Well if it's anything like in the Navy, which it probably is, basically you start out at say an E-3, sometimes lower. Sometimes you can become an E-4 by finishing a certain school or re-enlisting - depends on your rate (job). Otherwise, every year there will be a test and you have to pass the test in order to advance. When I say passing, it's not like a regular test. Say you are an E-4 and took the E-5 exam for your rate. Let's say they only need to advance 240 E-5's in your rate. And there are 500 people taking the exam. You have to beat out 260 other people on the exam in order to advance. Then you are an E-5. You then have to be an E-5 for X number of years before you are eligible to take the E-6 exam. You can have that shortened by a year by getting a really good evaluation. I may have some stuff not completely right, but that's the jist of it, anyway. I just took the test when they told me to.
at 1:00 PM on Jun. 11, 2009