On Friday morning, August 8, at 8 am, my youngest daughter will pin sergeant stripes on me at morning formation. This will be the third time I have been promoted to sergeant.
The first time I was promoted to sergeant was in the Air Force in 1974. At the time the pay grade of E-4 was called sergeant. In 1976 it split into sergeant and senior airman--the Army equivalent of Corporal and Specialist--same money, but corporal is supervisory, specialist is not.
The second promotion was in 1976 when I was promoted to Sergeant E-5, the Army rank I will return to in two weeks. At the time I was a new tank commander on the way to three years in Germany. I left the Army the first time in 1984, a Staff Sergeant (E-6). Maybe in 2010 or 2011, I will be able to get back to where I was in 1984. At the last drill, one of my friends said at the rate I am going (Sergeant at 55) I should make Master Sergeant by the time I am 82.