FORT IRWIN, Calif. — Three Soldiers at the National Training Center and Fort Irwin are a part of 225 brevet promotions, a move the Army hasn’t done in more than a century. Brevet promotions are temporary promotions in which officers of a junior grade can serve one grade higher, wear the rank, and are paid at the higher grade when assigned to a critical position.
Formerly known as Capt. David Conrad, Capt. Chad Evans and Lt. Col. Shawn Patrick, the trio recently had their ranks increased to the titles of Major and Colonel.
“It was very humbling, but I was very excited for the opportunity,” Evans said after finding out the news.
In 2019, the Army identified 225 critical positions as brevet positions and 118 of those critical positions were made available in the summer 2020 assignment cycle in the Army Talent Alignment Process. Of those, 13 were identified as local moves, meaning Soldiers could move right into the position and the NTC Soldiers were a part of that group.
The Brevet Promotion Program aims to alleviate critical shortages of officers, to better leverage the talents of junior officers and to incentivize retention of those officers in whom the Army invested for education and experience.
The move pushes the Army toward more flexible career paths for its officers and allows the Army to fill critical shortages with officers who have the right talent.
Evans has served in the military for 12 years and been stationed at NTC since summer 2017. He is a 19A Armor Officer with the Operations Group’s Panther Team and was originally scheduled for a permanent change of station (PCS) during the summer of 2020.
“My supervisor at the time, Maj. Blair, called me and asked if I would consider being the Panther 7T (brevet position),” Evans said. “I was told it made sense because I had been on team for three years, I knew the desert very well, and I understood how NTC rotations operate. Overall, I had continuity with the team and experience with NTC.”
Evans recalled his August promotion ceremony.
“It was conducted at our team building,” he said. “The Panther team was present. I invited some of the DA civilians and contractors that I work with up in Bldg. 990, and of course my wife. We held a Facebook live stream so my family and friends who could not make it had the opportunity to view the ceremony.”
All First Lieutenants through Lieutenant Colonels with the knowledge, skills, behaviors and preference for assignment for designated critical positions are eligible for brevet promotions.
These officers serve concurrently in their lower permanent grades and their brevet higher grades and brevet promotions will not influence the officers’ eligibility for selection under the normal promotion selection boards.
Conrad had his promotion ceremony on Nov. 13 and Patrick has been notified but has not yet had his promotion ceremony. They say they’re both appreciative and excited and Patrick added, “It’s an absolute honor to be selected to do something like this. Clearly the Army has entrusted me and I value that.”
Evans said he’s happy to have been considered and thinks this program is a good thing for the military.
“I’ve learned so much while being stationed at NTC and truly enjoy being able to be a part of each decisive action rotation,” Evans said. “NTC embraces Army doctrine and being able to observe rotational units on a daily basis, working to hone their skills in doctrine and as warfighters is pretty awesome. I try to make the best out of every opportunity and being stationed here has been great for me personally and professionally.”