News: Junior warrant officer brings unique experience to Silver Scimitar
Story by Sgt. David Turner
FORT DEVENS, Mass. – Silver Scimitar brings together soldiers from many backgrounds and components, but Warrant Officer Christina Colby adds her unique experience to the annual training event.
Colby is the first chairperson of the Junior Warrant Officers’ Action Committee, a newly created organization sponsored by the U.S. Warrant Officer’s Association. After 12 years as an enlisted soldier, she was appointed as a warrant officer and quickly got involved in the association to help her peers.
“We bring any issues for junior warrant officers forward for action, so they are supported and have a voice,” said Colby.
Unlike most of the soldiers, who attend Silver Scimitar 2012 as a unit, Colby is the lone representative this year from the California National Guard. Her involvement in the Warrant Officers’ Association was, in fact, what brought her to Silver Scimitar. She found out about the event through the association, and since she’s scheduled to deploy soon with her Guard unit, the exercise presented a perfect opportunity to prepare for the upcoming mission.
Colby has spent her entire military career in the Active Guard Reserve program, working full-time in Sacramento as a battalion administrator for the California National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Command. Recently, however, she decided to leave that post for the chance to deploy with the 3rd Battalion, 140th Aviation Regiment, based in Stockton, Calif. It was an opportunity she wouldn’t have had with her previous job.
“They’re non-deployable, so you don’t get that option to go,” she said. “So when I was asked; when they needed this position filled, I was really excited to be able to do it.”
The California Guard unit is scheduled to deploy to Kosovo as part of the U.N. peacekeeping mission there, and now that she’s a member of the 3/140th, Colby is eager to use her skills as a human resources professional to help her team in that mission.
“I’m completely focused on taking care of my soldiers and my unit,” she said.
Silver Scimitar has given Colby a unique opportunity to work alongside other HR soldiers, and to see how they work as a team. And having trainers who bring their knowledge straight from the battlefield makes it practical and relevant, she said.
“That’s the great part about Silver Scimitar, it’s the fact that we’re all sharing different experiences,” said Colby. “The subject-matter experts have been invaluable. We sit down and we have a ‘lessons learned’ block of instruction where we just got to ask questions and share stuff that wasn’t necessarily in the regulations or in the books.”
Colby said attending Silver Scimitar has both increased her knowledge of the HR field, as well as connected her to a growing network of junior warrant officers. It’s an opportunity she might not have experienced anywhere else, she said.
“This is the best training I’ve ever received in my 14 years of service in the military, with all the schools that I’ve been to,” she said.