If you’re an enlisted Soldier serving in the Army National Guard, there’s a good chance that your state uses the STAP List and STAP program to manage all enlisted promotions for the rank of E-5 and above. STAP stands for Select, Train, Assign, Promote.
Each year all E4s and above complete a NGB4100. This worksheet identifies and adds up the promotion points a Soldier has. Once the sheet is submitted through the unit and S1 channels it is sent to the G1 Office for processing. The G1 Office takes all Soldiers in each MOS, by rank, and creates an Order of Merit List, which is essentially the STAP List. The person with the most points is ranked # 1, followed by the person with the second most points, and so forth.
Normally the results are published once a year. But sometimes a list might get published 2-3 times in one year. This is known as an updated STAP List. From the day a list is published any time there is a vacancy in a unit, the unit’s chain of command is supposed to refer to the STAP List and start contacting the person on the top of the list to offer them the job. They will keep calling people on the list until someone accepts the job and the promotion. That’s how the National Guard streamlines its enlisted promotion process. Once again, it isn’t perfect, but it is a pretty good system.
It’s also important to note that Soldier’s can choose to be selected for a state-wide selection or unit-wide selection. If they are open for a state-wide selection, they can be considered for an open slot anywhere in the state. I recommend this option to all Soldiers because it gives you more opportunities to get promoted.
On the other hand, Soldiers can choose the unit-wide selection. If they choose this option, they will only be eligible for a promotion if there is an opening in their battalion. Choosing this option really limits a Soldier’s ability to get promoted. I never recommended this option to my Soldiers. Even if they loved the unit, I told them to be smart and go with state-wide selection.
Although I am not a huge fan of the STAP List Program, it does have its merits. What I like most about the program is that you can clearly see WHO has the most promotion points in the state and how far you are behind them. This gives you a snapshot so you know what you need to do to increase your points within the next 12 months and be competitive. Another great thing about the STAP Program is that it doesn’t play favorites. It eliminates the local commander’s chance to promote their people into the NCO ranks. This means you have a level playing field across the entire state to get promoted.
Of course, many Soldiers complain about the STAP List and STAP Program. Some of the biggest issues are that the points are often incorrect or aren’t updated in time. Another problem with STAP is that it takes away the Company Commander’s authority to promote a Soldier from inside his company into a unit vacancy. I’ve always believed that the Company Commander and First Sergeant know their Soldiers the best and know who is most “qualified” for a promotion. However, this can lead to “favoritism” claims.
Since the Army National Guard wanted to create a level playing field, the STAP Program does that. If you are enlisted, I highly encourage you to educate yourself about the program. I truly believe that it’s up to you to manage your own career wisely. Once you know how the system works, you can’t blame anyone but yourself if you don’t get promoted.
On a side note, if you are familiar with the STAP List and STAP Program, I would love to hear your thoughts. Please share your story or experience about the program with the rest of our community. Just leave a comment below to get started. Also if you have opinions about STAP, you can leave them, but please think before you type. Thanks for visiting.
P.S. I’m not sure what the regulation is that manages STAP, but if you know it, please leave a comment below to share it with us.