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Warrant officer panel examines professional development issues

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

The Army warrant officer community is concerned that it lacks a single voice to represent it at the senior Army levels during the development of the strategy to re-examine the Army in the Force 2025 and Beyond initiative.

During an Oct. 4 forum at the 2016 Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition, a WO5 in the audience described the situation as having “unity of effort but we don’t have unity of command when it comes to Warrant Officer 2025.”

Another warrant in the audience said he listened to the sergeant major of the Army talking about how they would execute the senior NCO (noncommissioned officer) 2025 strategy.

“We don’t have that. We need that at the Army (leadership) level.”

Although there is no “executive agency” working WO 2025, the commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command “has the lead” on developing the strategy for the Army.

Other issues of concern expressed during the forum included the amount of professional military training expected of warrants, the level of readiness and what effect the new “blended retirement” program could have on retention of warrant officers.

The Army Reserve and Army National Guard reported that they continue to have fewer warrants than authorized, with the Army Reserve 98 short and the National Guard more than 300 below.

WO5 Russ Smith, command warrant for the Army Reserve, said he had a $20,000 bonus available to anyone who wanted to transfer into the reserve.

The senior warrants were not sure what impact the blended retirement program, which allows a form of retirement at 15 years, could have on their cadre.

But one warrant in the audience expressed concern about a loss of talent as experienced warrants take the early retirement.