News: Brother finds motivation on path to warrant officer
Story by Sgt. Angela Parady
AUGUSTA, Maine - “I think it is awesome,” said Joseph. “I can’t wait until I get pilot in command so I can fly with him. It is pretty cool. Not many people have the opportunity to fly side by side with their brother, so I consider myself pretty blessed for this.”
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joseph Emery is a pilot with Charlie Company, 1/126 Aviation Regiment. His younger brother, Warrant Officer Candidate Nick Emery left for Fort Rucker in early November so that he too could take the first step in becoming a pilot. Nick, who said he had always looked up to his big brother, first joined the Maine National guard six years ago. At that time, he needed something more fulfilling in his life than he was getting from his college classes.
Nick has been working on the electronic systems on the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for Charlie Company. When he returns from flight school, he will be able to fly. His brother is more than happy to share his experiences with Nick, but at the same time, a bit worried his brother might do better than him.
“My brother and I, we are very competitive,” said Joseph. “I am sure that whatever I did in warrant officer candidate school, he will try to one up me. It’s good for him, a challenge. But I am going to have to dig up all my old grades, just to make sure. It’s just part of who we are.”
Joseph didn’t start out wanting to fly. He enlisted 11 years ago as a cook. Then after his first deployment, he requested a transfer to an infantry unit. After his second deployment, he decided he might want to be a pilot.
“The decision to go from infantry to pilot, was based on my experience with the last deployment and working with the helicopters,” said Joseph. “Not working on them, but having them bring us places, drop things off for us and provide cover for us, I really got to see their role in the mission. It has definitely been an evolution for me, deploying as a cook and seeing the infantrymen and saying, wow that’s awesome, I want to do that! Then I went as infantry and I saw what the pilots did and said, wow that’s cool, I want to do that! I think that’s it for me though, I don’t want to do anything else except fly helicopters.”
That passion for flying seems to have influenced his brother Nick as well. Nick enlisted as a heavy construction equipment operator, joining the 262nd Engineer Company in Belfast. When the 126th was preparing to deploy, he made the transfer in order to go with them.
“I really love being in this unit. The people are awesome, we all get along,” he said about his first experiences with Charlie Company. “I love working on helicopters. Think about it, I get to work on helicopters as part of my normal job. That’s not a normal job, that’s cool! I have that enthusiasm. I mean it’s so cool being around the helicopters, working on them all the time.”
Being deployed with the 126th meant Nick had a lot of time to spend with current warrant officers and pilots. Before Kuwait, he had thought about it, but had never really pursued it. There, he started actively looking into the program requirements.
“I realized, I really wanted to fly,” said Nick. “I have always had a passion for flight. Just seeing them take off is a really cool thing, but I want to do it. I want to be in the cockpit and I want to fly. I never thought I could actually be a pilot, but then I checked the standards, I got all of the information, and realized, hey I can really do this.”
Both brothers, who grew up in Whitefield, chose to go into the warrant officer program because of their reputation as being experts in their field. They both wanted to be experts at flying. Because of the unique structure of the program which works though levels of expertise through assignments, training and education, aviation warrants tend to be able to spend more time in a helicopter training other pilots as they progress, rather than having to give up flight time for other duties.
To obtain an aviation warrant, any candidate must have proof of U.S. citizenship, a 110 on the general technical testing, high school graduate, secret to top secret security clearance, pass the flight physical and be no older than 33 years of age. Technical warrants must be no older than 46. After retaking the test and completing the flight physical, Nick worked with Chief Warrant Officer 2 Carlo Paratore and Chief Warrant Officer 5 Darryl Stevens to complete the packet.
“Chief Paratore and Mr. Stevens are phenomenal at their job,” he said. “They did an outstanding job making sure we were well prepared and we had everything we needed. “
While they did that, Nick relied on his older brother for some advice on how to tackle school.
“He told me to take charge when I got there,” said Nick. “He said it’s not just a course you can slide though. You can’t keep your head down and go through the motions or you will get called on it. Be active and take on responsibility.”
Nick looks up to his older brother and is thankful to have him as a sounding board.
“He has been my role model for a long time. I have looked up to him in more ways than just the military. We have always been there for each other. He has always been there for me. We trust each other, kind of rare these days. But we can be completely honest with each other, and we have each other’s back. It is a pretty cool relationship we have because we are brothers, we are flight brothers, and soon, we will both be pilots and warrant officers. I think that’s pretty cool.”
While the two are looking forward to the opportunities ahead, Nick still has to complete warrant officer school. He carries around the Warrant Officer 1 patch in his wallet to remind him of what he’s working for. Which is to not only complete the course, but graduate with a better overall ranking than his brother.
“I have to destroy him in school,” said Nick. “I have to always one up in everything. He set the standard pretty high in school, so it will make beating him that much sweeter.”