Kentucky celebrates 97 years of the “quiet professional”

Story by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs with contributions from Kyle Hilbrecht

1506709-Z-GN092-088

Former Kentucky Warrant Officer of the Year are recognized during the 97th anniversary of the Warrant Officer Corps ceremony in Frankfort, Ky., July 9, 2015. Each winner since 2007 was presented with the commendation which became an official award in 2014. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky National Guard gathered to celebrate the 97th anniversary of the Warrant Officer Cohort at the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort, July 9. State Command Chief Warrant Officer Dean Stoops was joined by Brig. Gen. Charles Jones, Deputy Adjutant General and hundreds of warrant officers and Soldiers to recognize nearly 100 years of the “quiet professional.” “The modern U.S. Warrant officer Cohort is nearly a century old, and I’m sure the original forty warrant officers of the 1918 Mine Planter Service had no idea the significance their appointment would have on the United States Army,” said Stoops. “We now see a highly professional cohort that is indispensable to the United States Army and the Kentucky National Guard.”

1506709-Z-GN092-122

State Command Chief Warrant Officer Dean Stoops promotes Ricky Skelton to the rank of chief warrant officer four during the 97th anniversary celebration of the Warrant Officer Corps in Frankfort, Ky., July 9, 2015. In addition to celebrating 97 years, several warrant officers were honored for their achievements and service to the Kentucky Guard. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

Click here for more photos.

Stoops commended Kentucky’s warrant officers for their recent gains in National Guard categories of education and readiness. There are less than 175 warrant officers in the Kentucky Guard, while nearly 30,000 warrant officers serve worldwide in the Army components.

Known as technical experts in their fields, warrant officers are also referred to as the “quiet professional” for their behind the scenes stance in numerous occupational specialities.

In addition to the celebration of 97 years, Kentucky Guard leadership also recognized the previous eight Warrant Officers of the Year, ensuring each received the commendation which became official just last year. Stoops said the award is the only award among the three Army components dedicated to the recognition of warrant officers for their outstanding service and achievements.

“The creation of this official state award is the culmination of a seven year effort to create an award that was equal to the Outstanding Airman and Soldier of the Year Award,” said Stoops. “I am very pleased and proud that we could go back and present it to all of  the previous seven recipients. It just seemed to be the right thing to do.”

Stoops said he has already been contacted by other states looking to adopt the award and he fully expects it to take off and potentially become a national standard.

1506709-Z-GN092-052

Retired Chief Warrant Officer Larry Moore receives the 2008 Kentucky Warrant Officer of the Year commendation during a birthday celebration of the warrant officer corps in Frankfort, Ky., July 9, 2015. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

Following that award presentation, Chief Warrant Officer Ricky Skelton was promoted to the rank of chief warrant officer four and Warrant Officer Jonathan Dukes was promoted to chief warrant officer two.

Chief Warrant Officer Jacob Lewis was also recognized for being named the 2014 Most Outstanding Engineer Warrant Officer in the National Guard. He was presented with the Meritorious Service Medal for his accomplishment.

Jones said the warrant officer used be an untapped resource for the Army and National Guard, but that has changed thanks to education, leadership and support from senior warrant officers. He called them an integral part of the Guard’s daily operations.

“The Army takes the cream of the NCO Corps off the top, makes it warrant officers and gives it special, graduate level training,” said Jones. “Warrant officers are an incredible resource of commanders and soldiers alike. They are world renowned for being the Army’s technical and tactical experts and are valuable leaders as well.”

 

About kentuckyguard