Paris Train Hero To Be Promoted From E-3 To E-5

Paris Train Hero To Be Promoted From E-3 To E-5

This past week, at the Air Force Association’s annual convention it was announced that Airman First Class Spencer Stone will be promoted to E-5 as a result of his actions on a Paris train on August 21st.

In the words of Chief of Staff Welsh, “he has represented the Air Force very well and very proudly and, basically, he has an instinct for saying and doing the right thing, which I think is going to be a very, very good attribute in a young NCO supervisor.”

In addition to his promotion, Stone will also become recipient of both the Purple Heart, and the Airman’s Medal.

For those of you who have been living under a rock recently, on August 21st, Stone, along with Specialist Alek Skarlatos and their friend another Sadler thwarted a terrorist attack by charging the gunman. During the incident, Stone was stabbed, leaving a wound only an inch-and-a-half from his carotid artery. Less severe but still worth mentioning, his thumb was almost cut off as well.

While obviously this promotion is a special case, it’s definitely warranted; our current promotion system is fucked anyway. Your ability to stand in front of a SGM and a bunch of First Sergeants and regurgitate memorized information is in no way, shape, or form a reflection of your character and ability to lead. Half the time if you’re buddy-buddy with board members they don’t even ask you questions. Further, deployments and overseas time will start to count less towards points.

It’s sad that completing SSD1 and memorizing facts has a higher premium that actual character when it comes to promoting noncommissioned officers. At least this time, the Air Force got it right.   

About the author: Andrew Farquharson is an Iraq Campaign veteran and an ex-cavalry scout currently living the dream in Newport, Rhode Island as a college student. Aside from writing for 11Bravos his hobbies include mountain climbing, shooting guns and convincing women they should date him. Comments or hate mail can be sent to or, follow him on Instagram @Lord_Farquharson