Warrant Officer Candidates support memory of fallen Guard members, promote esprit de corps

Story by Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Lyddane

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Kentucky National Guard State Command Chief Warrant Officer Dean Stoops salutes members of Warrant Officer Candidate School Class 14-001 as they prepare to take part in a 5 kilometer “Run to Remember” in Bloomfield, Kentucky.   (Photo by Janice Hill, Run to Remember Committee)

BLOOMFIELD, Ky. — On May 10, 2014 Kentucky’s 238th Regional Training Institute Warrant Officer Candidate School Class 14-001 demonstrated their patriotism, selfless-service, and cohesiveness by participating in a 5 kilometer “Run to Remember” in Bloomfield, Kentucky. The cadets’ participation was in support of the Kentucky National Guard Memorial which breaks ground later this month in Frankfort.

Taking part in the run had a two-fold mission: giving back to the memory of fallen troops and building esprit de corps among the cadets in training.

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Members of Warrant Officer Candidate School Class 14-001 prepare to take part in a 5 kilometer “Run to Remember” in Bloomfield, Kentucky. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Lyddane)

“Soldiers become more effective when they share experiences and achievements as a unit,” said Chief Warrant Officer Ricky Skelton, one of the training, advising and counseling officers in charge of the cadets. “Whether this triumph is achieved outside on deployment during combat or in a garrison environment, the sharing of one common victory helps build a distinct bond.”

“I believe it’s important for candidates to be involved with the community because giving back is one of the Army Values, selfless-service,” said WOC Dustin Lewis, who participated in the run.  Lewis is accessing to be a 420A Human Resources Technician. “Community involvement gives each of us a chance to reach out and make a positive impact on the individuals for which we serve.”

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Members of Warrant Officer Candidate School Class 14-001 during a 5 kilometer “Run to Remember” in Bloomfield, Kentucky. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Lyddane)

The WOCs, all of which are prior non-commissioned officers are in their second month of a six month process where they are building on their already established academic, leadership, discipline, character, physical, and mental capacities. They will be trained, evaluated, and assessed to become the self-aware and adaptive technical experts, combat leaders, trainers, mentors, and advisors that soldiers and commanders have come to expect. The curriculum includes leadership development, officer roles and responsibilities, communications and briefings, military operations, military and warrant officer history, land navigation and urban operations. The course culminates into a final two-week phase at Camp Atterbury, Indiana this summer.

The six month school is designed around drill weekends which provides soldiers who have aspirations of becoming a Warrant Officer the flexibility needed to work around their civilian careers; as opposed to the accelerated format at Fort Rucker, Alabama which requires a five week temporary duty assignment.

“The Warrant Officer Candidates that participated in this event not only ‘talk the talk’, but they ‘walk the walk’ as it pertains to living the army values and the tenants of the warrant officer creed,” said State Command Chief Warrant Officer Dean Stoops. “I am very proud of how well they represented the warrant officer corps of Kentucky.”

Stoops presented the team with a certificate and a yellow streamer embroidered with “Class 14-001 Esprit de Corps.” The streamer will become a part of Kentucky’s Warrant Officer, a symbol of Class 14-001’s “Unbridled Spirit.”

For more information on the Kentucky National Guard’s warrant officer program contact Chief Warrant Officer Ryan Turner at (502) 607-6200, Cell: (502) 320-3653 or email him at Ryan.turner2@usarec.army.mil.

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