With the economy in the tubes, many senior NCOs have chosen to stay in the Army longer than they planned. Since they're not getting out, there aren't as many openings for the rank below to be promoted. This is the situation we're stuck in now.
However, the Army has started to make it more difficult to just stick around a few more years. Soldiers with 20+ years in are finally leaving; whether by choice or not, it opens up higher probabilities that Darrell will make the list this next time. As the Army draws down, his chances will likely improve each year. But dang, he's been a Sergeant First Class for quite some time now. We're hoping for better luck this time.