Leadership: October 22, 2002



The Army is trying to convince more career sergeants to seek warrant officer rank for duty as technicians and pilots. Warrant officers exist in a twilight zone between commissioned officers and enlisted personnel. They are, at least in theory, not intended to command troops but to perform specialty jobs that merit an officer's pay. The increasing technology of the Army is requiring more and more highly paid technicians, and the Army wants to use warrants for these jobs rather than commission more lieutenants. Some changes intended to make warrant officer rank more appealing:

@ Let warrant officers wear branch insignia. Currently, all warrant officers wear a special warrant badge instead of the crossed rifles of the infantry or other branch insignia.

@ Credit warrant officers for prior enlisted time in the same way that commissioned officers are credited.

@ Make it possible for a sergeant (who, at a certain point, can expect to fulfill his 20 years for a pension) move to the warrant ranks without fear of being forced out of the Army before qualifying for that pension. 

@ Recruit sergeants for the warrant officer corps after 5-8 years of service instead of after 8-11 years.

@ Provide warrant officers with more training, and have warrants take some of the same courses that commissioned officers take so that the two communities will feel as though they are on the same team.--Stephen V Cole


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