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Military Workers, Enlisted

Advancement Prospects

Each military branch has nine enlisted grades (E-1 through E-9) and 10 officers' grades (O-1 through O-10). The higher the number is, the more advanced a person's rank. The various branches of the military have somewhat different criteria for promoting individuals; in general, however, promotions depend on factors such as length of time served, demonstrated abilities, recommendations, and scores on written exams. Promotions become more and more competitive as people advance in rank. On average, a diligent enlisted person can expect to earn one of the middle noncommissioned or petty officer rankings (E-4 through E-6); some officers can expect to reach lieutenant colonel or commander (O-5). Outstanding individuals may be able to advance beyond these levels.

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