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How necessary are Warrant Officers?

samsmart

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I think the majority of people know about enlisted servicemen, non-commissioned officers, and commissioned officers in fiction media, but I don't think very much is mentioned about warrant officers. So I have to ask: how necessary are warrant officers, and what is it exactly that they do?

Please note: I'm not saying that warrant officers are unnecessary. I'm just asking what is it about warrant officers that can't be done by enlisted, non-commissioned officers, or commissioned officers?
 

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I think the majority of people know about enlisted servicemen, non-commissioned officers, and commissioned officers in fiction media, but I don't think very much is mentioned about warrant officers. So I have to ask: how necessary are warrant officers, and what is it exactly that they do?

Please note: I'm not saying that warrant officers are unnecessary. I'm just asking what is it about warrant officers that can't be done by enlisted, non-commissioned officers, or commissioned officers?
I'm in the navy and, although i really have no idea just *how* crucial CWO's(chief warrant officers) are, I can tell you that their jobs and responsibilities are crucial. A CWO commands all enlisted personnel under him within his rating, or enlisted personnel with the same job he has.

Basically, I'm a cryptologist, a CT CWO will out-rank the command masterchief in my chain in command, however, if I was an AO, the CWO won't even be in my chain of command, unless we had an AO CWO. I can't really say if they are needed or not, but, if not for CWO's, their responsibilities would have to be siphoned to chiefs in the navy, which most of them would not be happy about.

At least that's what was taught to me in bootcamp, and I, as a recruit, rarely asked questions. I myself, have never even seen a warrant officer, either in bootcamp or pensacola.
 
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OscarB63

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I think the majority of people know about enlisted servicemen, non-commissioned officers, and commissioned officers in fiction media, but I don't think very much is mentioned about warrant officers. So I have to ask: how necessary are warrant officers, and what is it exactly that they do?

Please note: I'm not saying that warrant officers are unnecessary. I'm just asking what is it about warrant officers that can't be done by enlisted, non-commissioned officers, or commissioned officers?


In the Army (I don't think the air force has WOs anymore) the warrant officers are the "technical" subject matter experts.

the enlisted guys are basically the worker bees. they do the majority of the manual labor and actual kiilin stuff.
the NCOs are the front line supervisors for the worker bees. they are the guys that actually take the orders from above and make things happen.
the commissioned officers are typically generalists who oversee the "big picture" stuff and make the medium/long range planning.

I tell my NCOs: this is what has to be done, this is the endstate we must reach
the NCOs figure out how/what is the best way to reach the given endstate.

When I was an air defense officer, our warrants were the guys who knew all the ins and outs and tech stuff of the hardware. I was the guy who knew how to operate the software to run the system. If something broke down, the warrants were the guys who came in and diagnosed the problem and fixed it.

As a military police officer, the only warrants we have are the maintenance officer. our motor chief is the guy who knows all the systems used to keep the trucks running, order replacement parts, etc.

In a way, you can look at the warrant officers as kind of a technical consultant.
 

roguenuke

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For us, Navy nukes, our CWOs were very important. The chiefs have to answer to officers, and pretty much have little say if an officer overrides his idea. However, many of the officers have never actually worked hands on with the equipment. The CWOs provide a technical expert that also has the authority to get stuff done. Our CWOs' advice was respected by the Rx Officer a lot more than advice that came from junior officers, even those with engineering degrees, because the RO knew that the CWOs actually had their hands in the equipment and working alongside the enlisted members, unlike most junior officers, who have generally only been in charge and have little hands-on knowledge.
 

OscarB63

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For us, Navy nukes, our CWOs were very important. The chiefs have to answer to officers, and pretty much have little say if an officer overrides his idea. However, many of the officers have never actually worked hands on with the equipment. The CWOs provide a technical expert that also has the authority to get stuff done. Our CWOs' advice was respected by the Rx Officer a lot more than advice that came from junior officers, even those with engineering degrees, because the RO knew that the CWOs actually had their hands in the equipment and working alongside the enlisted members, unlike most junior officers, who have generally only been in charge and have little hands-on knowledge.


same, same. most of the warrants in the army are former senior NCOs. guys with years of hands on experience. got to have someone to keep all those butter bars out of trouble.
 

Wiseone

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What oscar said. Our WOs are the most specialized soldiers in the area, they generally dont know much about things outside their field but within their field they know everything to the smallest detail.
 

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I knew there were warrant officers but I never why, thanks guys. I learned something new today.
 

apdst

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I always wished that infantry officers possessed the expertise, knowledge and education of a CWO. Not to mention the ability to cut through the bull**** and make things happen.

When I was in 1/8 Cav, we had a CW4 that possessed magical powers. Anything we needed for a Bradley, he could make it magically appear, today.
 

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With, perhaps, the occassional exception of the old man, I can tell you that in the Navy a Warrant Officer garnered more respect than any other officer I can think of.
 

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All right. I know that one big difference between COs and enlisted is that COs have to get a university education, especially back in the old days.

So would it be fair to say that the difference between enlisted, COs, and WOs is that enlisted get training for a specific thing that in civilian terms would be more akin to a "trade", while COs get a formal university education in an area of expertise, while WOs get a formal academic education in a specific technical field?

For example, compared to a civilian analogue, an enlisted would be trained to operate farm harvester, a non-commissioned officer would coordinate a small team of farm harvesters, a warrant officer would have gone to a technical school to know how to operate, fix, and modify a farm harvester, while a commissioned officer would have a degree in agri-business and manage the whole farm. Is that a good analogy?
 

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For example, compared to a civilian analogue, an enlisted would be trained to operate farm harvester, a non-commissioned officer would coordinate a small team of farm harvesters, a warrant officer would have gone to a technical school to know how to operate, fix, and modify a farm harvester, while a commissioned officer would have a degree in agri-business and manage the whole farm. Is that a good analogy?

pretty close, but in many cases the commissioned officer's degree is in no way related to the branch they are assigned. for example, my degrees are in chemistry and chemical engineering but I am a military police officer. :shrug:
 

winston53660

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pretty close, but in many cases the commissioned officer's degree is in no way related to the branch they are assigned. for example, my degrees are in chemistry and chemical engineering but I am a military police officer. :shrug:


Ah military intelligence at work.:2razz:
 

samsmart

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pretty close, but in many cases the commissioned officer's degree is in no way related to the branch they are assigned. for example, my degrees are in chemistry and chemical engineering but I am a military police officer. :shrug:

Why is that? Is that because the military assigns commissioned officers based more on the slots available that need to be filled than on qualifications?
 

apdst

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Why is that? Is that because the military assigns commissioned officers based more on the slots available that need to be filled than on qualifications?

More so, because that education makes them trainable in a broader arena of skills.
 

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Our Warrant Officers in the 11th marines could eyeball a 105, or 155 howitzer and tell why the breech was hangin up, why the blow back from the breech. They could tell you how to field strip one, if they wanted to.
 

Oozlefinch

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In the Army (I don't think the air force has WOs anymore) the warrant officers are the "technical" subject matter experts.
In a way, you can look at the warrant officers as kind of a technical consultant.

And that is mostly what they are. It is also a great incentive for senior NCOs. Quite often, the military risks loosing an experienced NCO to the officer ranks because of better pay. At this time, an Army Staff Sergeant with 12 years in makes a base pay of $3,336. By going to Officer he immedately increases his pay to $3,454. And if he makes it to Sergeant First Class before retiring, his base would be $4,085. But as an officer it is likely he will see Major before retiring, at a pay rate of $6,951 ($5,955 if he only makes Captain).

But Officers do not normally do the "nuts and bolts work" in the military. They are administrators and supervisors. But Warrant Officers get teh same pay as a comissioned officer, and the same respect. But they are still mostly considered to be "worker bees", and the vast majority are former senior NCOs.

The only other area you see them in a lot is as helicopter pilots. And that is because pilots are required to be "Officers and Gentlemen". This lets the army have a huge number of pilots for their helicopters, without having to find a huge number of college graduates.

And in the Marines, you willl normally only seem them as parts of a Battalion or higher level special staff. Infantry Tactic specialists, NBC defense specialists, and the like.
 

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Speaking just from a veteran's point of view, I ask the board. Which would you feel more comfortable at the helm? A 50 year old warrant officer with almost 35 years in or the pimple-faced lieutenant that just graduated from the University of Dumbass and went through a few weeks of officer training?

Maybe my question does come across a little biased, no?
 
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