The Role of the Warrant Officer in 21st Century Armies

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by Chief_Two, May 22, 2007.

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  1. The new Director of the British Army's Joint Services Warrant Officers Course has stated that '....it is reassuring to note that our Warrant Officers are beginning to take a far more involved role in the staffing process.'

    Is the case that the role of Warrant Officers is evolving from strictly tactical applications into the strategic level where WOs are now being called on to provide input into strategic planning and policy development?

    Or is there a danger that if this approach is followed, it will result in 'mission creep' into the role of officers?

    So what should the role of the Warrant Officer be in the 21st Century Army?
     
  2. I think the first question is to define just what is meant by 'staffing process' in the British Army.

    NTM
     
  3. Well, in concrete terms, this reflects the recent appointment of some 15 or so WO1/2s into Grade 3 Staff appointments. In cod-doctrinal terms, you can liken it to WOs being involved in the gestative process rather than as the end users!
     
  4. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Obviously Chief Tw@t has an opinion about WOs.

    However, WOs have been used as Platoon Commanders for quite some time. IMHO keeping the WO in their 'traditional' role of the most experienced soldiers, able to bring along both young officers and soldiers alike is a bit out of date. WOs have shown by holding the rank that they have the skills and intelligence as soldiers and there is no reason why they should be restricted in the roles they undertake.

    Maybe the question should be "Is the Officer corps too large?" perhaps by placing WOs in junior staff posts will give the opportunity for YOs to go back to commanding their troops and learning their job before going off on the staff route to seniority.
     
  5. Well, just about all the major armies employ warrants and seniors as platoon commanders, captains as company commanders and reduce the number of majors significantly by so doing. All indicators that our officer corps is, by comparison, too large. If one peers up to the dizzy heights of senior officerdom, there is a disproporionate bulge. If the pyramid base (Majs) is reduced, what need for so many Lt Cols, Cols and the like to preserve a hierarchy.......
    Increasingly, Staff appointments are being filled by warrants on the LSL or by ROs - sorry, Civil Servants with relevent military experience. I'd like to say that this is with the intent of maintaining the young, gifted and able at the coal face but somehow the words "cost cutting measure" and "gap, resignation, overstretch" and "alternative career" all come to mind.
    The British Army is, by its nature, evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Well, that has been the case until of late. If one has sufficient pace of evolution, one achieves revolution and, once sufficient spin is generated, you end up with a revolution. My concern is, increasingly, that we - the Army - are being forced to react to enforced circumstances. When one does so, be it with rank structures, weapons sytems or developing doctrine, the "law of unexpected consequences" comes into effect. In the not too distant future, I shall be a spectator rather than a participant and shall be intrigued to see where we end up and what sort of creature we shall be at the end - if there is an end and not just perpetual revolution.
     
  6. In the Canadian Forces there are increasing numbers of staff positions that call for either long service captains or Chief Warrant Officers (equiv to British WO1) in the job description. Dont see what the problem is, any CWO/WO1/E9 should be able to do the job of any officer in their Corps.
     
  7. I remember reading in JC Dunn's excellent The War the Infantry Knew a description of a German attack written by one of the officers leading the defence.

    The commentator had fulsome praise for the ability of the German WO leading it and rued that the British Army never made similar use of the talents of their own equivalents.

    I think since we've always been an extremely conservative organisation, there's not much chance of seeing this happen other than by the LE route. Our mindset can accommodate the individuals doing a job their suited for, but only once they've been converted into 'gentlemen' specifically for the role. It's a case of "it's a job for officers, so only officers can do the job" = "make 'em officers".
     
  8. German army uses Captains as Coy Comds and it works!! In fact it is better in my opinion!
     
  9. WO11 ...1963 a real comedian!!!
     

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  10. Typical to slag a poster for just seeking more information. Chief 2 has an opinion as he is a CWO2. What he wants to know how WO's fit into the staff section.
     
  11. In Chief 2's case, I think that if he were killed and stuffed he might make a reasonably adequate hat stand.
     
  12. The Singapore Armed Forces seem to have grasped the nettle on widening the roles of Warrant Officers who not only serve as Regimental Sergeant Majors but are also given appointments such as Quartermaster and Motor Transport Officer in training and non-combat units.
     
  13. Its comments like this that turn US posters off to this site.I have to confess that when I first began posting here I was very pro-British. Over time my attitude has changed considerably. The enthusiastic yank bashing gets old. The lack of civility doubly so.
     
  14. Actually tomahawk you'll find that not everyone on here "Yank bashers".

    You will also find that Chief_Two has previous form on these forums, and is one of the reasons that quite a few people have ended up "Yank bashing".

    Toodle pip!