Kentucky welcomes new Command Chief Warrant Officer

By Stacy Floden, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan passes the warrant officer saber to Chief Warrant Officer Dwight Harlan during a change of responsibility ceremony in Frankfort, Ky., Dec. 20. Harlan became Kentucky’s sixth command chief warrant officer, succeeding Chief Warrant Officer Dean Stoops who held the position since 2014. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Chief Warrant Officer Dwight D. Harlan assumed responsibility as the sixth Command Chief Warrant Officer of the Kentucky Army National Guard during a change of responsibility ceremony in Frankfort, Ky., Dec. 20. Harlan succeeds Chief Warrant Officer Dean Stoops who is retiring after more than 40 years in uniform and nearly four years as the state’s Command Chief Warrant Officer.

A packed Capitol Rotunda said farewell to Stoops and an illustrious career in the National Guard. Kentucky Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan said the warrant officer plays a critical role in the Army and Stoops and Harlan are both examples of strong warrant officers who have made impacts on the Kentucky Guard.

“Having that depth of experience to pull up from some forty years is something I have found incredibly indispensable and frankly I don’t know if we would have succeeded without that level of expertise,” said Hogan.

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Among his many accomplishments as the State Command Chief Warrant Officer, Stoops introduced several new initiatives resulting in national-level recognition of Kentucky Guard warrant officers and created the Warrant Officer of the Year ribbon codifying the award in state regulations. According to the Army Institute of Heraldry, this is the only Army award of this type. He also implemented command policies and procedures resulting in improved warrant officer recruiting, accession, and career management processes. These efforts led to Kentucky ranking first in the nation four years in a row for compliance with warrant officer education system requirements.

“Serving as your State Command Chief Warrant Officer over the past four years has been the highlight of my career. Not because of the position I occupied, but because it provided an unequaled opportunity for me to get to know nearly every warrant officer in the Kentucky Army National Guard,” he said. “Because of your awesome talent, exceptional professionalism, and national reputation for excellence that transcend our State borders, you made my job very rewarding. Representing you, the warrant officer cohort of Kentucky, has been an honor that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”

Harlan’s new role serves as the senior warrant officer advising the adjutant general on the state of the Warrant Officer Corps. He is also responsible for providing guidance, resources, assistance and supervision to all warrant officers in the Kentucky Army National Guard. Previously, Harlan was assigned as the Senior Ordinance Ground Maintenance Officer and Senior Warrant Officer Advisor for the 75th Troop Command, a position he had held since May 2013. His military career spans more than 35 years.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to have been selected to this position. I assure you, the warrant officers and I will give you a 110% in everything we do,” said Harlan.

During his remarks, he challenged his warrant officers. “Don’t be that guy. Don’t be the guy that everybody knows or don’t be the guy nobody knows. Be the guy that is the subject matter expert, mentor, meets the standard, but strives for excellence and who is a professional whether in the uniform or out. Be that guy.”

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