Up to $20,000 bonus is being offered to qualified new recruits by the Army National Guard. The Guard is currently determined to recruit for 39 career fields. The opportunities are spread across 54 states and territories. The decision of providing these huge bonuses is based on the difficulty of recruiting new troops, as the Guard is losing its numbers due to retirement. The percentage of new recruits and retiring recruits is almost the same, putting the Guard under pressure to recruit more and more.
According to Maj. Carol Stahl, deputy accessions branch chief for the Army Guard, warrants are technical experts in their fields. Furthermore, he added, “If you really love what you’re doing and want to keep doing that, being a warrant officer is really for you. When a warrant officer speaks, people listen.”
Currently, the Guard has around 8,570 warrant officers in its ranks. It should be noted here that it is not authorized to have more than 10,400 warrants at a time. Earlier this year in January, it was reported that approximately 3,800 of the warrant officers under the Guard are close to retirement. This astonishing number comes as close to 44% of the entire capacity.
She further added that the major issue is the need for technical experts who are highly experienced in their fields. In addition, another issue is attrition since most of the warrant officers first serve as enlisted soldiers and then make the switch.
She added, “It’s an older population, so we have a lot of guys who are up for retirement,” she said. “The number of warrant officers we’re bringing in is being offset by people getting out or retiring.”
The Guard has been able to pull in 242 warrant officers during this fiscal year, which started on October 01, 2015, according to the Chief Warrant Officer 2 Darrell Beal, who is part of the Army Guard’s warrant officer accessions section. Last fiscal year, 2015, the Guard pulled in 573 new warrants but lost approximately 622 to retirement.
While acknowledging the challenges faced by geography and searching the right candidate for the right unit or designation, Stahl added, “We’re always encouraging states to overdrive the (recruiting) mission if possible.”
In order to meet its requirements, the Guard is now accepting applications from within the units as well, alongside from soldiers who want to switch from active Army and service members from other service areas.
Following is important information for anyone looking forward to applying:
What You Should Know?
An affiliation bonus of $20,000 in exchange for a three-year commitment is being offered to warrant officers who are switching from active Army to join the Guard. In addition, if the warrant requires additional training, the tenure of commitment will be doubled to 6-years.
On the other hand, if you are already enlisted in the Guard and want to warrant, you can a bonus up to $20,000 once you complete the MOS-specific training and go on to sign up for an additional 6 years. In addition, when you become a warrant officer, you receive highly specialized training in your chosen field. These trainings can convert into enhanced civilian career opportunities after you retire from the army.
Here are some of the additional benefits that warrant officers receive:
- Sergeants with more than eight years of service experience is able to make $398.64 every weekend for grills. In addition, any warrant officer 1 with experience of 8 years can make up to $533.28.
- An E-5 with experience of more than 10 years can make up to $419.68. Similarly, a WO1 with experience of 10 years can make up to $552.56.
- Note: All of these benefits do not include any additional payments that soldiers might receive during their two-week annual training.
- Healthy promotion rates are given to warrant officers. According to Stahl, “Promotion rates up to CW4 are virtually a lock based on vacancies.”
- Promotions that up to CW4 are mostly unit vacancy based in the Guard. These are usually guaranteed once the officer meets his time in grade and educational requirement and has good standing.
- Guard warrants are not competing against peers for promotion decided by a selection board, as it happens in the Army and Army Reserve.
- Moreover, note that if a sergeant first with 2 years of experience in grade makes a switch to being a warrant officer, he or she is automatically promoted to CW2, once they complete the training.
- Lastly, candidates are eligible to state-specific veteran and educational benefits.
Who Can Join?
The Guard is considering soldiers who are switching from the active Army, service members from all service areas and new candidates who want to join.
According to Stahl, Of course we’re always looking for warrant officers within our own ranks, but we just can’t fill our ranks with just our in-service guys. There’s just not enough of them.” They are hoping that the Guard’s hometown locations across the USA can be fruitful for them in terms of new warrants and those who want to switch their fields.
Stahl further added, “If you decide to get off active duty, you’re probably going to go back to where your family is from or where you can get a job.” She went on saying that the Guard is also interested in candidates who have served in the Navy, Air Force or Marine Corps, if they are qualified.
She added, “Sometimes you don’t have a one-for-one match on our [military occupational specialties], but sometimes you do.” According to her, the Guard will review records in order to check if they qualify for all applicants regardless of their background.
Which Fields Require Warrants?
Currently, the Guard is focusing on the following 39 areas in particular, while seeking warrants for other areas as well.
- 120A: Construction engineering technician
- 125D: Geospatial engineering technician
- 131A: Field artillery targeting technician
- 140A: Command and control systems technician
- 140E: Air and missile defense tactician/technician (Patriot systems technician)
- 150A: Air traffic control technician
- 150U: Tactical unmanned aerial systems operations technician
- 170A: Cyber operations technician
- 180A: Special Forces warrant officer
- 255A: Information services technician
- 255N: Network management technician
- 255S: Information protection technician
- 255Z: Cyberspace network operations technician
- 270A: Legal administrator
- 290A: Electronic warfare technician
- 350F: All-source intelligence technician
- 350G: Geospatial intelligence imagery technician
- 351L: Counterintelligence technician
- 351M: Human intelligence collection technician
- 352N: Signals intelligences analysis technician
- 353T: Military intelligence systems maintenance/integration technician
- 420A: Human resources technician
- 670A: Health services maintenance technician
- 740A: Chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological technician
- 880A: Marine deck officer
- 881A: Marine engineering officer
- 882A: Mobility officer
- 890A: Ammunition warrant officer
- 913A: Armament systems maintenance warrant officer
- 914A: Allied trades warrant officer
- 915A: Automotive maintenance warrant officer
- 919A: Engineer equipment maintenance warrant officer
- 920A: Property accounting technician
- 920B: Supply systems technician
- 921A: Airdrop systems technician
- 922A: Food service technician
- 923A: Petroleum systems technician
- 948B: Electronic systems maintenance warrant officer
- 948D: Electronic missile systems maintenance warrant officer
In addition, it is pertinent to mention here that the Guard is facing the biggest shortage in military intelligence and Cyber, alongside other critical areas being signal, electronic warfare and air defense artillery.
What is the Procedure to Apply?
In order to check out the full list of requirements, interested candidates can visit the following list;
Some of major requirements are mentioned below:
- Be a US Citizen
- Have a Technical Score of 110 or higher
- Hold a High School Diploma
- Can obtain a Secret Clearance or better. This can vary by the career field.
- Can pass the Commissioning Physical Exam and the Army Physical Fitness Test.
- Should have at least 12 months left on the enlisted contract when applying
For more information regarding serving as a warrant officer, you can visit the following link:
Those who are currently enlisted as soldiers in the Active Army or are warrant officers already should get in touch with the Reserve Component Career Counselor at their installation.
Other interested candidates should get in touch with their state, District or territory of Columbia warrant officer strength manager. You can find more information regarding warrant officer strength managers on the following link: