News: Warrant Officer Corps celebrates 94th birthday
Story by Sgt. Peter Berardi
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — Adding another year of illustrious service to the U.S. Army, July 9, 2012 represents the 94th birthday of the Warrant Officer Corps. Warrant officers are highly skilled specialty officers that serve as technical experts, providing valuable skills, guidance and expertise to their commanders.
Warrant officers originated before Christopher Columbus, said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Raymond Wolf, a resident of Beaver, Pa. “Warrants got their start as commoners operating a specific technical aspect of a vessel and eventually warranted being an officer because of their technical expertise and functional knowledge,” said Wolf a member of the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). In today’s Army the warrant officer corps has grown to over 25,000 service members working in more than 40 branches. These branches cover many things including air traffic control technician, legal administrator, ammunition technician and special forces warrant officer.
“I feel that warrants bridge the gap between officers – the planners – and non-commissioned officers – the doers – with our years of technical experience and knowledge in a specific path,” said Wolf. Being the material readiness branch chief for the 316th ESC it is Wolf’s job to give the commander visibility on equipment readiness of units under its control so that future operations may be planned accordingly. “We are to support the commander with technical knowledge and solutions, not be in the spotlight and not to seek recognition,” he added. I believe that our role in the Army is very important, not only for our expertise but also for our ability to mentor, train and assist soldiers of all ranks.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Raymond Davis, a resident of Rohnert Park, Calif., was a staff sergeant but felt he had more to offer and could better serve the Army with his technical knowledge and experience by being a warrant officer. “I feel the Army needs the warrant officer corps. With our high level of technical expertise we fulfill more specific technical roles that officers and non-commissioned officers aren’t necessarily qualified for.” said Davis, a member of the 316th ESC material readiness branch. Davis is a fleet manager and focuses on mitigating maintenance issues for units under the control of the 316th ESC. “I find the job of a warrant officer very rewarding and have had the 17 best years of my career as one,” he added.
“The great thing about being a warrant officer in my mind is that you are permitted to focus on your area of,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mike Godfrey, a resident of Ghent, W. Va. Working in the 316th ESC’s ammunition branch Godfrey manages ammunition operations throughout the commands area of operations. “As enlisted I would see many avenues that I wanted to affect but couldn’t, I felt as if could do far better and have more of an impact if I became a warrant officer,” added Godfrey. “You know that you are counted on as a subject matter expert and valued for your insight and opinion.”
“We have a lot of vacancies in many warrant officer fields for non-commissioned officers, so if you are looking to be a subject matter expert in your technical field we would love to have you join our ranks,” said Wolf.