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Senior Enlisted Personnel: Do We Need Another Grade?

Aline O. QuesterGary Lee
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Are the most senior enlisted service members adequately compen­ sated? Given the varying levels of responsibility assigned to them, is the compensation sufficient to ensure that we retain the talent we require? Because these senior enlisted personnel are more apt to be retirement-eligible, are the best retiring too early? Are there suffi­ cient incentives to induce the most competitive to remain in service?

Service members in grade E-9 usually fall into two categories:

  • The technical or duty expert of a certain occupational field, or
  • The senior enlisted advisor to the commanding officer of a given unit, usually a unit with its own organizational colors.

We'll start with a short history of non-commissioned officers, concen­ trating on the most senior grade. Then we'll present a current over­ view of the E-9s in each of the services2 and describe what we see as the challenges facing the E-9 community today. We'll turn then to the current experience distribution of E-9s, promotion timing, and the pattern of retirements. Finally, we'll return to the question of incen­ tives for E-9 retention and a proposal for an E-10 grade.

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Details

  • Pages: 43
  • Document Number: CRM D0005072.A2 / Final
  • Publication Date: 12/1/2001
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