Chief warrant officer

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Chief Warrant Officer is a military rank used by the United States Armed Forces, by French language equivalency of senior military occupations and specialties in the Canadian Armed Forces (bilingual) and French Armed Forces, the British Armed Forces, the Israel Defense Forces, the South African National Defence Force and since 2012, the Singapore Armed Forces. In the United States Armed Forces Chief Warrant Officers are actual officers not NCO'S like other NATO forces.

[1]

Canada[edit]

Canadian Armed Forces[edit]

The Canadian Senior ranks (Rangs supérieurs) (bilingual) French language form of Chief Warrant Officer is Adjudant-Chef (adjuc).

In the Canadian Armed Forces, a Chief Warrant Officer or CWO is the most senior non-commissioned member (NCM) rank in the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Its equivalent rank in the Royal Canadian Navy is Chief Petty Officer 1st Class (CPO1).

A CWO is senior to the rank of Master Warrant Officer[2] (MWO) and its Royal Canadian Navy equivalent of Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class (CPO2).

Cadets Canada uses the ranks of Chief Petty Officer 1st Class, Chief Warrant Officer, and Warrant Officer 1st Class respectively. This organization's uniforms use a similar Coat of Arms insignia as the Canadian Armed Forces.

Insignia[edit]

The slip on worn on a Warrant Officer 1st Class in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. This is signified by the word "cadet". In the Canadian Forces, "Canada" would be printed in its place.

The rank insignia of the CWO is a simplified version of the 1957 Coat of Arms of Canada, worn on both forearms of the Service Dress tunic; in gold metal and green enamel miniature pins on the collar of the Service Dress shirt and outerwear coats (Army only); on CADPAT slip-ons worn in the middle of the chest, embroidered in tan (Army) or blue (Air Force) thread; and in gold thread on blue slip-ons on both shoulders of other uniforms (Air Force only).

The insignia lacks the annulus, from 1985 changes, behind the shield bearing the motto of the Order of Canada. It also differs from both the 1957 and 1985 versions through a lack of Compartment and Mantling.

Forms of address[edit]

CWOs are generally initially addressed as "Chief Warrant Officer", and thereafter as "Sir" or "Ma'am" by subordinates; and as Mr. or Ms. by commissioned officers. If they hold the appointment of Regimental Sergeant-Major, they may also be addressed as "RSM" by the Commanding Officer. CWOs are never addressed as "Chief", this being a form of addressed reserved for Chief Petty Officers. Civilians can address them as Chief Warrant Officer or CWO or Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms (followed by Surname).

Appointments[edit]

CWOs may hold a number of appointments, some of which are listed below:

Due to the unified nature of the Canadian Armed Forces, it is not unheard-of for Royal Canadian Air Force CWOs or even Royal Canadian Navy CPO1s – especially those of the so-called "purple trades", such as logistics or military police – to find themselves filling the appointment of RSM in what are otherwise considered Canadian Army units (such as Service Battalions or Communication Regiments). Conversely, it is not impossible for a Canadian Army CWO or Royal Canadian Navy CPO1 to find themselves as the Squadron CWO of a Royal Canadian Air Force squadron.

Senior Appointments[edit]

Senior Appointments for Chief Warrant Officers and Chief Petty Officers 1st Class entitle the incumbents to wear a modified rank badge or an addition to the rank badge. They are as follows:[3]

  • Formation Chief Warrant Officer – the Coat of Arms over the central insignia of the badge of the Canadian Armed Forces (crossed swords, an anchor and an eagle in flight). This appointment is given to CWO assigned to commanders at the base, brigade/wing, and division levels. Specific examples include Base Chief Warrant Officer, Brigade Sergeants-Major, Wing Chief Warrant Officers, the Division Chief Warrant Officer (DCWO) of 1 Canadian Air Division and the Division Sergeant-Major (Div SM) of 3rd Canadian Division (3 Cdn Div). A Formation Chief Warrant Officer would typically be seen with a Col-BGen, but may occasionally be seen with a LCol or MGen.
  • Command Chief Warrant Officer (CCWO) – the Coat of Arms with a wreath of laurel wrapped around the base. This appointment is given to CWO assigned to commanders of commands including to the Commander CANSOFCOM, Commander CFINTCOM and Commander CJOC. The Command Chief Warrant Officer appointed to the Commander Canadian Army is called the Canadian Army Sergeant-Major, while the Command Chief Warrant Officer appointed to Commander RCAF is known as the Air Force Chief Warrant Officer. A Command Chief Warrant Officer would be seen with a MGen or LGen.
  • Canadian Forces Chief Warrant Officer (CFCWO) – the Coat of Arms with a wreath of twenty maple leaves wrapped around the base and sides. This appointment is given to CWO or CPO1 assigned to the Chief of Defence Staff. The CFCWO is not classified as a Sergeant-Major (even if the appointee is an Army CWO) nor as a Petty Officer (even if the appointee is a Navy CPO1).

Messes and quarters[edit]

CWOs generally mess and billet with other Warrant Officers and with Sergeants, and their Royal Canadian Navy equivalents, Chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers. Their mess on military bases or installations are generally named the "Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess".

Uniforms[edit]

Although NCMs, CWOs generally wear the uniform accoutrements of commissioned officers; for example, officer cap badge, waistcoat instead of cummerbund with mess kit, Sam Browne belt instead of sash for infantry, etc.

France[edit]

French Armed Forces[edit]

Similarly to the Canadian Senior ranks (Rangs supérieurs) (bilingual), the French language for Chief Warrant Officer form is Adjudant-Chef (Chief Adjudant) (adjuc) and Adjudant (adj) for Warrant Officer. However, in France, the highest Enlisted/Warrant Officer in the ranks in the French Navy, ranks in the French Army, ranks in the French Foreign Legion, the ranks of the French Air Force and the ranks of the National Gendarmerie is Major. Therefore, the rank of French Major can be considered the highest enlisted rank commanding also warrant officers Adjudant or chief warrant officers Adjudant Chef within warrant fields of specalities across the French Armed Forces enlisted ranks.

Note the difference with many rank systems where majors rank above captaines. In France, the equivalent following the rank of Captain is Commandant.

Israel[edit]

Israel Defense Forces[edit]

רב-נגד
Rav nagad
insignia
IDF

The רב-נגד Rav nagad, a Chief Warrant Officer is the most senior non-commissioned officers rank in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Because the IDF is an integrated force, they have a unique rank structure. IDF ranks are the same in all services (army, navy, air force, etc.). The ranks are derived from those of the paramilitary Haganah developed in the British Mandate of Palestine period to protect the Yishuv. This origin is reflected in the slightly-compacted IDF rank structure.[4]

Israel Defense Forces ranks : נגדים nagadim - non-commissioned officers (NCO)
IDF NCO
rank
רב-סמל
Rav samal
רב-סמל ראשון
Rav samal rishon
רב-סמל מתקדם
Rav samal mitkadem
רב-סמל בכיר
Rav samal bakhír
רב-נגד משנה
Rav nagad mishne
רב-נגד
Rav nagad
NATO  OR-5 OR-6 OR-7 OR-8 OR-9
Abbreviation רס"ל
Rasal
רס"ר
Rasar
רס"מ
Rasam
רס"ב
Rasab
רנ"מ
Ranam
רנ"ג
Ranag
Corresponding
rank
Sergeant first class Master sergeant Sergeant major Command sergeant major Warrant officer Chief warrant officer
Insignia IDF Ranks Rasal.svg IDF Ranks Rasar.svg IDF Ranks Rasam.svg IDF Ranks Rasab.svg IDF Ranks Ranam.svg IDF Ranks Ranag.svg
More details at Israel Defense Forces ranks & IDF 2012 - Ranks (idf.il, english)

United Kingdom[edit]

British Armed Forces[edit]

United States[edit]

Uniform of a Marine Chief Warrant Officer 4

United States Armed Forces[edit]

Chief Warrant Officer in the United States Armed Forces refers to any warrant officer CWO-2 and above All Warrant Officer's(WO1/CWO-5) are officers and rate a salute by all enlisted "NATO OR" personal. Only the US Army uses W1-CW5 all other use CWO-2 thru CWO-5 not sure why the US Army drops the "O" All Warrants dine in officers mess but rate just below 0-1 NATO rank code OF-1.The Warrant officer emblems are the only Officers insignia that are not the same for all branches except for the CWO-5 which became the only universal insignia with in the CWO ranks when the US Navy promoted its first CWO-5 in 2002 and the Army adopted the emblem in 2004. While chief warrant officers (W-2 to W-5) are commissioned by the President of the United States, both warrant officers and chief warrant officers take the same Oath of Office as regular commissioned officers (O-1 to O-10). Warrant officers in the United States are classified as officers and are in the "W" category (NATO "WO"); they are technical leaders and specialists. Chief warrant officers are commissioned by the president of the United States and take the same oath as regular commissioned officers. They may be technical experts with a long service as enlisted personnel, or direct entrants, notably for U.S. Army helicopter pilots

All Army Activities Message 043/2004

R 231942Z MAR 04 FROM: HQDA WASHINGTON DC //DAPE-HRPD-IRPD// TO ALARACT (ALARACT 042/2004)

SUBJECT: CHANGES TO CW5 RANK, AND WARRANT OFFICERS BRANCH INSIGNIA AND COLORS

A. AR 670-1, 5 SEP 03, WEAR AND APPEARANCE OF ARMY UNIFORMS AND INSIGNIA 1. THIS ALARACT MESSAGE SERVES AS AUTHORIZATION TO PROCURE, DISTRIBUTE AND WEAR CW5 INSIGNIA, AND WEAR OF BRANCH INSIGNIA AND COLORS AS DESCRIBED BELOW. 2. THE CONVERSION ON THE WEAR OF BRANCH INSIGNIA AND COLORS BY WARRANT OFFICERS IS A FIRST STEP TOWARDS THE FULL INTEGRATION OF WARRANT OFFICER RECRUITING, ACCESSION, EDUCATION AND MANAGEMENT INTO THE BRANCH-BASED SYSTEMS OF THE LARGER OFFICER CORPS. ADDITIONALLY, THE INCREASINGLY JOINT NATURE OF OPERATIONS WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, AND THE EXPANDED USE OF OUR MOST SENIOR WARRANT OFFICERS IN JOINT OPERATIONS VALIDATES THE NEED TO STANDARDIZE CW5 RANK INSIGNIA AMONG ALL THE SERVICES THAT EMPLOY THEM. 3. TO THIS EFFECT, THE FOLLOWING CHANCES ARE APPROVED BY THE CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMY ON THE WARRANT OFFICER UNIFORM A. CW5 WILL WEAR THE CW5 INSIGNIA APPROVED IN 1970 BY THE FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMY. THE CW5 INSIGNIA IS A SILVER-COLORED BAR, 3/8 INCH IN WIDTH AND 1-1/8 INCH IN LENGTH, WITH A BLACK LINE IN THE CENTER OF THE BAR. THIS CHANGE WILL TAKE EFFECT ON 9 JULY 2004 COINCIDING WITH THE 86TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WARRANT OFFICER CORPS.

Warrant officers (WO1–CW5)

Warrant Officers (WO) and Chief Warrant Officers (CWO) in the US Military rank below officers but above officer candidates and enlisted servicemen. The first warrant officer rank, WO1 does not have a "commission" associated with it, instead having a "Warrant" from the Secretary of the Army. Warrant officers are allowed the same courtesies as a commissioned officer, but may have some restrictions on their duties that are reserved for commissioned officers. Warrant officers usually receive a commission once they are promoted to Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CW2), but are usually not referred to as "commissioned officers". WO1s may be and sometimes are appointed by commission as stated in title 10USC. The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard also discontinued the grade of W-1 in 1975, appointing and commissioning all new entrants as chief warrant officer two (pay grade W-2, with rank abbreviation of CWO2). Unlike the army, all navy and coast guard chief warrant officers are selected strictly from the chief petty officer pay grades (E-7 through E-9). The Coast Guard selects warrant officers from pay grade E-6

On a side note the US Army Warrants did not rate a salute from enlisted until 1986 see article below.

The Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1986 amended Title 10 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) to provide that "Army Chief Warrant Officers shall be appointed by Commission." The primary purpose of the legislation was to equalize appointment procedures among the services. Chief Warrant Officers of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard had been commissioned for many years. Contrary to popular belief, the commissioning legislation was not a Total Warrant Officer Study (TWOS) recommendation but a separate Army proposal. Further clarification of the role of an Army Warrant Officer, including the commissioned aspect, is found in Field Manual 22-100. (See also “When and why were warrant officers commissioned?”)
   "Warrant Officers are highly specialized, single-track specialty officers who receive their authority from the Secretary of the Army upon their initial appointment. However, Title 10 U.S.C. authorizes the commissioning of Warrant Officers (WO1) upon promotion to chief Warrant Officer (CW2). These commissioned Warrant Officers are direct representatives of the president of the United States. They derive their authority from the same source as commissioned officers but remain specialists, in contrast to commissioned officers, who are generalists. Warrant Officers can and do command detachments, units, activities, and vessels as well as lead, coach, train, and counsel subordinates. As leaders and technical experts, they provide valuable skills, guidance, and expertise to commanders and organizations in their particular field." 

Commissioning of Army Warrant officers

                    “When and why were warrant officers commissioned?”  
Prior to passage of the Defense Authorization Act 1986,

appointments of regular and reserve chief warrant officers of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard were made by commission; appointments of all Army WO’s, however, were made by the Secretary of the Army. The commissioned status of the Chief Warrant Officers of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard was considered more prestigious and empowering than the appointment from Secretary of the Army. Those major considerations, along with concerns relating to the Army fully utilizing the leadership

experience/capabilities of warrant officers, 

resulted in the initiative to commission Army warrant officers. Brief Background:

The warrant officer commissioning 

legislation was the result of several years of effort by both the Army and the WO association. Along with the prestige and empowerment considerations, several specific

issues were offered as rationale for the 

commissioning initiative: authority while in a command position; the authority to enlist Soldiers; and the characterization of WO service as “commissioned”. While these issues (and others) provided specific rationale for making the legislative change, the stated official DOD intent for proposing the action was to “conform service practices concerning the appointment of WO's” and to equalize the status of Army CWO with the CWO of the sea services. Commissioning Impact:

The passage of the Act removed any limitations previously 

imposed by law and provided appropriate authority to coincide with warrant officer responsibilities. The legislation also eliminated statutory ambiguity concerning many duties that warrant officers already performed. For example, warrant officers already commanded small detachments and other similar units, but their authority was derived from the provisions of Executive Order No. 8938,10 Nov 1941 (No.6 F .R 5743) rather than from inherent authority provided to commissioned officers. The legal change allowed warrant officers to be designated as “commanding officer” in the commissioned context, providing (in the opinion of the 1977 reviewing legal agency) greater authority for warrant officers in the execution of their responsibilities as commanders under UCMJ.

          Among the additional changes provided by the action were the authority to execute 

oaths and the provision that allows warrant officers to be charged with a violation of article 133, UCMJ “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman”. Summary:

While the commissioning of Army warrant
officers is often misunderstood 

both by warrant and branch officers, the impact is

significant and clear.  Simply stated, the 

legislative change provides warrant officers with the same authority and status of all other commissioned officers. They can administer oaths, serve as “commanding officers” and perform any other officer duty that

is allowed by policy and law.  They also have the same 

limitations and are legally bound to adhere to the same officer standards. Perhaps however, the most significant and subtle

aspect of the initiative is 

captured in the verbiage supporting the original 1987 DA Form 71 commissioning action: “Acceptance of the commission by the eligible CWO demonstrates the understanding that this formal step improves and enhances his or her ability to be a member of the leadership of the U .S. Army”.


Grade Rank Abbreviation Army Air Force
(discontinued)
Navy Coast Guard Marine Corps
W-1 Warrant officer one WO-1
WO1 (Army)
U.S. Army warrant officer 1 rank insignia
U.S. Air Force warrant officer 1 rank insignia
US Navy WO1 insignia.svg
Discontinued
1975
US CG WO1 insignia.svg
Discontinued
1975
USMC warrant officer 1 rank insignia
W-2 Chief warrant officer two CWO-2
CW2 (Army)
U.S. Army chief warrant officer 2 rank insignia
U.S. Air Force chief warrant officer 2 rank insignia
U.S. Navy chief warrant officer 2 rank insignia
U.S. Coast Guard chief warrant officer 2 rank Insignia
USMC chief warrant officer 2 rank insignia
W-3 Chief warrant officer three CWO-3
CW3 (Army)
U.S. Army chief warrant officer 3 rank insignia
U.S. Air Force chief warrant officer 3 rank insignia
U.S. Navy chief warrant officer 3 rank insignia
U.S. Coast Guard chief warrant officer 3 rank insignia
USMC chief warrant officer 3 rank insignia
W-4 Chief warrant officer four CWO-4
CW4 (Army)
U.S. Army chief warrant officer 4 rank insignia
U.S. Air Force chief warrant officer 4 rank insignia
U.S. Navy chief warrant officer 4 rank insignia
U.S. Coast Guard chief warrant officer 4 rank insignia
USMC chief warrant officer 4 rank insignia
W-5 Chief warrant officer five CWO-5
CW5 (Army)
U.S. Army chief warrant officer 5 rank insignia
U.S. Air Force chief warrant officer 5 rank insignia
US Navy CW5 insignia.svg

Established
1994;
not
implemented
USMC chief warrant officer 5 rank insignia

South Africa[edit]

South African Armed Forces[edit]

In 2008[5] the Warrant Officer ranks of the South African National Defence Force were expanded and the rank of Chief Warrant Officer was created. In the South African Navy a Chief Warrant Officer is the senior NCO in Fleet Command. In the South African Army the equivalent is the senior NCO in an Army Formation, such as Armour, Infantry etc.

Chief Warrant Officer rank insignia in the SANDF

Notable Warrant Officers[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/resourcelibrary/cyberpioneer/topics/articles/news/2012/jun/29jun12_news2.htmll
  2. ^ http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/ranks/warrantofficers.htm
  3. ^ http://www.dnd.ca/site/acf-apfc/Insig/index-eng.asp
  4. ^ "Israel Defense Forces ranks". wikipedia.org. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  5. ^ http://www.dod.mil.za/news/news2008/sep2008/Sep2008-3.pdf
  6. ^ David F. Cooper. "Valor awards for David F. Cooper". Projects.militarytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  7. ^ Keith Yoakum. "Valor awards for Keith Yoakum". Projects.militarytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  8. ^ Jason W. Myers. "Valor awards for Jason W. Myers". Projects.militarytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  9. ^ "TogetherWeServed - WO John LANG". Navy.togetherweserved.com. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  10. ^ Floyd Bennett
  11. ^ John William Frederick , Jr. "Valor awards for John William Frederick , Jr". Projects.militarytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  12. ^ http://www.mcata.com/April%202003.pdf
  13. ^ http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/books/1968/0479.cfm
  14. ^ "Last continuously serving draftee retires after 42 years of service". 2014-10-28. Retrieved 2014-11-19.