U.S. Army photo by SPC Charles M. Bailey

Few subjects related to military careers cause as much contention as the up-or-out system for promotion. Under this policy, a service member who is twice passed over for promotion is forced out of the military. Today, with few exceptions, service members are expected to keep climbing the ladder toward command or senior enlisted leadership positions. All of the services, in one form or the other, practice this. All of them are making a mistake.

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