A Warrant Officer Corps in Transition.
For many years, the Army has relied on WOs as its technically expert officer cohort. The Objective Force, with its projected reliance upon modern systems and technology, will bring an expanded role requirement for WOs. The current method used to maintain and educate WOs is not adequate to train the expertise required in transformation. Today, the Army recruits, accesses, pays, manages, educates, and retains WOs separately from line officers. This is changing. The Army is making fundamental changes in the WO cohort to support full-spectrum operations. At the heart of this change is a complete integration of WOs into the larger Officer Corps. The road map to these changes is the Army Training and Leader Development Panel (ATLDP) Warrant Officer Study.
The ATLDP WO Study set forth initiatives to improve WO training, resourcing, and leader development now and throughout the Army Transformation to the Objective Force. This past August, I attended a meeting of the Warrant Officer Leadership Council that discussed the status of implementing the ATLDP WO Study recommendations. I will be the first to admit that the implementation process has been slow but, on the positive side, it is moving forward. The most notable change, of course, was the integration of the Warrant Officer Corps into the Officer branches on 9 July 2004. More fundamental changes will occur in fiscal year 2006 (FY06, October 2005) when the Officer Education System (OES) absorbs the Warrant Officer Education System (WOES).
It is important that all MI warrant officers be aware of emerging changes within our Corps. If you have not read the complete report, I urge you to do so. (It is available online at http://www. usawoa.org/ProfAndMilReading.htm.) Read it as often as necessary so that you fully understand its intent and can educate superiors and subordinates alike about it. At the heart of the ATLDP recommended changes is a complete integration of WOs into the larger Officer Corps while ensuring that WOs retain their heritage as technical experts. The ATLDP WO Study also specified the need to clarify the roles of WOs, then make changes to their professional development, training and education, and personnel resourcing. In essence, WOs must remain relevant throughout Army Transformation. In doing so, we must discard any bias that threatens our relevancy now and in the future. We must take on the responsibility to ensure that others understand WO culture as well as our professional development, training, and personnel needs. The Army leadership can institute a multitude of changes, methods, and business processes, but people are at the core of everything accomplished in the Army.
Let us remember that until 1959 the U.S. Air Force (USAF) also employed WOs as technicians and midlevel managers. However, after a comprehensive review of its warrant officer program, the USAF concluded the following:
"Warrant Officers are not sufficiently flexible for utilization outside of their technical specialty.... Furthermore, officers provide the flexibility for use in a broad span of managerial and career broadening assignments, which are necessary to meet requirements...."
As a result, the USAF determined that structure, training, and retention requirements were best served by "eliminating its warrant officer program."
As the Army transforms to a lighter and more lethal force, capable of effectively operating on future battlefields, a new mindset has to be established. The Warrant Officer Corps must evolve and its members must be recognized as full-fledged members of the Army Officer Corps. WOs must abandon an education system that is neither fully resourced nor uses the latest technology to deliver specialty-specific training. We must shed our current system of accessions and the unfavorable perceptions that accompany it. The negative effects of pay compression, promotion risks, and discouragement mar today's WO recruitment efforts. We must counter with an aggressive recruitment program, with involvement by the entire chain of command so that enlisted soldiers view warrant officer service as the attractive Army career that it truly is, and embrace a mindset of "One Officer Corps."
We must discard a culture where we are separate segments of an officer corps. Instead, we must move forward toward the Objective Force as one officer corps bonded with a common goal and an understanding of one another's roles. Conversely, WOs must discontinue any notions of inflexibility to perform outside their specialties in order to operate effectively in the full spectrum of Army operations.
The ATLDP definition of a Future Force "warrant officer" is the following:
"The Warrant Officer of the Objective Force is a self aware and adaptive technical expert, combat leader, trainer, and advisor. Through progressive levels of expertise in assignments, training, and education, the Warrant Officer administers, manages, maintains, operates, and integrates Army systems and equipment across the full range of Army operations. Warrant Officers are innovative integrators of emerging technologies, dynamic teachers, confident war-fighters, and developers of specialized teams of soldiers. They support a wide range of Army missions throughout their career[s]."
Key points in this ATLDP definition dispel the notion of WOs serving as single-tracked technicians. Of note is the "adaptive technical experts" who must be able to adapt to an ever-changing environment within and outside their technical specialties. The ATLDP definition goes on to state that WOs "support a wide range of Army missions throughout their career[s]." This comment again reverses the notion that future WOs will serve as "single-tracked" technicians. Moreover, the ATLDP definition characterizes WOs as "innovative integrators ... dynamic teachers, confident war-fighters, and developers of specialized teams of soldiers." That defines the future technical officers. The Objective Force WO will remain the Army's technical expert, in addition to encompassing broader warfighting and leadership roles.
On the other hand, some will argue that redefining WOs as multifunctional officers is another attempt to mold them into line officers. It is important to remember this prediction from the ATLDP report that again dispels that notion: "... with the Army's reliance upon modern systems and technology, this will likely bring an expanded role for warrant officers." In addition, a comprehensive report on WOs by the Congressional Budget Office noted an expanded role for Army WOs in the future. The summation is that the technical officer of the future must be a multifunctional and "multidimensional officer capable of operating in a full-spectrum environment."
The Army is well on the path to redefining the roles of WOs so that we are full and relevant participants in its future force structure. Our charter is not to confine ourselves to a particular specialty, unable or unwilling to perform effectively "outside the box." We must remain adaptive technicians, competent warfighters, and confident leaders ready to take on expanded roles in the Objective Force.
Each warrant officer must view the Army's changing environment not from an individual "foxhole" or particular specialty, but in its totality. The Warrant Officer Corps cannot stand by while change occurs all around us. We must be part of the transformation process so that warrant officers remain relevant in the Objective Force.
Collecting Intelligence Observations
Some of our general collection requirements include--
* Observations developed in the course of conducting tactical intelligence collection. How are you integrating and synchronizing the intelligence disciplines, combat patrols (Every Soldier is a Sensor), and the various technology insertions to meet the commander's intelligence requirements? How can you better focus and cue collection in the current environment? How well are you or what gaps are you experiencing in sharing situational awareness across echelons?
* Observations related to the dissemination and sharing of intelligence. What means do you use to disseminate intelligence (both the type of product and communications means)? What battle rhythm do you support with this intelligence? How did you handle the different categories of intelligence (for example, time sensitive vice routine)? What workarounds did you use to overcome shortfalls?
* Observations and best practices related to analysis.
* Observations on the adequacy or shortfalls for the education, training, and experience necessary for G2s, S2s, and other key intelligence staff positions (for example, the collection manager).
* Observations on how to leverage Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP) systems. How do you leverage ongoing national agency collection, analysis, and databases? Identify policies, databases, and training that either helped or did not help during operations.
* Observations on how to acquire and analyze the data and information collected within the various coalition, national, and joint agencies and organizations not traditionally thought of as sources of information.
* Observations on the organization, task organization, and ad hoc use of units and assets during operations (especially changes made to adapt to Phase IV operations).
* Observations on which new concepts and techniques (for example, Every Soldier is a Sensor, Tactical Questioning, and J/G/S2X) have the most merit and/or can be improved.
* Observations related to the adequacy or gaps in cultural awareness training. Please pass your observations to our team by using the lessons learned website which is located on the Fort Huachuca Intelligence Center Online Network (ICON) website. The site contains observations, after-action reviews (AARs), and an online observation submission form. Eventually in the future you will be able to search all observations and their status from this location. The site is located at https://iconportal.hua.army.mil/.
You can access the site by using your existing AKO login and password. To get to the lessons learned site after logging in, click on the OIL (Lessons Learned) tab.
A subsequent article in this issue of MIPB will describe some of our other Lessons Learned web initiatives such as posting techniques on the ICON website and what we have posted to AKO.
Chief Warrant Officer Five James J. Prewitt-Diaz
U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps
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|Title Annotation:||Technical Perspective|
|Author:||Prewitt-Diaz, James J.|
|Publication:||Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2004|
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