Making rank has its privileges. Getting promoted means you get a new ID, you get to wear your upgraded rank insignia, your title officially changes, and, most importantly, you get paid more.
With all of the perks that come with picking up a rank, there are a few common aspects that service members would love to avoid — but won’t be able to.
Getting a promotion is considered an event epic, but these are the top 4 downsides to your career advancement.
1. Getting “tacked” or “pinned”
We do it as a celebration, and it’s a tradition to encourage us to never lose that rank — but advance onward. But for as steeping in tradition as it is, the whole ‘getting tacked’ can be super uncomfortable, too. Getting promoted also means you’re going to get tacked. That means your fellow service members, who are either the same rank or higher, can walk up to you and respectably strike your newly pinned rank.
It’s practically considered a birthright and it’s a way for your unit to show that they see the effort you’re putting into your career.
But with all that respect comes a downside. The jab could poke the pins into your skin through your shirt. Get smart and have your new rank sewn on your OCPs. This way, your unit colleagues will be forced to acknowledge your rank change with a love-tap on your arm.
2. Taking sh*t for your troops
Getting promoted means that now you’re in charge of a few troops, you’re also responsible for the mistakes they make.
If they get in trouble at the front gate for doing something wrong, your phone will be ringing to pick them up. You might be cursing your new rank change and you’re probably going to have to answer up for anything your subordinates have done.
3. Your promotion means you won’t be able to date that E-2 anymore
Fraternization is a real offense and can kill a military career.
Depending on the branch, you can’t date a rank that’s three pay grades above or below you. Picking up an NCO rank just might ruin your social life, especially if you live in the barracks.
4. You’re not a part of the E-4 mafia anymore
Remember when you first showed up to boot camp all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed?
After multiple years or of excellent service, you’ll realize you’re no longer seen as a person anymore. With your new rank comes a whole new identity — now you’re a senior staff NCO.