Using an Army Promotion Points Calculator to tally up your points haul is a great alternative to wading through complicated regulations, like Army Regulation 600-8-19 (Enlisted Promotions and Reductions).
Although the Army Regulations (AR) can certainly provide you with the important information you need, you can get lost in the bureaucracy and red tape. Let's face it, AR's are not light reading and are published to ensure there is no room for debate or question. Unfortunately, this makes them highly technical in format and language and can be difficult to interpret. Somehow, root canals can seem like a more pleasant experience! Okay, maybe I exaggerate a bit, but I'm sure you understand where I'm coming from.
For starters, anytime you expect AR's to be simple for extracting just the information you need, you realize that Army Regulation 600-8-19 is 179 pages in length while the specific and relevant information you need is on less than 8 pages of that.
Not to mention that the average word count per page is more than 700 instead of average books (that we enjoy reading) at around half of that amount. Simply stated, finding the promotion points data you need quickly is hard to find, hard to read, and hard to understand.
I believe this makes using an Army Promotion Points Calculator an absolute necessity for any soldier working toward promotion. I'm in the process of building my own custom version of an Army Promotion Points Calculator soon, but until that project is complete I recommend you try a free resource I discovered at cutoffscores.com.
One of the most important elements of any Army Promotion Points Calculator is the level of accuracy produced, and anything less than 100% is unacceptable. In most cases, the data produced will drive you intentionally toward a point generating activity, such as a specific correspondence course or college class. Wasting precious time on non-point producing actions can cost you in terms of additional months waiting to pin on that next stripe. Use reputable resources that you trust and spot check one or two things to validate the result.
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Now that we agree that an Army Promotion Points Calculator is an important tool to use while competing for faster promotions, we need to consider the type that best fit our needs.
Big picture or small picture, strategic or tactical.....that's the burning question we must consider. There's no wrong or right answer, rather a personal preference based on how you leverage data to drive actions and results.
If you prefer tons of data that you can wade through with a fine tooth comb (that's my style by the way), you should focus on a specific Army Promotion Points Calculator that offers this detail across the different point categories. This will allow you to easily enter your information and generate a report that provides every dimension of opportunity for you to track.
You might think that the detailed level is the logical path to follow, but this is not necessarily the case. Again, you may be a big picture thinker who deals with data in terms of chunks, or segments. If this is you, I recommend staying out of the weeds and focusing on the points you achieve at the higher level. This might include tracking 'Military Education' as one bucket of points, instead of breaking it down for all of the different elements and courses you have taken.
The key is to find the right Army Promotion Points Calculator for the way you want to track this information.
If you interested in reading other related posts check out the following:
32 pages of promotion points bliss that helps you earn points and get promoted to E-5 and E-6 faster.