ARMY E-4s – Have You Done Your SSD Coursework Yet?

Posted by Jason Van Steenwyk E4s must complete paperwork for sergeant promotionTime is getting tight for tens of thousands of Army E-4s hoping to get their sergeant stripes. These soldiers must complete Structured Self-Development 1, or SSD-1 – an online course – by Jan. 1, 2014 in order to be eligible to be placed on the promotion list for sergeant. This applies both to corporals and specialists. According to the Army G-1, some 41,035 specialists have yet to complete the coursework to get placed on the list. Furthermore, 3,366 more specialists already on the list will lose eligibility, effective January 1, unless they complete the coursework, the Army said.

To check on their enrollment status, soldiers can visit the Army Learning Management System (ALMS) via AKO. Soldiers graduating AIT since Oct 10, 2010 have been automatically enrolled in the ALMS. But that’s very different than actually completing the course. The AKO system is notoriously tricky and unreliable – especially for reserve component soldiers who must try to access AKO from their home computers. Soldiers with various versions of Windows or who are trying to access from Macs have long had persistent problems with AKO access. 

The system doesn’t stop at SSD-1 for E-4s looking to pin on sergeant stripes. Similar requirements also apply to Army E-5s, E-6’s and E-7s looking for promotion.

Some reserve units may offer soldiers drill pay or other forms of compensation for completing the required coursework. However, the deadline applies whether the soldier gets paid for completing the coursework or not. 

To learn more, visit the NCO Journal, here. 


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