Like the other branches and positions in the U.S. military, the history of female warrant officers in the Army is murky at best. Records show female warrant officers as early as 1926, but Congress didn’t approve the appointment of women warrant officers until 1944, according to the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation. Since that time, historians have carefully tracked the role of women in the military and more and more woman have joined the Army ranks. Women make up 13.5 percent of all active duty Army personnel in 2012, according to the Army website.
Warrant officers follow a specific educational training path that starts with enlisting with the Army. To enlist, you’ll have to be between 18 and 33 years old, have a high school diploma and be a U.S. citizen. Other enlistment requirements include scoring a 90 or better on the Flight Aptitude Selection Test; passing the General Technical portion of the Armed Forces Vocational Battery Aptitude with a 110 or better; taking part in the nine-week Basic Combat Training; and completing a physical examination.
Education and Training
As a warrant officer, you’ll attend Warrant Officer Candidate School at Fort Rucker in Alabama. The first phase of WOCS allows you to choose to study on base as a resident or opt for the distance-learning option. As part of WOCS, you’ll receive classroom training and hands-on experience through physical activities and military drills. Throughout your career, you’ll continue to build your specific technical skills through military missions and additional schooling through the Warrant Officer Career College.
Because warrant officers choose a specialty where they serve, the exact skill sets needed for warrant officers varies. Unlike a commissioned officer who adds additional duties as she moves up the ranks, a warrant officer moves up the ranks within the warrant officer corps, staying in that specialization and increasing her skill set in her specialty. Warrant officer military occupational specialties include infantry, engineer, air defense, pilot, maintenance, special forces, military police, intelligence, medical, ammunitions and surveillance. General abilities you’ll need as a warrant officer include leadership skills and excellent oral and written communication skills to lead, train and manage personnel and soldiers. You should also be able to handle pressure situations, meet deadlines and work independently, as well as part of a team.
Your exact duties as a warrant officer will depend on your military occupational specialty, but general duties include being a technical expert in your MOS field and leading, training and overseeing soldiers within that technical field. Part of leading and overseeing soldiers, a warrant officer troubleshoots and provides solutions to problems within her group, as well as offering counsel to individual soldiers. You’ll develop, plan and lead missions and act as adviser to other warrant officers and Army personnel. Your duties and responsibility increase as you move up the warrant officer ranking system, which starts at Warrant Officer One and goes up to Chief Warrant Officer Five.
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