Reasons for an Army Adverse Action Flag

Army Adverse Action flags are generally given to soldiers who have violated Army regulations and policies.

Soldiers who receive Army Adverse Action Flags are ineligible for promotion, may be denied leave and passes and are not permitted to receive any awards while they are flagged. Flagged soldiers may not apply for retirement or Army schools and may not reenlist. Flags are annotated in the "Flag Code" section of the Enlisted Record Brief (ERB). Soldiers may be flagged in more than one category. Adverse Action flags are governed by Army Regulation (AR) 600-8-2, "Suspension of Favorable Personnel Actions (Flags)."

1 Physical Fitness (Flag Codes J and K)

Soldiers who fail the APFT are subject to an Adverse Action flag codes J and K.

Army physical fitness tests (APFTs) must be taken every six months in conjunction with height and weight measurements. Soldiers who fail the APFT or fail to meet weight requirements set forth in AR 600-9, "Army Weight Control Program," may receive an Army Adverse Action flag. APFT failure flags bar soldiers from reenlistment, extension and promotion. APFT failure flags are annotated as code J on the ERB. Soldiers entered into the Army Weight Control Program will receive an additional flag under code K. When a flagged soldier passes the APFT and successfully completes the Army Weight Control Program, flags are lifted.

2 UCMJ Violations (Flag Codes A and H)

Soldiers processing for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) will be flagged under code A and barred from reenlistment, extension and retirement. UCMJ flags prevent promotion and all other favorable personnel actions, including leave, passes and the receipt of awards. During the punishment phase of UCMJ action, the flag code is changed to H. When UCMJ processing and corrective action has been completed, flags are lifted and the soldier is eligible for favorable personnel actions.

3 Blocked Promotion (Flag Code P)

Unit commanders may decide a soldier is not ready for promotion to the rank of private second class (PV2), private first class (PFC) or specialist (SPC). Commanders may flag these soldiers using flag code P. At the unit commander's discretion, the flag will be lifted and the soldier will become eligible for promotion.

4 Security Violations (Flag Code E)

Soldiers undergoing processes for possible security violations will be flagged under code E until the Army's investigation is complete. If the soldier is found not guilty, the flag will be lifted; if the soldier is guilty, the flag code changes to A.

A professional writer since 1994, Eva Talent was trained as a journalist by the U.S. Army. She received two Army Commendation Medals and an Army Achievement Medal for journalistic excellence. Her press releases are frequently featured on the websites of the Department of Defense and the Army. Talent holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Michigan.