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History of the Army
Warrant Officer Corps

(Page 5)

1-7. Modernization (1975-1994)

In 1974, Warrant Officer Division was created at MILPERCEN (Military Personnel Center), now PERSCOM, to provide centralized career management for all but Judge Advocate General and Medical Corps warrant officers, who continued to be managed independently by their own proponencies.

Additional Notes: In 1978, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve warrant officers not on active duty were integrated into the Army's professional development program. This was necessary to satisfy the recognized need for qualified, highly trained individuals available to augment the active warrant officer corps rapidly in time of emergencies.

In 1984, the Chief of Staff chartered a Total Warrant Officer Study (TWOS) and the Vice Chief of Staff directed that all direct appointments cease and that a Warrant Officer Candidate Course be established at Fort Sill.

Recommendations from the TWOS study were eventually approved by the Army Chief of Staff and resulted in a new definition of the warrant officer as:

"An officer appointed by warrant by the Secretary of the Army based upon a sound level of technical and tactical competence. The warrant officer is the highly specialized expert and trainer who, by gaining progressive levels of expertise and leadership, operates, maintains, administers, and manages the Army's equipment, support activities, or technical systems for an entire career."

Additional Notes: A whole new era for warrant officers began when the Chief of Staff, Army chartered the Department of the Army Total Warrant Officer Study Group in September 1984. This was the first Department of the Army-level comprehensive study of warrant officer management from preappointment to retirement. It spanned the Total Army, both active and reserve.

The culmination of TWOS was the passage of the Warrant Officer Management Act (WOMA) as part of the FY 1992 and 1993 National Defense Authorization Act and approval of the Warrant Officer Leader Development Action Plan (WOLDAP) in 1992. On 5 December 1991, WOMA went into effect. WOMA is a major revision of title 10, USC, and is the current basis for management of the active duty Warrant Officer Corps. Key provisions of the law include--

  a. A single promotion system for warrant officers.

  b. Tenure requirements based upon years of warrant officer service.

  c. The grade of CW5.

  d. Authorization for the Secretary of the Army to convene boards to recommend warrant officers for selective mandatory retirement.

NOTE: The next two items (paragraph e and f) are incorrectly listed as provisions of WOMA. They were implemented approximately the same time as WOMA, but were policy changes resulting from the TWOS, not changes in law.

  e. Coding of positions in authorization documents by rank grouping.

  f. Automatic Regular Army (RA) integration at the CW3 level.

WOLDAP was approved by the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, on 27 February 1992. WOLDAP is a total Army plan designed to ensure both active and reserve warrant officers are appointed, trained, and utilized to a single standard. Key provisions of WOLDAP include:

   (1) An accession goal of 8 years or less time in service for warrant officer candidates.

   (2) Establishment of a comprehensive warrant officer education system.

   (3) Conditional appointment to WO1 upon successful completion of warrant officer candidate school.

   (4) Civilian education goals of an associate degree before eligibility for promotion to CW3 and a bachelors degree before eligibility for promotion to CW4.

   (5) Establishment of the Warrant Officer Career Center (WOCC)

   (6) Pinpoint assignments for CW5s.

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Information Courtesy of U.S. Army

 

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