The Air Force selected than 1,629 master sergeants for promotion to senior master sergeant—the most new E-8s in a single cycle in 11 years.
All told, 10.18 percent of 16,031 eligible tech sergeants made the grade, the Air Force Personnel Center announced—the highest promotion rate for E-7s in four years. Average time in grade was 4.4 years, and average time in service was 17.88 years.
Not since 2012, when more than 1,700 master sergeants were selected, have so many made the cut in a single year. Indeed, this was the first time since 2019 that the promotion rate broke double digits.
High retention and enlisted grade structure reviews depressed promotions last year to the lowest rates in years, and leaders have warned rates could stay low for years, as the Air Force rebalances the noncommissioned officer corps, especially staff, tech, and master sergeant.
But the squeeze seems to be easing at senior master sergeant, where promotions increased slightly in 2022 after two years of rates below 8 percent. In the past dozen years, the promotion rate has topped 10 percent seven times.
The full list of master sergeants selected for promotion in 2023 is available here.
Air Force E-8 Promotion Statistics