Local June 27, 2013 | 9:07 am

Sweeping bill on the military fails to include master sergeants

Santo Domingo.- The Senate passed Wednesday night the Armed Forces Statutory Law, whose provisions stipulate that the Defense Minister can be military or civilian; creates a warrant officer category; one general per 1,000 soldiers, rigid rules on promotions; mandatory training, more participation for the country’s economic and social development, time limits on military career and new names for the branches.

The bill, which now goes to the Chamber of Deputies, renames the Armed Forces Ministry to the Ministry of Defense, the Navy of War will be called the Dominican Republic Navy, the National Army will become the Dominican Republic Army but doesn’t change the Air Force.

The sitting Minister’s mandatory retirement is two years, though the President can extend their tenure two additional years.

A General can only spend 10 years in the rank, with mandatory retirement after that, unless they are occupying a command. The same applies to the ranks of colonels or navy captains.

The legislation however fails to address the outdated promotions from master sergeants (chief petty officers in the navy) to second lieutenants (ensign junior grade in the navy).

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