By Debbie Gregory.
Warrant officers are technical and tactical experts. They are considered to be the best of the best in their field. As it struggles to fill its warrant officer ranks, the Army National Guard is offering up to $20,000 to qualified candidates. The Guard is focused on recruiting for 39 career fields in particular and has opportunities across the 54 states and territories.
The Army Guard is losing to retirement almost as many warrants as it is bringing in every year. It currently has approximately 8,570 warrant officers in its ranks today, but as of January, more than 3,800 of the Guard’s warrant officers, or about 44 percent, were eligible for retirement.
Part of the issue is the need for experienced, technical experts. The other issue is attrition, as the vast majority of warrant officer candidates serve as enlisted soldiers before making the switch.
So far this fiscal year, which began October 1st , the Guard has gained 242 warrant officers and lost 232. The previous year, the Guard gained 573 new warrants, but lost 622.
So while the Guard is seeking applicants from within, it is also accepting soldiers transitioning from the active Army. And the Guard is offering a $20,00 bonus to:
- Transitioning warrant officers in exchange for a three-year commitment. The service commitment doubles to six years if the warrant officer chooses to switch career fields and needs further training.
- Enlisted soldiers from the regular Army who leave active duty to join the Guard and go warrant in exchange for a six-year commitment.
- Current Guard who go from enlisted to warrant, after completing MOS-specific training and sign on for six more years.
While becoming a warrant officer provides soldiers with highly specialized training in their chosen field, the training could translate into enhanced civilian career opportunities after the Army.
Active Army enlisted soldiers and warrant officers interested in learning more should contact the Reserve Component Career Counselor at their installation for more information. All other interested candidates also should talk to their state, territory or District of Columbia warrant officer strength manager. To find a warrant officer strength managers, go to http://www.nationalguard.com/contacts/wosm.
For the full list of requirements, go to http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/warrant/.