninformed mind, the best system would be :

-Good captain, probably would make a good major : up

- Very good or good captain, but probably unable (or unwilling) to take more responsabilities : stay captain, might eventually be promoted if someday it appears that he's now ready for a major's job.

-Average captain : out to leave room for fresh blood.



More or less, it's how it works for NCOs, but I could see a system where an excellent sergent could get perks for excellence at his current job, independantly of "time in rank" pay increases, while not being promoted.
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:09 PM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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I've always wondered about this "up or out" policy. If a particular officer (or for that matter NCO) is very good at his current job level, say captain, but it is suspected he wouldn't make a good major, why not keeping him as a captain (while for instance still giving him pay increases on a regular basis or dependent on the judgment made about his capacities).
.
Three reasons why not:

First of all, the fact that he's a good, experienced captain in and of itself means he'll probably be a good major - after all, it's the same job with a bit more power and a few more responsibilities. If he doesn't want to be a major, that means he lacks the drive, ambition and aggressiveness he needs to be a good officer of any rank.

Second, if he doesn't get promoted, that means that eventually, younger, less experienced men will get promoted over him. Will he respect them? Will they have an easy time giving him orders? Will he be able to suppress his resentment and bitterness? I doubt it. Having senior men commanded by their juniors will almost always lead to discipline problems.

Lastly, the military is constantly changing, with new doctrines, new tactics and new technologies. An old officer is an outdated officer. You don't want company commander saying, "I've been doing things this way for 15 years, and I'm not about to change now."

Last edited by Alessan; 03-01-2011 at 04:10 PM..
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:14 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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On the other hand, it would indeed make no sense to "demote" a second lieutenant to a senior NCO rank, where the expectation is that the guy is an experienced, very reliable and capable man. At best, I guess, he could be made a Sergent.

In France at least, a senior NCO would typically not want to be "promoted" to second lieutenant for a variety of reasons, including, but not only, financial (the French army even created a dozen years ago a special grade, and originally even rank, to deal with the best senior NCOs who were deemed to be able to handle more responsibilities but refused to become mere lieutenants).
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:21 PM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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I can't imagine demoting an officer to an enlisted rank without discharging him immediately afterwards.
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:21 PM
friedo friedo is online now
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One doesn't get promoted from NCO to commissioned officer in the US system (unless you specifically apply to officer training.) You can spend your whole career advancing through the senior enlisted ranks.
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:24 PM
BlinkingDuck BlinkingDuck is offline
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On the other hand, it would indeed make no sense to "demote" a second lieutenant to a senior NCO rank, where the expectation is that the guy is an experienced, very reliable and capable man. At best, I guess, he could be made a Sergent.

In France at least, a senior NCO would typically not want to be "promoted" to second lieutenant for a variety of reasons, including, but not only, financial (the French army even created a dozen years ago a special grade, and originally even rank, to deal with the best senior NCOs who were deemed to be able to handle more responsibilities but refused to become mere lieutenants).
Oh hell no. That would be insanity. Having the NCO/Officer split is a strength of the current system. To put officers down into the upper tier of NCO ranks would destroy this strength. A senior NCO is 50 times more valuable then a second Lt.
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:28 PM
hajario hajario is offline
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We just had a high profile court martial where a Captain was convicted and was taken down to 2nd Lt and dishonorably discharged.

So it can happen. Capt Semrau prior to CM.
As I understand it, it'll happen at the time of dismissal which has the effect of reducing their pension. Several years ago, a Major General in my good friend's chain of command was reduced to Colonel before he was dismissed for sexual misconduct. What won't happen is an officer being reduced in rank and then allowed to stay in. As mentioned upthread, an enlisted person can lose stripes and stay in.

Last edited by hajario; 03-01-2011 at 04:28 PM..
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  #40  
Old 03-01-2011, 04:55 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by barbitu8 View Post
When I was in basic training (during the Spanish-American War ), I was told that a certain sergeant was previously a brigadier general, but after being passed over for promotion three times, he elected to be an em for a few years to qualify for a larger pension rather than being booted out. I was further told he retained his same pay. Does anyone have the straight dope on this?
Well, during the Civil War, there were a lot of brevet Promotions, which didn;t last (Custer was breveted from Captain to Major General, then back to Captain then up to to Lt Col. However, he later could be addressed as "General" as a courtesy). But Sgt to Gen?

The same thing could happen to our hypothetical 2nd Ltnt. If he had rcvd a brevet or battlefield promo from Sgt to Ltnt (pretty common even during WWII), but it didn't work out, he'd usually go back to Sgt.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:34 PM
Raguleader Raguleader is offline
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Three reasons why not:

First of all, the fact that he's a good, experienced captain in and of itself means he'll probably be a good major - after all, it's the same job with a bit more power and a few more responsibilities. If he doesn't want to be a major, that means he lacks the drive, ambition and aggressiveness he needs to be a good officer of any rank.

Second, if he doesn't get promoted, that means that eventually, younger, less experienced men will get promoted over him. Will he respect them? Will they have an easy time giving him orders? Will he be able to suppress his resentment and bitterness? I doubt it. Having senior men commanded by their juniors will almost always lead to discipline problems.

Lastly, the military is constantly changing, with new doctrines, new tactics and new technologies. An old officer is an outdated officer. You don't want company commander saying, "I've been doing things this way for 15 years, and I'm not about to change now."
Most importantly, is that there are a limited (and nowadays, often shrinking) number of billets in the military. If a Captain refuses to promote, then he is not only not advancing himself, but he is standing in the way of a Lieutenant who could be advancing if only there was one more available slot to promote into.
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  #42  
Old 03-01-2011, 05:44 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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If he doesn't want to be a major, that means he lacks the drive, ambition and aggressiveness he needs to be a good officer of any rank.
Thank you for so perfectly and succinctly stating why I would never make a good military man. The notion that someone who can find a job they enjoy doing and are good at doing and would happily go on doing that job without promotion is somehow defective is totally insane to me.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:53 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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One doesn't get promoted from NCO to commissioned officer in the US system (unless you specifically apply to officer training.) You can spend your whole career advancing through the senior enlisted ranks.

You can in France. Even though the wide majority of officers who began their carreer as enlisted personnel or NCOs indeed applied to officer training at some point (there are two possible "points"), there are some grey-haired junior officers. In fact, they're promoted directly to first lieutenant, not second lieutenant. If I did my maths correctly (minimal age for such a promotion, time in rank for promotion, age and time in service limits, etc...) the highest they can expect to achieve is captain in a command position (company, obviously). Not that bad if you begin as a private and don't attend any school.

They're called "rank officers" (meaning officer promoted from an enlisted rank). I'd be curious to know how they're perceived in the military by comparison with their fellow officers.

Last edited by clairobscur; 03-01-2011 at 05:55 PM..
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:16 PM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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Originally Posted by KneadToKnow View Post
Thank you for so perfectly and succinctly stating why I would never make a good military man. The notion that someone who can find a job they enjoy doing and are good at doing and would happily go on doing that job without promotion is somehow defective is totally insane to me.
Hey, you and me both. I never felt the urge to go on to officer's course.
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:41 PM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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Originally Posted by friedo View Post
One doesn't get promoted from NCO to commissioned officer in the US system (unless you specifically apply to officer training.) You can spend your whole career advancing through the senior enlisted ranks.
I worked with a retired E9 from the Navy. While in the Navy he worked for and got his masters degree. His detailer was always pressuring him to take a commission. He told me hisl normal responce was along the lines of What do you think I am stupid. As a E9 he was chief of the boat No one not even the smart captians gave him any grief. If became an officer it woulod be as a junior officer and everyone gave them shit.
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:49 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Originally Posted by Snnipe 70E View Post
I worked with a retired E9 from the Navy. While in the Navy he worked for and got his masters degree. His detailer was always pressuring him to take a commission. He told me hisl normal responce was along the lines of What do you think I am stupid. As a E9 he was chief of the boat No one not even the smart captians gave him any grief. If became an officer it woulod be as a junior officer and everyone gave them shit.

One of my brothers, whose ambition stops at reaching the top NCO rank, summed this up thus "Better being a big fish among the small ones than a small fish among the big ones"
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:37 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is online now
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Originally Posted by Snnipe 70E View Post
I worked with a retired E9 from the Navy. While in the Navy he worked for and got his masters degree. His detailer was always pressuring him to take a commission. He told me hisl normal responce was along the lines of What do you think I am stupid. As a E9 he was chief of the boat No one not even the smart captians gave him any grief. If became an officer it woulod be as a junior officer and everyone gave them shit.
Master Chiefs commanded far more respect then any junior officer. Though on a Carrier we had many Master Chiefs and it was the Command Master Chief that was that important. When I got to the Ranger, The Command Master Chief had actually served in WWII. I found this mind boggling. He went from the Ranger to be the Fleet Master Chief but he missed out making Master Chief of the Navy. I wish I could recall his name. He was an impressive old gent. He served over 45 years at least. His wife retired an E8 apparently at only 30 years of service. He joked that she wasn't in it for the long haul.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:10 PM
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
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We just had a high profile court martial where a Captain was convicted and was taken down to 2nd Lt and dishonorably discharged.

So it can happen. Capt Semrau prior to CM.
In a similar vein, when I was at Corry Station, just down the road from Pensacola back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I crossed paths with a Senior Chief (E-8) Several days later I saw him wearing the uniform and rank insignia of an E-1 Seaman. I never could figure out how you annoy the Navy enough to bust you clear down to the basement yet not kick you out entirely (I sure as hell didn't have the courage to ask him). I could only figure it was so he could stay in a bit longer and get to draw retirement pay, albeit considerably lower than it would have been.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:20 PM
galen ubal galen ubal is offline
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What some of you may not be getting is the competition for promotion. There may be (say) 100 slots open for promotion, and 1000 officers eligible for promotion. If you're on the board that's looking at the prospective Majors, for example, who do you choose for the next level of leadership? The ones that are content. or the ones with the extra drive to advance? Dunno about you, but I'll go for the latter.
But then, you ask, why not keep the content ones in their current slots? 'Cuz there's about 3000 guys below them, of which a good percentage are not content, and who would be as good in the content man's slot, and probably better. There's a lot of people involved, and pretty much nobody's so good they can't be replaced.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:35 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Well, during the Civil War, there were a lot of brevet Promotions, which didn;t last (Custer was breveted from Captain to Major General, then back to Captain then up to to Lt Col. However, he later could be addressed as "General" as a courtesy)....
IIRC Maj. Gen. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, hero of Little Round Top, groused in his memoirs that virtually every top officer in the Army of the Potomac who asked for a brevet promotion in the weeks after Lee's surrender at Appomattox was given one. A whole raft of bird colonels became brevet brigadier generals after most of the fighting was done (granted, some of them had been bearing the responsibilities of BGs by then).

Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 03-01-2011 at 10:35 PM..
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