Oct. 28, 2011

New Virginia Guard Warrant Officers recognized

By Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

FORT PICKETT, Va.— The Virginia Army National Guard recognized six of its newest warrant officers during a Warrant Officer Recognition Ceremony Oct. 22 at Fort Pickett. The ceremony was held at the 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute’s auditorium and Brig. Gen. William R. Phillips, the Virginia National Guard Land Component Commander, was the guest speaker.

 

Warrant Officer 1 Mohomed F. Azeez, Warrant Officer 1 Kevin O. Cutchin, Warrant Officer 1 Thomas O. Mooney, Warrant Officer 1 Anna M. Stewart and Warrant Officer 1 Cory C. Wheeler listen to Brig. Gen. William R. Phillips, the Virginia National Guard Land Component Commander, during a Warrant Officer Recognition Ceremony Oct. 22 at Fort Pickett. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Click HERE to see more photos from on the Virginia National Guard Flickr site.

Warrant officers are appointed at a Federal Recognition Board, the Warrant Officer Candidate School at Fort Rucker, Ala., or a Regional Training Institute like Camp Atterbury, Ind., or Fort McClellan, Ala., and it’s often difficult for family members to travel out of state to their graduation ceremonies, explained Chief Warrant Officer 5 Eddie Whitt, the Virginia National Guard Command Chief Warrant Officer, at the beginning of the ceremony.

“Many families aren’t able to participate and recognize their career change,” he said. “So this ceremony lets us welcome them into the warrant officer corps, be with their families and celebrate this momentous occasion.”

The new warrant officers recognized at the ceremony were Warrant Officer 1 Mohomed F. Azeez, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Biruk Abraham, Warrant Officer 1 Kevin O. Cutchin, Warrant Officer 1 Thomas O. Mooney, Warrant Officer 1 Anna M. Stewart and Warrant Officer 1 Cory C. Wheeler.

“So what’s expected of you now?” Phillips asked the new warrant officers in his speech. “One is trust. The second one is technical competency. And the third one is for you to excel for excellence.”

Phillips reassured them that their prior enlisted experience is going help them in their new positions but also warned them that there is more responsibility coming their way than they may used to.

“There are going to be challenges, such as balancing work and home life,” he said. “So communicating and planning are really important.”

The final bit of wisdom he left with the Soldiers regards decision making.

 

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Biruk Abraham takes the oath of office as a new warrant officer at the Warrant Officer Recognition Ceremony Oct. 22 at Fort Pickett. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Click HERE to see more photos from on the Virginia National Guard Flickr site.


“When commanders are in the decision making process, we want as much input as you can give us,” he explained. “So don’t be bashful. Fight for what you believe in. If you don’t think it’s right, fight, but once the decision is made it becomes your decision and then you must do all you can to make it a successful decision."

Stewart, a Richmond resident, is the property book account officer with the 1030th Transportation Company in Gate City. She was a staff sergeant with Company B, 429th Brigade Support Battalion before attending Warrant Officer Candidate School. But her plans to become a warrant officer date back to when she was just a specialist.

“I met a warrant officer who inspired me to want to become one,” Stewart explained. “The hardest part was to get started. It took me six years and I wished I’d done it sooner. Starting the process is the toughest part.”

That’s a sentiment shared by Cutchin of Ruther Glen, Va. Cutchin, who has 26 years total service in the Army, chose to become a warrant officer because he wanted to do more in the Army and thought he could have a greater impact as a warrant officer.

“If you want to become a warrant officer, make that decision and pursue it right away,” said Cutchin, who will now be assigned to Company F, 429th Brigade Support Battalion in Winchester. “It’s a long process and involves a lot of paperwork. So be decisive. Don’t think about, be about it and go after it.”

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