By Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michael Smith
Command Chief Warrant Officer
As we start another year we also start another Warrant Officer Candidate School in Salina.
We anticipate having 15 candidates — 12 from Kansas and three from Oklahoma. WOCS conducted a zero-phase class in February and March which help the candidates prepare for their upcoming class, which begins in April. The main focus of the zero phase is to verify that the candidates can pass the Army Physical Fitness Test; Teaching, Advising and Counseling officers will also conduct classes with the candidates.
This zero phase course will give the candidates a taste of what to expect for the next six months of Phase II in Salina and Phase III at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. This is also the most Military Occupational Skill-diversified class we have ever had, representing seven different specialties, including two MOSs that have never been filled within the state. If you are interested or know someone who is interested in becoming a Warrant Officer please contact me at 785-646-0034 or Chief Warrant Officer 3 Will Nicoll at 785-338-0243.
If you are currently enrolled in a distance learning course and waiting to attend a warrant officer residence course, I ask that you complete the DL course as soon as you can. Don’t wait until the last minute. Also remember the APFT is nonnegotiable. Do not attend a course unless you are 100 percent sure of passing.
If you have not enrolled in your next level of Professional Military Education course and have met the prerequisites, please enroll. Classes are beginning to fill-up already for training year 2020. Other than the Warrant Officer Senior Service Education Course, enrolling into your PME courses are first-come, first-served basis. You are competing nationwide for open seats, so don’t wait!
Becoming a warrant officer is a great honor and a privilege. The warrant officer’s role has been changing over the last 10-20 years, and although once known as the quiet professionals, today we are leaders, systems integrators, and subject matter experts all rolled into one. One can argue that we are no longer that quiet, but we are still leaders.
Leadership has become the single most important factor in today’s Army. Remember, you are not just technical experts anymore. You are leaders in today’s wartime Army. The warrant officer has served since July 9, 1918, and has evolved from one specialty – the mine planter – to approximately 60 specialties throughout nearly every branch in the Army. No matter what role you are filling, whether a Black Hawk pilot conducting a low-level night-vision goggles air assault mission, or a maintenance officer overseeing the work of 50 mechanics ensuring a convoy rolls, you know that, to be successful, you will have to assert your leadership skills on a daily basis and apply all that you have learned.
We are volunteering to lead the most valuable resources our nation has – its sons and daughters. It is our responsibility to ensure that we lead them well. This will take much of our time, but we have accepted this responsibility.
As warrant officers, we constantly need to stay abreast of modernizations and changes influencing our trade, ensuring we have the most current practices used within our field. Read the regulations that apply to our specialty. We may never see the level of professional military education officered to warrant officers that is offered to others, so we must make a lifelong commitment to learning. We must know how to analyze data so we can provide the right advice at the right time. Also, we must make it our responsibility to be that warrant officer who provides timely, sound, and accurate information.
Finally, always remember that we did not get to this point in our lives alone. I am certain that many, if not all, of you sought out someone’s advice, counsel, and mentorship. Mentorship is one of the keys to our success, so please don’t forget to pass it down and up.
As you press ahead as Army warrant officers, always keep in mind how important it is to take the good, the bad, and the ugly that you experience and use it in a positive way to help improve and develop yourself, our organization, our cohort, and our Army.
Again, thank you all for your support and service, and if at any time you need help or have a question, please let me know.