At a ceremony celebrating the 95th birthday of the Warrant Officer Corps, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. John F. Campbell asked those in the audience who were not warrant officers to stand.
"What’s the first thing that pops in your mind when you think about warrant officers?" Campbell asked to those who stood.
Among the responses were words like "professional," "candor," "knowledgeable," and "passionate."
Responses differed throughout the crowd. Some responses, like that of Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler, were stories, not a single word. But they all reflected the specialization and skill for which the Warrant Officer Corps has come to be known.
The Warrant Officer Corps was founded on July 9, 1918, when an act of Congress created the Army Mine Planter Service as part of the Coast Artillery Corps.
Since then, the Warrant Officer Corps has expanded to cover 17 of the 20 branches of the Army. The largest branch where warrant officers serve is aviation.
Staff Sgt. Georgiana DaCruz was recognized at the ceremony by Campbell. She left for Warrant Officer School July 11.
After being enlisted in the Army for nine years, she decided she wanted to attend Warrant Officer School to become more specialized in her area – human resources.
"I wanted to see what it feels like to start at the bottom and work your way up," DaCruz said about starting as an enlisted soldier.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Francisco Montilla was enlisted for three years before she decided to become a warrant officer.
Montilla said warrant officers provide a depth of expertise that commissioned officers, with their other responsibilities, simply don’t have the time to cover.
For Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Ciampa, it took 20 years of service as an enlisted soldier before he decided to become a warrant officer.
"I couldn’t ask for any better honor," Ciampa said about the ceremony.
That evening, for the second consecutive year, the Association of the United States Army, held a reception at its national headquarters in Arlington Va., to honor the Warrant Officer Corps on this year’s 95th birthday.
Hosted by Lt. Gen. Roger Thompson, USA, Ret., AUSA’s vice president for membership and meetings, the reception’s guests include the members of the Senior Warrant Officer Council who work directly with the Army vice chief of staff on key issues affecting warrant officers.
Also in attendance were AUSA’s vice president for education, Lt. Gen. Guy Swan, USA, Ret., and the Association’s director of NCO and soldier programs, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston, USA, Ret.
(Editor’s note: The article is based on a story by Alex Dixon, Army News Service.)