Warrant Officers must understand key Army National Guard tasks

By Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michael Smith
Command Chief Warrant Officer

I’m deviating from the Warrant Officer centric discussion this month to explain the key tasks to make the Warrant Officer Cohort and the Kansas Army National Guard stronger.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michael Smith
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michael Smith

Sustained Readiness

Readiness is our #1 priority. We must be ready to fight and support what happens today and we will always prepare to fight and support tomorrow. There will be an emphasis on collective training and generating ready forces to enhance the mastery of skills that support combined arms maneuver and wide area security. To do this, units must reinvigorate the basic fundamentals of warfighting, focusing on decisive action, basic Soldier field craft, and continuous assessment of unit training plans that enable unit collective training readiness.

Soldier Care

Every day we must keep foremost in our minds our Soldiers, civilians, employers and their families. We must treat others better than you want to be treated.

Our strength depends on developing ourselves in our units through challenging training and leadership opportunities and repetitions allowing for the growth of unit readiness and unit end-strength.

Things to focus on:

  1. Annual evaluations — technical appraisals, Officer Evaluation Reports, Noncommissioned Officer Evaluation Reports and career/performance counseling
  2. Recognition — Recognize others that are doing an outstanding job
  3. Predictability — Avoid surprises
  4. Benefits — Make sure your Soldiers understand them
  5. Chaplain visits
  6. Employer Support — Recognition
  7. Family Readiness — Events, holiday gatherings, etc.
  8. Timely promotions for Soldiers

Shared Understanding

Inform and influence audiences, inside and outside the Kansas Army National Guard. Shared understanding allows for mission command and for synchronization of efforts toward the end state. Our Soldiers must always understand the intent of the mission and what is expected of them. There is never too much counseling, whether it’s formal or informal.

Strengthening Partnerships

Develop teams within the U.S. armed forces and in the communities we support. We must develop our force, and the communities they serve and live in. The days of having only an inward or “unit-based” focus are gone. As part of developing a professional force, we will develop partnerships throughout our sphere of influence.

Finally, the Kansas Regional Training Institute had its Warrant Officer Training Corps U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command accreditation this past June. It passed with a score of 100 percent. Additionally, several of the processes Kansas has developed are being recommended for implementation into the federal WOCS program. The KS WOCS program continues to set the standard, and has truly proven itself.

Thanks you to the 235th Regiment for their support. I especially thank Chief Warrant Officer 3 David Lockhart, WOCS battalion course manager; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ronnie Fankhauser and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Mike Whisler, training, advising and counseling officers; and instructors Chief Warrant Officer 4 Sandra Lashley, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brent Campbell, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Abra Cloyd, and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Sean Litherland for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a warrant officer, please call me at 785-646-1903 or email Michael.w.smith293.mil@mail.mil.