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Old 05-07-2018, 07:15 PM   #51  
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I recall it does still exist, or did a few years ago. But that commissions line officers, who have to get the degree and career-progress like anyone else. They are indistinguishable from someone commissioned from another source except the Navy granted some flexibility on when/how they get the degree.
The Coast Guard had something similar to this too, not sure if it still exists. If I remember right, prior enlisted Coasties who had a certain number of years and their crows could go to OCS, get a regular commission as an O-1E and then theoretically to flight school and become naval aviators as long as they had 60 college credits and got their bachelors degree by a certain point. I also met a few CG pilots who were prior Army warrants who came in with 60 credits or an associates degree. Then again, the Coast Guard used to have NFO's too but those went away in the 90's after that E-2 crash in Puerto Rico.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:46 PM   #52  
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It has been discussed before but Air Force Warrant officers is not a great idea.

Second, the Army operates in a very tactical environment where you can have technical experts flying helicopters around while the Captain/Major types make the operational decisions. In the Air Force, our flying mission is much more strategic and needs officers with their pink rear on the line making those strategic decisions - and those decision makers need to be tactical experts. It’s not about flying the plane, most can be taught to fly a plane. Think about all the various jobs (flying related) needed to run a Squadron. Those jobs require a level of organizational management and critical thinking that comes from some degree of higher education.

Now, if they really want to keep people? They need to provide bonuses comparable to year 1-5 salary as an FO AND address the QOL/morale issues.
I am not sure if I should be ****ed off by your comments or smiling from ear to ear. If you are saying that IF the AF had Warrant Officers that the eventually the upper echelon of AF officers would lack the tactical and technical expertise to make strategic decisions because that expertise would reside with their warrant officer corps, then I might agree with you.

If you think that a Warrant Officer does not have the equivalent aptitude or leadership qualities than that of an AF officer then I would say you are full of poo.

The very purpose of the Aviation Warrant Officer it is be a Technical AND TACTICAL expert and the critical decision making abilities of most CW4/CW5s would rival that of most AF O-5/O-6s.

You do realize that most CW3's and above have at least a bachelors if not a masters degree AND the PME required is essentially the same as that taught at the various O-grade levels.

If you can explain to me how an A-10 pilot's "pink rear" as you called it is more on the line than an AH-64 driver's when it comes to decision making in the combat environment... I would love to hear that.

Hmmm, now lets look at all these "jobs" you mention that are needed for squadron leadership; All of the "flying related" job that usually lead to to command in the AF are jobs done in the army by Warrant Officers; Weapons and tactics, Standardization, safety, Air Mission Commanders, Maintenance
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:48 PM   #53  
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If you think that a Warrant Officer does not have the equivalent aptitude or leadership qualities than that of an AF officer then I would say you are full of poo.

The very purpose of the Aviation Warrant Officer it is be a Technical AND TACTICAL expert and the critical decision making abilities of most CW4/CW5s would rival that of most AF O-5/O-6s.

You do realize that most CW3's and above have at least a bachelors if not a masters degree AND the PME required is essentially the same as that taught at the various O-grade levels.
I feel like I can contribute to this discussion precisely because the Navy tried this from 2006-2013 and I was in the second half of my career during this period and witnessed a lot of it. The Air Force should (and undoubtedly is) examining the Navy's experience with this. We commissioned some excellent warrant officer aviators from the late 2000's to early 2010's. A lot of them were lightyears ahead of O1/O2 SNA's (Student Naval Aviators) during API and primary. I think I heard of one guy going to the fleet in a VAW (E-2) towards the end of the program but that could have been a myth and the majority of navy aviator CWO's went to helos or VP's (P-3) and never got carrier qualified. After the program ended, I believe everyone left was moved over to the dark side and these legacies are all currently O-3's.

The navy started the program in 2006 supposedly to mimic the Army's WO aviator corps and create a group of aviators who focused on flying. Like the army, their primary job was to fly and they were technical experts, not leaders. Of course they did plenty of leading but they were not put into positions requiring anything close to the same amount of leadership or responsibility for others that their O2 and O3 colleagues were. The reason most never flew off carriers and absolutely zero went to the VAQ/VFA (jet) communities is because these are the core aviation communities in the navy where JO's are groomed for the top. Not justifying it just explaining it. In so doing, the navy deprived all of these CWO's of the chance to fly all but pretty much two airframes, and none at sea. There were other reasons too, but I won't get into that.

Anyway, long story short, the dichotomy between CWO's flying land based helos and patrol whose whole job was to fly and JO's going to the fleet, getting jets but also having significantly more leadership responsibilities and deployments created a lot of problems and the easiest solution was just to axe the CWO aviator program. I personally understand both sides of it; while gollum is absolutely right that most CWO's are incredibly educated and tactically proficient, unless you treat CWO aviators exactly like their JO counterparts, it's going to create problems for both groups. I remember the CWO program being started right when I was in the middle of doing my required JPME 1 at the Naval War College and the end of the program was when I was in zone for O5 and doing a required master's degree for it. I'm sure a lot of the CWO pilots had bachelors and master's degree and some probably voluntarily took JPME but it wasn't required for their advancement like it was for mine. I'm sure a lot of them had significant leadership ability and experience from their enlisted days, but as CWO's, they didn't do much leading and had almost no recent experience leading others by the time they were pilots, nor were they expected to for the duration of their careers. The CWO's complained that they were being held back from jets and the fleet. The JO's complained that unlike the CWOs, they were required to dedicate a significant amount of their time between flying and leading, doing mind numbingly boring JPME and master's degrees and staff tours in DC or Norfolk just to advance, etc. It got to the point where no one was particularly satisfied and everyone was ****ed off.

Here's my point. If the Air Force is going to seriously do this, with the breadth of aircraft you have and the differences in roles (which isn't as much of a problem in the army), you need to figure out how to do this right. Otherwise, you'll take 5-6 years and come to the same conclusion the navy did in 2012, which was that it was easier to just make all SNA's O-1's since most of the CWO's selected had the education and aptitude anyway to just go to OCS and then API/Primary.
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:41 PM   #54  
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The only point of using warrants is to create a track that is more focused on flying and related technical specialties... as opposed to commissioned officers who are being developed to potentially become senior organizational managers, combat leaders, and ultimately strategists. The latter requires decades of marination, not just a masters degree and PME-I.

Could a warrant have done 1st Lt Mattis's job as a platoon leader? Sure. Would that warrant's career track have developed him to become CUSCC and SECDEF? No.
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:28 AM   #55  
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The only point of using warrants is to create a track that is more focused on flying and related technical specialties... as opposed to commissioned officers who are being developed to potentially become senior organizational managers, combat leaders, and ultimately strategists. The latter requires decades of marination, not just a masters degree and PME-I.

Could a warrant have done 1st Lt Mattis's job as a platoon leader? Sure. Would that warrant's career track have developed him to become CUSCC and SECDEF? No.
I don't want to sound overly bitter, but the caliber of O-4/O-5s I am working with these days (Army) aren't going to be SECDEF/CoS material not now, not ever. 99.99% of the time casual conversation always reverts to their career (stressing about requisite KD time or making the next grade). I rarely hear the enlisted obsess over their "career" and the WOs just want to get the job done. I've sat through numerous O-6 CUBs (theater and garrison), and there wasn't much at all "strategic" about them.
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:13 AM   #56  
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I don't want to sound overly bitter, but the caliber of O-4/O-5s I am working with these days (Army) aren't going to be SECDEF/CoS material not now, not ever. 99.99% of the time casual conversation always reverts to their career (stressing about requisite KD time or making the next grade). I rarely hear the enlisted obsess over their "career" and the WOs just want to get the job done. I've sat through numerous O-6 CUBs (theater and garrison), and there wasn't much at all "strategic" about them.
Fortunately we only need that pool to produce a relatively tiny handful of epic strategic leaders. I've done a lot of joint, and compared to the Army and AF, the Navy and the USMC do have a better culture in that regards, more leaders who got there by taking care of their men and mission before themselves.

I didn't understand this until I had been in for twenty years.

I agree with kbay, warrants are not inherently less good than anyone else, but it's a different role, and you have to manage the expectations and dynamics if you have two distinct groups whose jobs and careers overlap. Also you should have a REASON to establish a separate group, because there will be costs and hassles in doing that, so you need to know what the ROI is and make sure you get it. If the warrants were to leave for airlines faster than the academy grads, that probably didn't accomplish the intent.
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:24 PM   #57  
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I don't want to sound overly bitter, but the caliber of O-4/O-5s I am working with these days (Army) aren't going to be SECDEF/CoS material not now, not ever. 99.99% of the time casual conversation always reverts to their career (stressing about requisite KD time or making the next grade). I rarely hear the enlisted obsess over their "career" and the WOs just want to get the job done. I've sat through numerous O-6 CUBs (theater and garrison), and there wasn't much at all "strategic" about them.
Understood; I've met some terrible O6''s, and the Navy has a few communities best described as dysfunctional. On the unrestricted line side, the SWO community is going through a lot right now in the wake of the Fitzgerald/McCain accidents though it never was known for being "healthy" and it has produced a disproportionate share of awful command climates in the navy. On the restricted line side, pretty much everyone who goes to the 2-week "fork and knife" school in Newport and then gets a commission directly as an O2 or O3 (navy's version of zero to hero) and subsequently spends a decade in school and specialty assignments and doesn't get leadership experience until they are O5's is usually set up to fail and that can also produce some fairly awful O6's.

To be fair though, it goes both ways. I've met warrants in certain rates and communities who got to where they were through a combination of luck and dinosaur points and were fairly incompetent and/or dysfunctional. That's just the navy. You want to talk army? I have much respect for the army and it's WO pilot corps, but it's fair to say that a lot of these guys on the aviation side who are WO1-CWO3 are as naive, ignorant, sometimes incompetent (and dangerous), and inexperienced as any O1-O3. The reason the navy didn't follow the army's WO pilot program is because it didn't want 20 year old warrant officer pilots even less mature or experienced than the 23-24 year old O2 pilots commissioned via ROTC or OCS, and those 20 year old aviators do exist in the army. Don't get me wrong, they earned their wings, but you can't tell me that a 20 year old warrant officer aviator is going to be any better than a 24 year old O2 aviator, in any branch.

My understanding is that the army's timeline is WO1 to CW2 in two years, CW3 in five years, CW4 in six years, and CW5 in five years. So, for a non-prior enlisted "high school to flight school" warrant officer, that means if they progress this way, they'll be CW2's by 20, CW3's by 25, CW4's by 31 and CW5's by 36. They do this with some leadership responsibilities but nowhere near the leadership or admin experience that their commissioned counterparts get over the same period even in the army, so that a 36 year old CW5 and a 36 year old O5 might have roughly the same skill and experience at flying but they are in vastly different worlds in terms of leadership experience and responsibilities. I can't speak to the other services, but in the navy, you don't get to O6 until you're usually 18-20 years in, which is about age 42. That's 20 years of spending as much time leading as flying. A hypothetical 42 year old W5 could probably hand fly the approach better than the same O6, because he's spend most of his career specializing in just being a pilot, but he doesn't have the depth that comes with either being a prior enlisted leader/NCO (or if they were prior enlisted, probably not for long and certainly not an NCO for 20 years) or being a commissioned leader for two decades.

Apples to oranges, and a catch 22 as the navy found out. You treat them differently and both groups get angry and cry unfair about career opportunities and deployments. You can't treat them the same because a sizeable portion of the "high school to flight school" warrants have zero substantive leadership experience and all of the warrants have spent most of their careers focusing on flying rather than flying and leadership, and in addition to that, if you treat them the same, what's the point of having warrants who specialize? Why not just make them get a degree and go to OCS since they're all intelligent, capable individuals.
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:43 PM   #58  
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Mostly to retain pilots. W/O's typically don't have collage degrees so are not as competitive for the major airlines and therefore more likely to stay in for 20 years. That's the idea anyway, but as with most their ideas it probably won't work.
This is an ex-enlisted man's point of view but most warrant officers I knew had college degrees at the very least and often master's degrees. Most staff NCO in the Marine Corps have associates to bachelor's degrees. I have met NCO's and Staff NCO's in the Marines (the "dumb" branch) with Master's degrees and PhD's from ivy league schools and they stay in the Marines because they love what they do (everyone is built differently.)

The best pilots I have ever worked with were previous enlisted warrant officers that worked in aviation before becoming a pilot. They are technical experts on the specific platform and for some reason have way better aim than straight commissioned pilots. Some in here may disagree but this was my experience (ground guy).

I think warrant officer pilots can work for all branches but I would prefer that those selected serve at least 3 years in an aviation related role on that specific platform (if possible) before beginning flight training. The main goal of military aviation is to help close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver. Your weapon is human as you are human, the best person to fly the platform is the guy that knows every nut and bolt on it.

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Old 05-17-2018, 09:59 PM   #59  
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This is an ex-enlisted man's point of view but most warrant officers I knew had college degrees at the very least and often master's degrees. Most staff NCO in the Marine Corps have associates to bachelor's degrees. I have met NCO's and Staff NCO's in the Marines (the "dumb" branch) with Master's degrees and PhD's from ivy league schools and they stay in the Marines because they love what they do (everyone is built differently.)
Agree with most of what you said, but in point of fact, it varies by service. I can definitely speak to the differences in the Army versus Navy. Most Navy warrant officers are extremely experienced ex-Chief Petty Officers (E7 and above) and yes, I'd speculate that more than half have at least an associates degree and as high as a PhD from what I've seen. It depends on the community (subs, aviation, etc) and the rate (nuke vs boatswain) too. The point is, in general, navy warrants are experienced technical experts. To say they have the same education level as the officer corps is a stretch given the simple fact that a bachelor's degree is a requirement for most of our commissioning sources and a master's is required above O-4.

I believe what earlier posters have alluded to with regards to young inexperienced relatively uneducated warrant aviators is the Army's high school to flight school program. Don't get me wrong, these guys are excellent pilots and they wouldn't get to WOFT if they weren't intelligent and capable. The program seems to work very well for the army, and a bachelor's degree has zero to do with how well you can fly a UH-60 in combat. With that said, they are the youngest officers in the military (many W1's are 19 years old and commissioned CW2's at 20 years old). Yes, they can become officers even faster than those 2-year junior college military academies that can pump out a 20 year old 2LT. Army warrant aviators can literally go boot camp -> WOFT (WOCS, flight school). While a lot of them do get associates or bachelors degrees after their first few tours, make no mistake, the army has operational 19-20 year old commissioned aviators with absolutely no leadership experience and no degree. Non-aviation army warrants are the same as the warrants in the rest of the military, i.e., highly experienced former NCO's who also have more education.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:37 AM   #60  
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Yes, they can become officers even faster than those 2-year junior college military academies that can pump out a 20 year old 2LT.

Which schools are those? Never heard of them, and I've been in over 30 years...
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