AUSA, Warrant Officers Assn. work together as Army team

AUSA, Warrant Officers Assn. work together as Army team

Monday, May 7, 2018

As the warrant officer cohort of our Army’s larger officer corps prepares to celebrate its 100th birthday in July, I thought it might be appropriate to discuss the strong partnership that has been built between AUSA and the United States Army Warrant Officers Association (USAWOA).

For decades, our two great organizations have partnered on issues of common interest, as active members of The Military Coalition (TMC).

In so doing, our representatives have worked together on various TMC committees, to ensure the Army’s voice is well represented, together with other great organizations.

Shortly after assuming duties as USAWOA’s executive director in the spring of 2012, I was contacted by members of AUSA’s great staff.

AUSA wanted to open a dialog with USAWOA to explore additional ways to partner and build on warrant officer participation in both our organizations.

That year, AUSA hosted their first warrant officer birthday reception for the members of the Army Senior Warrant Officer Council (ASWOC ) in July at their headquarters – this has since become an annual, jointly-hosted tradition.

In October 2012, AUSA added a warrant officer seminar to its program at the AUSA Annual Meeting and Symposium. This too has become an annual event, growing in popularity every year. In 2015 a warrant officer breakfast was added and held prior to the seminar.

CW5 Richard Kunz Jr., command chief warrant officer, Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, left, and CW5 Russell Smith, command chief warrant officer, U.S. Army Reserve, speak at the 2017 AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition. (AUSA News photo)

In 2017, AUSA provided space at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, three days prior to AUSA’s meeting, where USAWOA conducted its 45th Annual Meeting of the Members (AMM).

Exhibit space was mutually shared at these meetings on a complimentary basis, and USAWOA welcomed AUSA’s president and CEO, retired Gen. Carter F. Ham, and AUSA’s vice president for membership and meetings, retired Lt. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion, as keynote speakers to open the meetings on two of our three 45th AMM days.

At the 45th AMM, USAWOA conducted an aviation panel led by senior warrant officer leaders from the aviation community. A similar panel will be conducted again in 2018, this time as part of the Tuesday afternoon business agenda.

This will mean that with the warrant officer breakfast, seminar and aviation panel, warrant officers will enjoy cohort-specific programs at the AUSA’s 2018 meeting.

Also, just a few miles away, they can then attend USAWOA’s 46th AMM that begins the following day.

From the first meeting between USAWOA and AUSA in the spring of 2012, a joint association membership arrangement was discussed. In June 2017, an agreement was reached by which warrant officer members from both organizations were mutually honored. There are many other examples of our two organizations working together for mutual benefit, and the benefit of our warrant officers.

For example, last year AUSA also offered to share the cost of coffee mugs that USAWOA makes available to all warrant officer candidates at Fort Rucker, Ala. In return, AUSA’s logo joins USAWOA’s on each mug, raising awareness of both associations.

On July 7, 2018, USAWOA will host the Warrant Officer Centennial Ball, at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel. Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville will deliver the keynote address, and unveil USAWOA’s third official painting “Eagles Rising,” in honor of our cohort’s 100th birthday.

As this article is written there are only 70 seats left to attend this gala, but key members of AUSA’s great leadership team were among the first to register.

Featured in the April 2018 edition of USAWOA’s Newsliner magazine is the final article written by the association’s beloved founder, retired CW4 Don Hess.

It was a brilliant history piece and his last gift to the cohort, handed to me personally only days before he died.

In describing early reasons for founding USAWOA he stated, “[Another] reason for creating a separate warrant officer association was to confront our history of being non-joiners in existing professional organizations from our inception. Warrant Officers were also neglected by existing military associations, because their representation in them was very limited.”

An AUSA life member, Don was thrilled with the burgeoning partnership of our two great organizations – he made reference to it more than once in his final days.

More importantly, he left this world knowing that – as stated in the final words of his article – “The best is yet to come!”