November 6, 2008

New Virginia Guard warrant officers recognized

By Sgt. Andrew H. Owen
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

Warrant Officer Darell T. Logan is administered their oaths of office at the Post Theater Fort Pickett, Va. The oath of office took place at the semi-annual Warrant Officer Appointment Recognition Ceremony. (Photo by Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

FORT PICKETT, Va. — Despite the cold October rain outside the Post Theater at Fort Pickett, Va., the mood inside was warm and inviting. At 10 a.m., on Oct. 25, 10 Soldiers were acknowledged during the semi-annual Warrant Officer Appointment Recognition Ceremony

The new warrant officers were honored here due to the fact that warrants are appointed at one of four places; the Federal Recognition Board, Warrant Officer Candidate School Fort Rucker, Ala., RTI WOCS Phase III at Fort McClellan, Ala., or RTI WOCS Phase III at Camp Atterbury, Ind.

Family and friends are not often able to attend the graduation, so the Warrant Officer Appointment Recognition Ceremony offers them the opportunity to attend a formal welcoming of the these new warrant officers into the Virginia Warrant Officer Corps.

According to guest speaker, Chief Warrant Officer Dennis W. Erickson, Chief of Warrant Officer Leader Development, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, the army definition of warrant officers is this: warrant officers possess a high degree of specialization in a particular field.

In contrast to the more general assignment of other commissioned officers, warrant officers command aircraft, maritime vessels, and special units and task organized operational elements in a wide variety of units and headquarters. Warrants provide quality advice, counsel, and solutions to support their unit and organization. They operate, maintain, administer, and manage the Army’s equipment, support activities and technical systems.

Brig. Gen. Eugene Stockton delivers the welcoming remarks at the semi-annual Warrant Officer Appointment Recognition Ceremony. Stockton is the Assistant Adjutant General- Army, Virginia National Guard. (Photo by Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Warrant officers are a competent and confident warrior, innovative integrators of emerging technologies, dynamic teachers and developers of specialized teams of Soldiers. Their extensive professional experience and technical knowledge qualifies warrant officers as valuable role models and mentors to junior officers and noncommissioned officers.

“You embody the best and the brightest the Army has to offer,” said Erickson to the new appointees. “Never forget who you are and what is now expected of you. The standards are much higher, the responsibilities are much greater, yet the rewards more enriching. The future of the (Warrant Officer) Corps will be shaped by your hands.”

The new Virginia National Guard warrant officers recognized were Joey B. Collins, Jonathan E. Lindley, Delores B. Grimes, Sandra M. Bieber, Brian J. Dewyngaert, Mark D. Gauthier, John N. Lanan, Darrell T. Logan, Kinder L. Preston, and Steven W. Sadler.

Candidates who successfully complete WOCS are appointed in the grade of warrant officer one. When promoted to chief warrant officer two, warrant officers are commissioned by the President and have the same legal status as their traditional commissioned counterparts. However, warrant officers remain single-specialty officers whose career track is oriented toward progressing within their career field rather than focusing on increased levels of command and staff duty positions.

There are five grades within the Army Warrant Officer Corps. A Soldier is initially appointed as a warrant officer and progresses to chief warrant officer two after two years, chief warrant officer three after five years, and chief warrant officer Four after six years.  Selected chief warrant officer fours are selected to chief warrant officer five after six or more years.  Promotion to chief warrant officer five is not automatic as there are only seven positions authorized within the Virginia Army National Guard. 

Soldiers interested in the becoming a warrant officer must first be determined by the individual Army branch proponent. The branch proponents review the background of each potential candidate for requisite experience, technical training, and demonstrated leadership abilities. Soldiers should contact their retention NCOs or the warrant officer strength manager for additional information.

Click HERE to return to the top of the page ~ Click HERE to return to the news directory