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    Texas Counterdrug Guardsmen join Warrant Officer Corps

    Texas Counterdrug Guardsmen join Warrant Officer Corps

    Photo By Capt. Nadine Wiley De Moura | Warrant Officer Kevin Hager and Warrant Officer Marcel Ruales of the 36th Infantry...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Nadine Wiley De Moura 

    Texas Joint Counterdrug Task Force

    AUSTIN, Texas---Soldiers from the Texas National Guard Joint Counterdrug Task Force commissioned as warrant officers, April 13, 2019, at Fort McClellan, Alabama.

    Warrant Officer Kevin Hager and Warrant Officer Marcel Ruales of the 36th Infantry Division, completed the five-month-long Texas Army National Guard Warrant Officer Candidate School as part of the 19-901 cohort.

    “Becoming part of the Warrant Officer Corps, we entered a new cohort of comradery, a new family,” said Ruales. "It is an honor entering this new career and profession.”

    Soldiers must be enlisted in the National Guard or hold a qualifying Army position to apply to be a warrant officer, or have served as a warrant officer previously.

    Ruales’ journey to become a warrant officer began when he changed his military operational specialty to military intelligence 11 years ago.

    “I always wanted to be a warrant officer, but before I could do so there were a lot of prerequisites involved to commission into the field that I wanted as a warrant officer.”

    Ruales will continue in the military intelligence branch and will be a human intelligence technician, while Hager selected the field artillery branch and will be a target technician.

    “I chose to become a warrant officer because it was a really good broadening opportunity for me,” said Hager. “The Counterdrug program offered the opportunity to commission. I never thought about it until Capt. Bruce Robison, another Counterdrug officer, recommended the Warrant Officer Corps to me.”

    Robison, through Counterdrug, like with other task force members, had the opportunity to further his officer development through the Department of Defense Executive Leadership Development Program.

    The Counterdrug program provides training opportunities, mentorship and growth for enlisted, warrant officers and officers that would not be feasible as a traditional Guardsmen.

    The program allows for Soldiers and Airmen to build relationships among each other, law enforcement and the community which enhances the interoperability of the Texas National Guard statewide.

    There are a total of 11 warrant officers who serve with the Counterdrug program.

    In the past, due to the technical expertise requirements, not all occupations provided a path to the Warrant Officer Corps.

    “Two years prior the Army opened field artillery to infantrymen, so I went after it,” said Hager.

    Hager made the commandant’s list as a result of his physical fitness test and exam scores.

    Both candidates attributed their success to teamwork amongst each other and within the cohort.

    “The cohort is a tight group that you can always rely on for help,” said Hager. “If they can’t help they point you in the right direction. The entire class worked together to get through.”

    During the course, the candidates were assigned to staff duty positions that they are not familiar with and were required to rely on another’s technical expertise to accomplish their assignments.

    “I really enjoyed this course,” said Ruales. “The most challenging part is that on the state level there are a lot of logistical considerations and traveling involved.”

    The class commissioned a total of six Texas Army National Guard warrant officers.

    While basic branch officers assume the Guard’s general management roles, warrant officers serve as technical and tactical experts, as the leader of a team and are highly trained in their field.

    “The hardest part was un-learning how to be a non-commissioned officer,” said Hager. “It is different because as a warrant officer you are no longer the doer, you are the planner.”

    For more information on becoming a technical warrant officer, contact Warrant Officer Paul McCallister at For information on becoming an Aviation Warrant Officer contact Chief Warrant Officer 2 Christopher Cordero at



    Date Taken: 09.17.2019
    Date Posted: 09.17.2019 17:00
    Story ID: 341636
    Location: AUSTIN, TX, US 

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