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Warrant officers mark 90 years with Army (posted with permission from author)

Information about promotion to CW2

Army Times Article "Show me the money 

Army Times Article  "You want to go warrant?  Here's how 

Selling yourself on the OER Support Form  (You will need Word to view this file)       

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE ATLDP FILE HERE (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)  The file is 1.25 MB in size, (it might take a while to download).                     

USAWOA Newsliner article:  "Now is the time for change:  The direct appointment option for National Guard Warrant Officers."                                                                     

Warrant Officer Pay Information                                                                                    

Show me the money

By Jim Tice
Times staff writer

Pay and promotions play prominently in any NCO’s decision to apply for a warrant officer appointment. both are better for warrant officers. But some soldiers, particularly senior NCOs, take a risk — and short-term pay hit — when they go warrant.

Promotion opportunity generally makes going warrant a no-brainer. primary zone select rates for the senior NCO ranks over the past year were 33.6 percent for E7, 17.8 percent for E8 and 14.8 percent for E9. Comparable rates for the chief warrant officer ranks were 85 percent for CW3, 88 percent for CW4 and 31 percent for CW5.

Promotions to CW2 are decentralized and occur automatically at 24 months time-in-grade, unless a commander delays or denies it. Conversely, soldiers striving for staff sergeant chevrons have to compete for advancements under the monthly cutoff score system.

The career red flag for many soldiers considering going warrant is job security.

Staff sergeants and promotable sergeants are tenured to 20 years of service, a virtual lock-in for retirement pay. Warrants do not enjoy a tenure guarantee. federal law mandates involuntary separation of warrant officers twice passed over for promotion. But because the Army has a shortage of senior warrant officers, particularly CW4s, it routinely has exercised its authority to retain passed-over warrant officers in recent years.

Personnel officials say the Army intends to continue that policy, but it’s not guaranteed.

However, soldiers of all ranks, including warrant officers, who reach 18 years of service are locked in for retirement eligibility, provided they are fully qualified for service.

The pay’s the thing

Retirement pay is, perhaps, an NCO’s biggest pocketbook attraction to becoming a warrant officer, says Chief Warrant Officer 3 Mark Meyer, chief of the Army’s warrant officer recruiting team.

“It’s the bottom line,” he said.

Based on pay scales now in effect, a CW3 who retires at 20 years of service will draw $1,982 per month, $453 more than a sergeant first class with an equivalent amount of service. a CW5 with 30 years of service receives $4,108, or $758 more than a sergeant major with equal service.

Those differences are even more substantial when factored over a lifetime of retirement pay. Defense Department statistics show a sergeant first class who puts in a 20-year career will collect $407,207 in retirement pay over the average lifespan of 80 years of age, while a retired CW3 will collect nearly $129,000 more — $536,644.

That’s 32 percent more retirement pay. At the top end of the career chain, a retired sergeant major with 30 years in will collect $745,839 in retirement pay; a retired CW5 will haul in nearly $1 million — $935,758, to be precise.

Active-duty base pay is markedly better for warrants, too. A WO1 with 10 years’ service makes $48,946 in base pay; a sergeant first class with the same time in uniform makes $45,939. The pay rates for warrants outpace those of NCOs as they increase in seniority. For a CW2 with 12 years service, annual compensation is $53,552, while sergeant first class pay only increases to $49,955.

Federal law financially protects enlisted soldiers who jump to warrant by mandating that they don’t lose base pay in the process. The catch, however, is that the law does not apply to special pays, resulting in a net loss — at least initially — for some senior NCOs who go warrant.

“I came in as a sergeant first class with 10½ years of service, and until I went over the 12-year point, I lost about $90 per month,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 (P) Troy Davis, of Recruiting Command. “It wasn’t the basic pay, it was the quarters allowance and separate rations.”

In its recent report to Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army Training and Leader Development Panel recommended that warrant officers with prior enlisted service be given the same kind of pay supplements that go to lieutenants and captains with four or more years of enlisted service.

Since being authorized in 1958, these supplements are expressed as special rate pay grades 01E, 02E and 03E. Currently the special rates are 21 percent higher than the regular rates for second lieutenants, first lieutenants and captains without four or more years of enlisted service.

A Pentagon process action team is reviewing a proposal by the panel to apply this same pay formula to warrant officers in grades WO1 through CW3 who have prior enlisted service.

“This change will help redress the downward trend in pay difference between warrant officers and noncommissioned officers,” the panelists said in their report to Shinseki. 

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Issue Date: October 21, 2002

You want to go warrant? Here’s how

By Jim Tice
Times staff writer

There are training and job opportunities this year in 40 military occupational specialties for qualified enlisted soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who want to become U.S. Army warrant officers.

Eligibility rules, application procedures and application forms can be downloaded from the Warrant Officer Recruiting Web site.

Selection boards will meet Nov. 12-15 and Jan. 13-17 at Recruiting Command headquarters, Fort Knox, Ky. Successful applicants will attend the six-week Warrant Officer Candidate Course at Fort Rucker, Ala., a few months after the board adjourns. Graduates of the course are appointed conditionally to the rank of warrant officer 1, and assigned to a branch basic course for training and certification in their military occupational specialty. Permanent appointment to WO1 is contingent upon an officer graduating from his basic course.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Mark Meyer said the Army is particularly interested in soliciting applications for aviation, military intelligence, criminal investigation and Special Forces. Meyer is chief of the team that recruits enlisted service members for the warrant program. The goal this year is to recruit 643 NCOs for the technical-services specialties and 350 junior enlisteds and NCOs for aviation.

All applicants must be U.S. citizens, have a score of 110 or higher on the General Technical test, have a high school diploma or the equivalent, have a secret security clearance and be in compliance with the Army’s medical, physical-fitness and weight-control standards.

There are no rank, specialty or prior training requirements for service members who want to become pilots. But aviation applicants must be 18 to 29 years old; pass a Class 1A flight physical; have distant visual acuity of 20/50 or better, correctable to 20/20; and score 90 or higher on the 176-point Alternate Flight Aptitude Selection Test.

“There is a study going on now for LASIK and PRK (eye) surgery,” Meyer said. “Applicants can have the surgery done on their own, or through the Army, and then wait 90 days for the eyes to heal, and they can apply.”

Meyer also said people who score less than 90 on the aptitude test can retest once after six months. Soldiers should prepare for the test — a measurement of special aptitudes, personality and background characteristics — by reading DA Pamphlet 611-256-2 (FAST Information Pamphlet).

Applicants for the technical services MOSs must be graduates of a Basic NCO Course, be in the rank of sergeant or higher, have four to six years of experience in the career field for which they are applying and be younger than 46 years old.

Technical-services applicants also must meet specific rank, experience and prior-training requirements of the proponent agency for their specialty, which typically is a branch service school. For specific requirements, potential applicants should access the MOS prerequisites link on the Recruiting Command Web site.

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NOW IS THE TIME FOR CHANGE:  THE DIRECT APPOINTMENT OPTION FOR NATIONAL GUARD WARRANT OFFICERS                                                                    posted:  20 August 2002   

Published in the August 2002 USAWOA NEWSLINER

At the recent Army National Guard (ARNG) Command Chief Warrant Officer (CCWO) Conference it became clear to me that an all out effort must be made to bring about change in how we assess Warrant Officers in the Reserve Components (RC).

I only write regarding the (ARNG) in this article.  In addition, I do not speak for the ARNG CCWO or for the Command Chief Warrant Officer Senior Advisory Council (CCWOSAC). Their Official positions on this matter may differ from mine.  However, they and others in the ARNG believe strongly in an Alternative appointment option for the ARNG.

The guard has reached a critical level in Warrant Officer shortages.  Facts to reinforce this recommendation will be listed later, but let me clear up some of the misunderstanding that has been brought to my attention.

"Direct Appointment" as proposed is not the way it was prior to 1986. It will be for Non Commissioned officers (NCO) in grade Sergeant First Class through Command Sergeant Major, (E7 - E9) who have completed Advanced NonCommissioned Officer Course (ANCOC) in a required feeder Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of the Warrant Officer MOS in which the appointment will be.  All other existing requirements will remain the same.

The critical need to implement a direct appointment initiative for selected highly qualified senior NCO is based on the decrease in Warrant Officer position fill over the last fourteen years.  During this time, the position fill has dropped from 9,923 in 1988 to 7,474 as of February 2002.

Technical service Warrant Officer fill is the most critical and has the most adverse effect on personnel readiness.  As of February 2002, there is a 69% fill of technical service Warrant Officers at 3,852, which results in a shortage of 1,693.  Shortages are severe in Special Forces at 29% of fill, as well as Military Intelligence at 34% of fill.  Field Artillery stands at 56% of fill, while Ordnance and Quartermaster are at 68% and 69% respectively.

There are 520 projected gains per year over the next nine years.  However, because of projected retirements and other losses, the net result will be a loss of 175 per year.  The current Warrant Officer population of 7,474 includes 2,510 (34%) who are age 51 and older.  Projections show an increase in the average age of the Warrant Officer population in the future, which will exacerbate the impact on assigned strength.

Commissioned Officers currently have five commissioning sources: USMA, ROTC, Federal OCS, State OCS, and Direct Commissioning.  The Warrant Officer Corps has one appointment source, this being Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS) at Fort Rucker, Alabama.  We have not been able to provide an adequate number candidates to meet the needs of the ARNG through this one appointment source.

The current WOCS does an outstanding job in training and assessing ARNG enlisted soldiers in grades E5 and E6.  It should continue to be the primary means of accessioning warrant officers in the ARNG in these mid-level enlisted grades.  The number of ARNG candidates in grades E7 and above currently attending this course is relatively small, therefore the impact of a portion of these candidates not attending would be nominal.

The demographics of the ARNG, because of the stability of its membership and community based nature, are such that there is a large population of highly experienced enlisted soldiers in grades E7 and above.  In most cases, these senior NCO's have served more than 10 years in their military occupational specialties.  In addition, they have completed leadership training through Advanced NonCommissioned Officer Course (ANCOC).  As such, they are highly qualified to lead soldiers and are proficient in there MOS.

Senior NCOs (E7-E9) bring a greater degree of technical skills and proven leadership experience. They will not, however, apply for WOCS in large numbers because of their reluctance to return to a "basic training" type environment in the WOCS.  Creating a program for senior NCOs is a readiness multiplier because warrant officers appointed by this method will immediately contribute to a commander's mission requirements.

The benefit that E5 and E6 graduates offer potential for longer career is offset by the need for several years experience before they can become as equally effective leader and technical asset. Senior NCO appointments will satisfy the need for technical service Warrant Officers as well as increase the overall experience in an active status until age 60 with an extension available to age 62, therefore, many direct appointment Warrant Officers will be able to serve as valuable resource for 20 years or more.

The current WOCS program of instruction provides 65% of the common core subjects already received by enlisted soldiers during PLDC, BNCOC, and ANCOC.  This is an unnecessary duplication of training.  

A fifteen-day Warrant Officer Candidate Transition Course - Reserve Component (WOCTC-RC) could be developed and conducted at Fort Rucker, Alabama, for direct appointments.  Such a course could provide instruction on the remaining subjects as well as the appropriate "officer conduct" type training.  In addition, selected courses would be conducted by distance learning or extension course prior to attendance at WOCTC-RC, to ensure all subject matter is covered by the end of the 15 day period.

The recent civilian-contracted Warrant Officer Study, completed for NGB-ART, found that enlisted soldiers in grade E6 and above felt that a direct appointment option was needed.  The requirement to attend WOCS was noted as the single greatest deterrent to pursuing a Warrant Officer career with 60% feeling that WOCS involves too much time adversely impacting on family and civilian employment.

In order to remedy this serious situation, we must implement a direct appointment option for senior ARNG noncommissioned officers in grade E7 and above who have completed ANCOC.

It would be required that each applicant under this program meet the same standards established by NGR 600-101, as those that qualify to attend the Warrant Officer Candidate School.  In addition, each applicant must attend the Warrant Officer Candidate Transition Course conducted at Fort Rucker, Alabama, for 15 days within one year of appointment by the Federal Recognition Board.

This will reduce the active duty training requirement by 15 days, thereby enhancing Warrant Officer recruiting therefore personnel readiness within the Army National Guard.

By:  CW5 Howard C. Haider

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WARRANT OFFICER PAY: The majority of pay raises in the past have been targeted to the enlisted force. The pay raises did not provide a corresponding adjustment to Warrant Officer Pay.  The result was enlisted pay was drawing closer to Warrant Officer pay.  This is known as pay compression.

Pay compression is even more pronounced when non taxable allowances and specialty pay is added to the equation.  To further complicate the issue, the difference in pay as a senior non-commissioned officer and warrant officer diminishes as one moves up the rank and out in years of service.

The present situation adversely affects both the recruitment of new warrant officers from the enlisted ranks, and the retention of senior warrant officers.  A career minded NCO looking at both the present and proposed pay tables, will likely ask: "Why should I seek the added responsibilities, and an unknown career path when I can increase my rank and pay as an NCO?"

The solution to this problem is to adjust the proposed pay tables so that a typical warrant officers entry pay is increased over the enlisted force.  Furthermore, adjust the pay tables so that the difference in pay as one moves up in rank and out in years in service increases.

You can get more information regarding the pay issues on this website (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) or on this page.

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