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SMA Chandler Joins Birthday Celebration for Warrant Officer Corps

By Alex Dixon
Army News Service

July 11, 2013

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Photo by Master Sgt. Alberto Betancourt

WASHINGTON — At a ceremony celebrating the 95th birthday of the Warrant Officer Corps, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. John F. Campbell asked those in the crowd that were not warrant officers to stand.

“What’s the first thing that pops in your mind when you think about warrant officers?” Campbell asked to those who stood.

Among the responses were words like “professional,” “candor,” “knowledgeable,” and “passionate.”

Responses differed throughout the crowd. Some responses, like that of Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler, were stories, not a single word. But they all reflected the specialization and skill for which the Warrant Officer Corps has come to be known.

The Warrant Officer Corps was founded on July 9, 1918, when an act of Congress created the Army Mine Planter Service as part of the Coast Artillery Corps.

Since then, the Warrant Officer Corps has expanded to cover 17 of the 20 branches of the Army. The largest branch that warrant officers serve is aviation.

“I encourage you to know who your person is, who you can reach out to and understand what they do for you,” Campbell said at the ceremony, speaking of warrant officers throughout the Army. “These are the folks that are providing input to the senior leadership and are making decisions that impact all of you.”

Staff Sgt. Georgiana DaCruz was recognized at the ceremony by Campbell. She will be leaving for Warrant Officer School, July 11. After being enlisted in the Army for nine years, she decided she wanted to attend Warrant Officer School to become more specialized in her area, human resources.

“I wanted to see what it feels like to start at the bottom and work your way up,” DaCruz said about starting as an enlisted Soldier. “What made me want to be a warrant officer is the passion that I have for human resources.”

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Francisco Montilla was enlisted for three years before he decided to become a warrant officer. Montilla said warrant officers provide a depth of expertise that commissioned officers, with their other responsibilities, simply don’t have the time to cover.

“When you go to school to your primary grades, you have one teacher that teaches all your subjects; that’s your regular officer,” Montilla said. “We are much like a college professor and are subject-matter experts” in one area.

For Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Ciampa, it took 20 years of service as an enlisted Soldier before he decided to become a warrant officer.

“I couldn’t ask for any better honor,” Ciampa said about the ceremony. “All of us were prior-enlisted. So to see the sergeant major of the Army here, who’s enlisted, really puts a lot of emphasis on what we do.”