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    NY Army National Guard marks 100 years of Warrant Officers

    New York Army National Guard Celebrates Warrant Officer Corps Centennial

    Photo By Sgt. Andrew Valenza | New York National Guard Soldiers sing the Army Song during the 100th Warrant Officer...... read more read more



    Story by Eric Durr 

    New York National Guard

    LATHAM, N.Y.--The New York Army National Guard marked the 100th birthday of the Army’s Warrant Officer Corps with a short ceremony on Monday, July 9.

    Major General Anthony German, the Adjutant General, and other leaders, along with warrant officers working in the New York National Guard headquarters, took time out of their schedule to mark the centennial of the Army Warrant Office Corps.

    In today’s Army warrant officers are highly specialized technical experts in fields ranging from intelligence, to maintenance, to personnel management. They’re also helicopters pilots and can command detachments and generally run the Army’s fleet of ocean and water craft.

    They account for about three percent of the Army’s force and stand between the enlisted ranks and officer corps in the Army’s rank structure.

    Being a warrant officer means being a “pioneer” when it comes to implementing new systems and new technologies said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Kelly Fancher, a personnel expert in the New York Army National Guard’s military personnel office.

    Warrant officers are the ones charged with making sure systems work and teaching others, she said.

    The New York Army National Guard currently has 237 warrant officers out of a total force of just under 10,000 Soldiers, said Command Chief Warrant Officer Jacqueline O’Keefe.

    The state is authorized 305 warrant officers but there is a shortage of personnel in some of the highly technical military intelligence and signal corps slots, she said.

    Warrant officers have a long history.

    In the British Royal Navy they were the skilled sailors who often sailed ships under the direction of more well-breed but not as experience royal navy commissioned officers. In the U.S. Navy, warrant officers have always been technical specialists whose skills and knowledge were an essential part of running a ship.

    The Army Warrant Officer Corps traces its history back to headquarters clerks created in 1896 to help run the Army. They were initially considered civilians but eventually they were given military status.

    But July 9, 1918 is the official birthday of the Army Warrant Officer Corps because that is the day that congress established the Army Mine Planter Service; Soldiers charged with using floating ocean mines to protect key American waterways and harbors.

    The act gave the Army the authority to create 40 Warrant officers who would serve as masters, mates chief engineers and assistant engineers on the ships and boats that would be used to plant the mines.

    Congress created only one warrant officer rank, but it did authorize different pay scales for masters, first mates, second mates and marine engineers.

    In 1918 the defense of American harbors and ports was the responsibility of the Army’s Coast Artillery Corps. These Soldiers manned massive 12-inch, or 14-inch guns designed to destroy approaching enemy battleships.

    But experience in World War I showed that submarines and small boats could sneak into a harbor and lay anti-ship mines which could do tremendous damage. The best way to stop these was for the defending force to lay their own minefield.

    The Army had begun using civilians to man ships and boats to lay these minefields, but decided that it would be better to have Soldiers command the ships. The Army created a school at Fort Monroe, Virginia to train these Army Soldiers turned sailors.

    In 1920, Congress expanded the Warrant Officer program. Warrant officers were approved for clerical, administrative, and band leading activities.

    The law authorized 1,120 warrant officers, provided for appointments in the Army-at-large rather than in specific branches and established warrant officer assignments in various headquarters and tactical units.

    According to the law another reason for creating more warrant officers was “ a desire to reward enlisted men of long service and also to reward former commissioned officers of World War I who lacked either the educational or other eligibility requirements necessary for continuance in the commissioned status."

    Entering the warrant officer program was a way for him to further his military career said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Joshua Rowinski.

    He had been serving as a sergeant and being a warrant officer looked like a great way to get ahead, he added.

    Rowinski is a mobility warrant officer assigned to the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade. His specialty is knowing how to move people and equipment and making sure everything gets there on time.

    In civilian life he is an engineer for the New York State Department of Transportation.

    Currently he is on active duty working as the logistics officer for the New York Homeland Response Force.

    The Homeland Response Force, or HRF, is trained to respond to emergencies with a trained headquarters, security force, and chemical, radiological, biological and nuclear recovery and rescue team. His role, Rowinski said, is to keep the plans needed to move that force current.

    Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michael Zanghi, the New York Army National Guard State Aviation warrant officer, said his role is to help the commissioned force do their job and mentor other aviators. “I’m a go between, “ he said.

    Chief Warrant Officer 4 Timothy Schultz, has served as an intelligence warrant officer since 1994.

    His job is to manage and mentor the troops who help collect information on enemy forces and let the commander know what his or her opponent is up to.

    He became a warrant officer because of the opportunities, Shultz said.

    “I like to mentor, I like to train, and I like to lead from the front,” he said.



    Date Taken: 07.09.2018
    Date Posted: 07.09.2018 15:12
    Story ID: 283607
    Location: LATHAM, NY, US 

    Web Views: 192
    Downloads: 0