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How To Become A Warrant Officer

If you’ve enlisted in the military, chances are you’re looking to do a good job and promote as you can. In fact, you may already have your sights on attaining the rank and pay grade of a warrant officer. Each branch of the military has warrant officers as part of their organizations. Each branch has different specifications and qualifications for eligibility to become a warrant officer, and each branch of the military uses its warrant officers in various capacities.

How long Does It Take To Become A Warrant Officer

The ranks of warrant officer fit in the middle of commissioned officers (grades 0-1 to 0-10) and enlisted members, including non-commissioned officers, officer candidates, cadets and midshipmen (E9 and below). Their pay grades are W1-W5, meaning there are five grades of Warrant Officer that military members can obtain, but the classification varies in each service. For instance, in the Army, there is only Warrant Officer One (W-1), and then past that, Warrant Officers move into Chief Warrant Officer ranks, classified as Chief Warrant Officers Two through Five but at pay grades of W-2 through W-5.

Warrant Officers’ ranks, like commissioned officers, are authorized by Congress, and typically the secretary of each branch of the military will approve a warrant rank. The President of the United States commissions Chief Warrant Officers (CW-2 to CW-5), and, like commissioned officers, warrant officers and chief warrant officers take oaths.

To become a Warrant Officer, all eligible candidates must complete basic training and MOS training in their respective branches, and they must typically also achieve the paygrade of E-6 or higher to be considered. This typically takes six to eight years unless you’ve joined the military already possessing a four-year college degree. In those instances, one may enter the military as an E-4, and achieve the rank of Warrant Officer within three to five years, depending on the needs of the service.

How To Become A Warrant Officer Army

In 2019, the Warrant Officer corps/cohort celebrated its 101st birthday. On July 9, 1918, Congress established the Army Mine Planter Service as part of the Coast Artillery Corps. At that time, 40 Warrant Officers were designated to serve as technical specialists, masters and assistant engineers. Though Congress authorized only one rank of Warrant Officer at that time, the history and legacy of Army Warrant Officers have grown.

How To Become A Warrant Officer In The Army

To become a Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army, you must have specialized training in a specific career field. Typically one must have five to eight years of service as well. To be considered for the Warrant Officer board selection process, one must pass rigorous physical fitness tests, participate and successfully complete military leadership courses through the years in service, and have letters of recommendation from senior officers in their field. If a soldier meets these requirements, they can apply for the process and have an appointed selection board review their package. If selected, the soldier will attend and must successfully complete Army Warrant Officer Candidate School.

How To Become A Chief Warrant Officer In The Army

The process to become a Chief Warrant Officer in the Army involves more specialized training and focus in the field. After the pay grade of Warrant Officer One (W1) is achieved, officers appointed by warrants turn into Chief Warrant Officers as ordered and assigned by the President. A Chief Warrant Officer (CW2-CW5) is a leader, trainer and manager and typically is eligible for this pay grade after two to four years in service as a Warrant Officer.

How To Become A Warrant Officer In The National Guard

The selection process to become a Warrant Officer in The National Guard is similar to that of the Army. Those considering becoming Warrant Officers in the National Guard must be enlisted in the Army National Guard, or have served as a Warrant Officer previously. They then must talk to their State/Territory/District of Columbia Warrant Officer Strength Manager (WOSM) to find out if they meet the qualifications for a Warrant Officer in the National Guard. If so, the candidate will complete a Predetermination Packet. If this is approved, the candidate will attend Warrant Officer Candidate School and upon successful completion, be commissioned as a Warrant Officer in the National Guard.

How To Become A Warrant Officer In The Navy

The Navy discontinued the rank/grade of Warrant Officer One (W-1) in 1975, but in 2019, brought the grade back for specialized cyber positions. After 1975, the ranks of Chief Warrant Officer existed in paygrades W2-W5. To become a Chief Warrant Officer in the Navy, one must be a Chief Petty Officer and achieved pay grade E7-E9, though E-6 sailors may be considered if that sailor is a selectee for Chief Petty Officer or will be.

Chief Warrant Officer candidates must have completed at least 12 years of service, must have good moral character as designated by review and no disciplinary actions. They must meet physical requirements and must have endorsements from their Commanding Officers. An In-Service Procurement Selection Board reviews all applications to the Warrant Officer Program and then makes selections typically about three months after the board meets.

How To Become A Warrant Officer In The Marines

To become a Warrant Officer in the Marine Corps, enlisted Marines must have achieved the rank of Sergeant. The appointment of Warrant Officer in the Marines comes after recommendations from their commanding officer, as well as the meeting of aptitude tests, physical fitness eligibility and board selection. If selected, Marines will attend the Warrant Officer Basic Course in Quantico, Virginia. After the successful completion of the 16-week school, they’ll be appointed as Warrant Officers.

How To Become A Warrant Officer In The Coast Guard

Members of the Coast Guard who are looking to become Warrant Officers may only do so after they’ve achieved the pay grade of E-6. There is no specific pay grade for Warrant Officer, as in the Navy, but Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CWO2) starts at pay grade W-2. To become a Chief Warrant Officer, one must have specific and specialized training in their field and must score well service-wide to show expertise. Coasties must have at least eight years of active duty service, meet physical fitness requirements and eligibility, and must be selected for appointment from a selection board, typically requiring a Commanding Officer’s recommendation.

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