by Command Sergeant Major Scott C. Chunn

Congratulations to all the newly selected Sergeants First Class promotable! As we have previously seen with the Sergeant Major and Command Sergeant Major selection lists, and now with the Master Sergeant selection list, promotions are starting to come back. However, MI is still short of 1250 noncommissioned officers—500 at the rank of Sergeant. MI enlisted promotions have dramatically increased the past few months due to a lack of anticipated Change-in-NCO- Structure (CINCOS) reductions, other structure changes, and immediate Army readiness needs. The recent selections of more than 180 Sergeants First Class or Master Sergeant, and the anticipated increased promotions from Staff Sergeant to Sergeant First Class later this year, will exacerbate our shortfalls at the Sergeant level.

We currently have 1600 Specialists who are eligible but have not been recommended for promotion. Clearly, even if two-thirds of the eligible Specialists were not ready for the promotion board, we could easily fix our Sergeant shortfall with the remaining one-third. The shortfall of Sergeants will not improve unless we prepare, mentor, counsel, and board our Specialists. We must educate commanders, first sergeants, and supervisors to ensure our soldiers attend the Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC) and get on the promotion list.

I encourage those Sergeants Major and Command Sergeants Major who have not yet signed on to the Sergeant Major and Command Sergeant Major bulletin board to please do so. This is your forum to discuss and resolve issues—we must use it. Connect to the Fort Huachuca home page at http://huachuca- usaic.army.mil and click on the CSM/SGM BBS button. Follow the registration instructions and you will receive confirmation of registration within one working day. Your registration will also feed the upcoming Sergeants Major address book which will give you the unit assignments and E-mail addresses for all MI Sergeants Major. Again, this is only as good as we make it, so please use it.

This past month, I was fortunate to visit many of the great MI soldiers in the Pacific—in Hawaii, Japan, and Korea. In Hawaii, I visited the 205th MI Battalion, the 703d MI Brigade, the Pacific Joint Intelligence Center (JICPAC), the 125th MI Battalion, and the U.S. Army, Pacific units. In Japan, I met with  the 500th MI Group and U.S. Army-Japan; I visited the U.S. Forces-Korea units, the 501st MI Brigade, and the 102d MI Battalion in Korea. Thanks to those great units for allowing me to visit and making the trips so productive and informative. I am convinced that the health of the MI Corps is good and getting better, and that we have the finest soldiers in the Army. We have had some hard times but there is light at the end of the tunnel and I encourage all of you to help make the MI Corps and our Army better than it has ever been. I know you will.

As always, train hard, take care of soldiers and families, and have fun. Thanks!