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Debating between Commission and Warrant

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  • Debating between Commission and Warrant

    I'm a JR enlisted working on getting promoted to E5 and I've been debating between going Warrant or Commissioned Officer. I enjoy working on signal equipment which pushes me towards going Warrant, but some people have told me that I would make a good Commissioned Officer. Can someone please explain some of the pros and cons of going either direction?? Thank you.

  • #2
    Officers are generalists, whereas warrants are experts in a fairly narrow field. A commissioned officer is responsible for integrating his unit into the larger plan, and will have a varied career that will often take him far from his specialty. We have aviation pilots who are plans officers in the G3 shop, which is a job applicable to any commissioned officer. By contrast, a WO pilot will always have an assignment closely tied to his specialty.

    Most importantly, a Soldier pursuing a WO field knows in advance what WO MOS he will get. An OCS candidate has influence, but no guarantee, over his branch. Therefore, you could end up as a lieutenant in Field Artillery or Quartermaster, or something else non-Signal. If that's a deal-breaker, then definitely go WO.

    Determine whether you want to stay in your defined field, or vary widely across an array of possibilities. Neither side is better than the other, and we need people on both sides, you just need to determine where you fit best.


    • #3
      As a Warrant, I received this coin when I was in Afghanistan in 09-10 and its one of my favorites that depicts that relationship between RLO and Warrants lol

      Also, it is basically a little easier to become a Commissioned Officer than a technical Warrant Officer because to qualify as a Warrant, you will require solid years as an NCO with outstanding evaluations to be considered qualified and competitive against others NCOs for the WO selection board. In contrast, if you have a degree, not an NCO and have a good PT score, you can embark on an OCS path to become a Warrant or an ROTC path (which the Warrant world does not have). Commissioned Officers are on the higher totem pole in rank and have a better paying scale; even though I am a Warrant nearing CW3 with 24 years of service which will provide a base pay of over 6 grand a month and that is not bad at all (that does not even include pay allowances). But not all Warrants fall under that category and the Mrs wanted me to go RLO because of the money lol. And as a Warrant, I can be expected to Command. I have been an OIC and Staff Officer at the same time in which the Army gets to use my experience and dual roles me at a much cheaper rate than my fellow commissioned officers. Since you are not an E5 and will have some years to meet the WO requirements, I suggest you attempt to go the regular commissioned route. And the person who made that comment (about you are more apt for CO); obviously does not know the distinction between a Warrant and CO. A person that has already a reputable, solid military background has the capability to serve in the WO ranks. And I am speaking of walking warrants; not aviators.
      Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; November 30th, 2013, 09:16 PM.


      • #4
        Pro’s for being a warrant officer-
        • Most don’t require a degree or a degree to continue with promotions like a commissioned officer
        • Not going to need a graduate degree for promotions
        • Stay in the same narrow career field
        • Still can get your “hands dirty” if you want
        • You want to do something very specific, CID, army watercraft, aviation ect.
        Con’s for being a warrant officer-
        • Depending on the slots, you may struggle for promotions
        • Stuck in the same narrow career field. While there are exceptions, changing your branch/AOC is not a rule.
        • It’ll take you another year or two to get minimum requirements. Ie rated time as a NCO ect
        • Warrant officers tend to be advisors to the commander and don’t get a lot of troop leading time. As always there are exceptions but the amount is small when compared to NCOs or commissioned officers.
        Pro’s for a commissioned officer-
        • You’ll have a far greater level of responsibility
        • You’ll have a far greater level of impact on your unit
        • You have the ability to change branches
        • Have the ability to see why things happen, or see “how the sausage is made”. As a commander, I learned there is always a reason why the Army does things and usually it is a valid reason. Something hard to see as a staff officer.
        Con’s for a commissioned officer-
        • Officers tend to have a dog-eat-dog mentality, especially when it comes to junior officers.
        • You have to pay attention to career planning and “checking the box”. You’re going to have jump through certain hoops in order to get promotions. Platoon leader, company commander, battalion XO, battalion S-3. Usually it seems as soon as you figure the job out, you move onto the next one.
        • It’s harder and can do career damage to stay in one spot for an extended amount of time.
        • Huge amounts of your own time will need to be invested, especially if you’re a good officer.
        • Frowned on for you to “get your hands dirty”
        IMHO, I dislike officers being referenced as generalists as it really does a disservice to the amount of knowledge they need in their specific branches. Which is why you can see an aviation officer serving in a G-3 plans section.