Warrant Officer Candidates nearing the home stretch to graduation

By Stacy Floden, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Warrant Officer Candidate School Class 19-001 and members of the Djiboutian Military stand beside the class sign on July 21, 2019 at Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Ky.  The sign was presented to the 238th by the class (courtesy photo).

GREENVILLE, KY – Ten Warrant Officer Candidates are continuing their training program with Kentucky’s Warrant Officer Candidate School at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Ky. The candidates are scheduled to graduate Sept. 21, 2019, at Camp Atterbury, Indiana and will proceed down to the 238th’s Annual Commissioning Ball to be recognized during that event as the newest warrant officers in the Kentucky National Guard and United States Army. Nine of the candidates are from the Kentucky National Guard and one is from the U.S. Army Reserves.

Phase one training consisted of distance learning on Blackboard. Now, the candidates are completing phase two, a five month resident course. On Sunday, July 21, 2019, Warrant Officer Candidate School Class 19-001 completed their ten-kilometer ruck march, completing one more event on their path to graduating from the course. The candidates are required to complete the foot march in 106 minutes while carrying 30% of their body weight or a maximum of 48 pounds, in a rucksack.

WOCS Course Manager, Chief Warrant Officer Jeremy W. Mowers, said all candidates successfully completed the course. “The foot march is fairly grueling. This is a required event the candidates must pass in order to continue on to phase three.”

A large turnout from current members of the Warrant Officer cohort walked with the candidates and cheered them across the finish line. Also, participating in the event to motivate the Warrant Officer Candidates were instructors from 1st Battalion, 238th Regiment, officer candidates of Officer Candidate School Class 62-20 and leadership of the regiment.

Warrant Officer Candidate Adriane Morey has had several family members in the military, mostly enlisted and a few commissioned officers, but she wanted to be the first warrant officer in her family as a technical expert. She knew tackling phase two was going to be tough.

“Phase two is very challenging both physically and mentally. More mentally for me because I’m in pretty good shape, but I still have to maintain to be successful in the course,” said Morey. “I think the hardest part for me is getting back into the mindset once you leave from each drill weekend. During the month, until the next drill, we still have several tasks to complete as each of us are assigned additional duties. We also have to study for tests that are not open book which is tough. The instructors do a great job of preparing us for the test, so that helps.”

As part of Class 19-001 requirements for the course, they presented their class sign and song to Chief Warrant Officer Stephen Robison, former commander of the 238th Regiment. Each emblem and symbol on the sign has meaning to the class and the candidates explained the meaning as they presented the sign for inspection. Once the sign presentation concluded, the class then sang their unique song to the assembled members of the 238th, various members of the Kentucky National Guard and members of the Djiboutian Military visiting as part of the State Partnership Program.

“The sign is part of the tradition of the Warrant Officer Candidate School and is used to bring the candidates together as a class due to them having to work together outside of drill weekends. It teaches them how to coordinate with others, planning projects and about becoming a member of a team since they are all required to work on it together,” stated Mowers. “The class song is a song for esprit de corps and is created by one of the candidates who is assigned the duty. It is also meant to reflect the class and teach them to work together as they have to practice on their own and then together when they are present for drill weekend”.

“Looking back on the candidate school process, it makes me feel accomplished as it’s been a tough road. I look forward to the end and the possibilities of becoming a technical expert somewhere in the 420A (Human Resources Technician) field,” stated Morey. “I look forward to graduation and know it is just a matter of time before it will be here. I’m so glad I made the decision to fulfill my dream and go through the WOCS process. Nothing great comes easy, but it’s so worth the challenge. I think every warrant officer I have talked to would tell anyone the same thing. It’s a hard process, but very much worth the end result. I am grateful for the opportunity and my leaderships support.”

Warrant officers are highly skilled, specialty officers, and while the ranks are authorized by Congress, each branch of the uniformed services selects, manages, and utilizes warrant officers in slightly different ways. Warrant officers can and do command detachments, units, activities, vessels, aircraft, and armored vehicles as well as lead, coach, train, and counsel subordinates.

The warrant officer’s main job is to serve as a technical expert, provide skills, guidance, and expertise to commanders and organizations in their particular field.

 

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