The rank of an army colonel is as prestigious as being a vice president of a big corporation. However, in private companies, you are able to climb the corporate ladder within a decade or less, and get a vice president position. It all depends on your technical and people skills, and most especially your educational attainment. Having a post graduate and a doctorate degree can guarantee more promotions in a span of just a few years. In the army, on the other hand, you have to go through the mandatory years of training and service before you are promoted to the next rank. To have a grasp of how the army hierarchy looks like, the army officer ranks are as follows:
- Second lieutenant
- First lieutenant
- Lieutenant Colonel
- Full rank Colonel
- Brigadier General (one star)
- Major General (two stars)
- Lieutenant General (three stars)
- General (four stars)
- General of the Army (five stars)
- General of the Armies (six stars)
Before becoming a second lieutenant, you need to undergo four years of training as a cadet in a military academy. For those who have completed a degree in school, they can enter the army by undergoing months of training and once they pass the requirements and tests, they join the ranks as commissioned officers. Most of those practicing their profession in the army, such as military doctors and lawyers, are commissioned officers.
So once you become an army officer, the best way to move forward faster is to be very diligent in your tasks, and be a good follower. Learn leadership skills early on and handle your men well. As junior army officers, you will already be assigned a platoon of soldiers to lead. While in the service, maintain a clean record, not only in your profession, but also in your personal life. It is interesting to note that a married army officer can lose his rank or can impede his promotion if he is found guilty of having extramarital affairs. Crimes related to money and fraud can also affect your promotion and can put your career at risk.
It is also important to undergo several trainings that are not necessarily mandatory, but are available for officers to help them specialize in a certain field. For example, if you wish to be an army ranger, you need to undergo several months of field training. Taking up courses outside of the military scope also helps, such as short courses on accounting, management and business. It is also advisable for you, as an army officer, to always be updated on current events in the country and other key areas around the globe. Also be aware of the procedures regarding promotions, and make sure you take advantage of opportunities to move forward, such as getting into trainings and getting involved in relevant projects. The number of years before being promoted to a full colonel rank is about 17 years. It can be longer if there are setbacks in your career such as cases filed against you or reprimands on your behavior.