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troy2k 08-05-2008 13:00

Old School vs. New School
"In order to get promoted to the higher CWO grades, he must spend time at Bn, Gp and SFCOM."

Sorry, but this is wrong, for today's force anyways. The new doctrine is that a WO will stay on a Team until CW3(P). Whether it goes down like that or not is yet to be seen, but with TLs and Tm SGTs limited to 2 years (again, doctrinally), it is clear that the 180A is being redesigned to be the source of continuity on ODAs.

Which makes me real glad I made the transition.

Backwoods 01-13-2009 14:57


Originally Posted by kgoerz (Post 206362)
How so? I never saw this. There is the inevitable SWC Tour for NCO'S. But how many Warrants do time at BN and GRP.
Once they replaced Lt's with WO. Instead of getting a Team leader with a couple of years Team experience you got one with no experience. To me the WO program was one of the worst Team organization decisions ever made.

Troy, I am surprised you didn't jump on this....hope you are doing good. Take care of Blue (aka Clint) he's getting long in the tooth.

Please Mr. kgoerz explain why you think it was one of the worst Team org decisions ever made?? And please make your argument logical like the good team guy you are.

troy2k 01-13-2009 19:20


Originally Posted by kgoerz View Post
How so? I never saw this. There is the inevitable SWC Tour for NCO'S. But how many Warrants do time at BN and GRP.
Once they replaced Lt's with WO. Instead of getting a Team leader with a couple of years Team experience you got one with no experience. To me the WO program was one of the worst Team organization decisions ever made.
Honestly I avoided that comment specifically, it sounded suspicious, like he was trying to piss someone off without providing specifics relevant to today's army. His frame of reference I am guessing is 20 odd years ago. So be it. Today the Tm Sgt is on a two yr track, for better or worse. Sure there may be exceptions, but that is exactly what they are...exceptions. This fact speaks volumes about today's careerist emphasis, and the problem set within SF. I can't tell you how many CSMs I have met who told me they wish they had gone WO once they figured out the writing on the wall. It is the new standard for people who are truly interested in team time, and ready to put the team first by acting as a source of continuity.
2LT? Gimme a break, the Cold War is over brother. Frankly if WO vs 2LT is the crucial point of a persons arguments to better SF, I think you need to get your head wrapped around the modern problem set. I just spent 20 minutes typing it into this text box, but decided against it...too much dirty laundry on the internet. You want my real opinion, PM me.

The Reaper 01-13-2009 20:55

I can vouch for kgoerz and the fact that he is a stand-up guy and recent retiree.


troy2k 01-13-2009 22:42

Fair enough...
I didn't intend to question the man, as much as express my own lack of understanding the statement. I only know what is rocking my world currently, and it damn sure isn't the 2LT vs. WO question. I reiterate my offer to discuss relevant issues elsewhere.

Beerhunter 01-14-2009 09:33

2 questions for the Chief's:

Is the WO Candidate in SF typicaly a junior or senior NCO?

Do you guys go to WOC at Mother Rucker or is there a separate SF WOC now?

troy2k 01-15-2009 09:17

Mother Rucker...funny
Easily the dumbest of 20 years worth of dumb events...I was in the last WOC class to include 180As, before the "trial" implementation of Ft Bragg's 180A WOTTC course, which includes a 2 week candidate phase.

The program as I understand it, was a two year trial. I am certain it will NOT revert back to Rucker-based training. There was simply nothing there to justify SF candidates attending.

The targeted candidate for the program is at approximately 10 yrs of service. As insane as today's force management is, that means virtually nothing.

Beerhunter 01-16-2009 19:33

Your words could best describe the whole Warrant Officer Program Redeux in the 1980's.
Before then , in all MOS's except aviation, they used to take the 15 to 20 year Senior NCO, graduate of the school of hard knocks, master tradesman in the field, skilled technician; and send him to "Charm School" for 2 weeks and anoint him a Chief Warrant Officer. After that, Commanders, NCOs' (including SGMs), and the Soldiers would take the Chiefs word as the last word, when it came to how to do the job. A CWO used to be the best damn job in the Army; by an act of Congress, they could not assign you out of your career field.

"When you Commission a product, you hope for success.
When you Warrant a product, you guarantee satisfaction."
Nuclear Weapons Warrant Officers Motto

Backwoods 01-17-2009 04:51

I agree with Troy of course. The relevancy of the 2LT vs WO argument is non-existent from education to experience to leadership. I only poked at Troy a little because he is a good warrant and getting him fired up is always interesting. On my part, I tend to forget that some of the discourse that occurs on this forum is with great SF soldiers who come from a different time and place. I too spent 20-30 minutes writing a retort to kgoerz and I will also admit that it is a comment I often hear from guys that have little actual experience with WO and the experience they do have was with one of our 1% brethren. (ie the 1% rule that 1% always slips through the cracks no matter how tightly the box is made.) The only thing I will point out though is this fact. Increasingly, the only people that have an understanding of SF’s core mission, UW, are warrants which is a testament about the guys becoming WOs. When I bring up the question of SF’s mission to the officer side of the house or the senior enlisted we talk DA, SR, COIN or CT. If UW is brought up the understanding of UW is that it encompasses DA, SR, COIN or CT at a hyper-conventional level.

I was a couple classes ahead of Troy WOC in Rucker. Unlike him though, I have started to question the possible relevancy of WOC. I agree that Rucker is not the place to send us, we end up teaching there as much as the instructors. However, the “pain” of going through Rucker was a filter of sorts. I can not, nor will not, speak on the current combined program (WOC into WOBC). I plan to check it out thoroughly when I go to the Advanced course this fall. What I would like to see would be a SF specific WOC that is physically and mentally demanding. This is for two reasons. First and foremost it is a credibility issue. I feel that if SF WOC was truly challenging then maybe some of the questions regarding the durability and capability of the WO would become diminished. Second, it would be a filter or screening of sorts. While we would always have to deal the 1% rule, I think that it is a Newtonian law of sorts, it would give the regiment guys that truly want to take the WO position.

Again, I have to jump on the bandwagon about force management. Its not great to say the least. Typically, WO come from the E7s among us. (One of my classmates, and now COW, came out on the E9 list while we were in WOBC. Also, contrary to popular belief, most of the guys in my class would have been TM SGTs. However, due to the limited amount of time TM SGT now get on a team and the overwhelming desire to stay on ODAs many of these guys opted to go WO.)

However, as time goes on I think that we will see that this will be the more common path for the 18X guys who elect to stay in the regiment. The vast majority of these guys have their undergraduate and sometimes graduate degrees. (Currently, 7 guys on my ODA have undergrads and the rest have some college.) They could become officers, some will, but for the most part they are interested in be WOs.

Of more relevance right now would be the education system and pay of the SF WO. Currently, as Troy can attest, SF WO are increasingly placed in command positions. Troy was the Det. Cdr of his ODA while deployed and I have been the Det. Cdr of my ODA for the better part of 2 years. However, up until most recently our education system was the basic course, advanced course, staff course and senior staff course. While the SF WO is not a “technical” warrant in reality that puts us out of going to any “whiz bang” technical schools. However, SF WO are the only combat oriented warrants thus placing any type of educational curriculum fully in line with the SF line officers. Thank goodness we are evolving as a force, the warrants, and people are recognizing that SF WO need to have the same if not more educational specific requirements in regards to the SF mission; thus, NPS slots and now CGSC slots.

As for pay…..that would be a five page diatribe on my part; however, in my most articulate manner I would sum it up as this: We are cheap help. 2 cents and 2 pages worth

Beerhunter 01-17-2009 21:23

"God made Warrant Officers to give the junior enlisted someone to worship, the senior enlisted someone to envy, the junior officer someone to tolerate, and the senior officer someone to respect."

The Reaper 01-17-2009 21:41


Originally Posted by Beerhunter (Post 244797)
"God made Warrant Officers to give the junior enlisted someone to worship, the senior enlisted someone to envy, the junior officer someone to tolerate, and the senior officer someone to respect."

Beerhunter, if you are not trolling, you are certainly giving that impression.

Furthermore, you are asking questions that are easily answered by a little searching and reading.

As you are not SF, the personnel and assignment issues pertaining to 180As are of no real concern to you.

I recommend that you acquaint yourself with the Search button and google functions, and stop stirring the pot here.


exsquid 01-18-2009 20:03

My $.02. I came out of the Navy Diving community. In the SPECWAR/EOD/Diving community CWOs where the guys who had the experience & credibility to answer all your questions. They were the guys who enbodied institutional knowledge. The problem with being a CWO was you were no longer operational.

Now I am in the Guard and my company's TLs are CWOs because we don't have 18As. I like it that way. We have 2 CWOs that made the jump at E7, another E7 waiting to go, and our newest CWO was a TmSgt. The idea of being a "Chief" is something I kick around quite often.


HardRoad 01-23-2009 16:10


Originally Posted by troy2k (Post 244453)
Easily the dumbest of 20 years worth of dumb events...I was in the last WOC class to include 180As, before the "trial" implementation of Ft Bragg's 180A WOTTC course, which includes a 2 week candidate phase.

Troy, I suspect that put us in the same WOBC - the one where we got the "whoops, did we forget to tell you that SDAP isn't part of save pay anymore" speech? (And I'm not so sure WOC was useless - until I went there, I thought that the NCOES was the dumbest thing ever devised by mankind. Now I know better.)

On a more serious note, I think the community missed a bet by appointing the candidates at the 2 week mark. There was a real opportunity to make the course more selective by holding the decision whether to appoint as a 180A to the end of the course. That would have made the course more of an evaluation of whether a candidate should be a 180A, rather than a foregone conclusion. (Of course, that would have never happened in the numbers driven SWC environment of the last few years - maybe things will be different now.)

As far as the original question goes - its a tradeoff: with a WO, you get a 2IC (or in a lot of cases, an ODA commander) who has a good bit of SF experience and know-how; with an LT, you get a chance for extended professional development for a soldier who may some day be a team commander.

In my opinion, the tradeoff is well-worth it. In the absence of a CPT, a WO can make a credible team commander, and with a CPT, can make a real contribution on the planning, intel, and ops-intel fusion side of the house. I started in SF before the transition, and my experience with an LT XO (as a young corporal and sergeant, so I was pretty much in the same boat) is that they're pretty much in the mouth shut, ears open and learn mode. I think the "seasoning" of an LT is less important than having a fully capable, experienced person who can either command the team, or advise the commander on the best way to employ an ODA.

And, if an LT wants to be an SF ODA commander in the future, it's not like he's not able to get valuable experience beforehand. In the GWOT, the line between SOF and conventional has blurred (maybe too much, but that's a different topic) and a conventional infantry platoon leader probably has experience with training and working alongside indigenous troops, working through interpreters, dealing with and influencing local nationals. Heck, I remember running into a platoon size patrol in a small Afghan town in 2003 - the PL was all of 23 years old, and (until we showed up) in command of the only US forces within a hundred kilometers. He was dealng with local officials, working with the ANA and AMF in the area to coordinate their activities, scoping out the AO, and so on. Before the war, many seasoned ODA commanders couldn't claim that kind of experience.

My concern is more with the SF warrant program itself - the genesis of the warrant officer program in SF was to get the best of the best into leadership positions - to select and train the most capable and most experienced SF NCOs who had the qualities necessary to be good officers. I think that, with manning pressures, we've lost sight of that goal.

I don't think (less the inevitable 5% who slip through the cracks) that we're selecting bad people for WO. I do think that we're not focusing on experience the way we should, and there are several reasons I feel that way.

1) Taking the 18F requirement out of the pipeline was (IMO) a terrible idea. Almost any experienced SF NCO is going to understand operational planning, if only through osmosis (although I think we ought to require SF ANCOC as a prerequisite for warrant as well.) That's not true of the intel process. On many teams, the 18F goes off into his corner and pops out every once and a while with an area brief or a target nomination. How he gets there is often a complete mystery to other members of the team. How can we expect a WO to be the "go-to guy" for intel-ops fusion if he doesn't understand intel?

(And yes, I know that there is intel training in WOBC. It might be different now, but when I went through, they tried to compress a 3 month course into as many weeks. Those of us who had had the 18F course thought it was extremely rudimentary; those who hadn't were learning enough to pass the test, but not mearly enough the understand the process.)

2) I think that the 3 year ODA requirement is inadequate (especially given the access at less than 10 years goal) Some of the 18X people are approaching their three year mark. You could end up putting a warrant officer on a team who has never been on a JCET, never done an HCA or CD mission, never deployed to any country outside of a war zone, never had to deal with country clearances, the embassy, coordinate with a host nation's military on an equal footing - and the warrant is supposed to manage the long range training calendar and take care of the JCET paperwork, etc. It's very possible that a three year SF veteran will have spent their entire time doing one job (eg FID or DA) on one team for two to three rotations. To me, that's just not enough experience, or enough different experiences, to make a good candidate for a SF WO.

The point of the warrant officer is to provide some depth of experience and continuity on the team, especially given the (again, in my opinion, really dumb) personnel policies that restrict the longevity of the team commander and team sergeant. That means that the warrant oficer should have some knowledge and experience to draw upon above and beyond the average team member. (In fact, we might be better off if we drew WOs primarily from 18Zs who were finished with their 2 years, rather than E-6 and junior E-7 candidates.) I'm concerned that the numerical shortages in the WO field are driving short-sighted decisions about who we access and train as 180A, and in the long run, that can only hurt the 180A program.

my $0.02

Backwoods 01-23-2009 19:47

Great points and arguments Hardroad; however, I am not sure that the SF WO you are describing is practical or possible today, and in my humble opinion should not have been the baseline when the program was started.

We currently have guys who have 5-7 years on teams and all they have done is combat rotations. With 6-9 months on and 6 months off the days of JCETs et al are rare. They are going to have to be learned again.

Additionally, in your point the practice of taking former 18Zs as Warrants does not work 100% of the time. (I had an 18Z make the same comment 5 years ago and say that SF WO should have 18yrs on a team before they become WOs.....please) Most of the time, when a guy has become an 18Z he is toward the end of his career and ready to make SGM or finish up. In addition, most of our 18Zs are in their late 30s or 40s and are finding it sucks to get up in the morning un-crink the bones and move out. (I am not saying this is true for all 18Zs, I have some friends who are studs and make the young guys wish they were dead after a PT session.) I say this because the days of the WO sitting in the back of the TM RM and typing concepts while the team trains are gone. In fact, if a WO tries that now he is branded a S!@# Bag and his team tries to move him along.

Hell, they were branded the same thing in the past. How many times have all of us heard derogatory comments about WO. When you ask why the guys, usually SR E7 or 18Z, say “All my WO ever wanted to do was sit in the back of the room and make power point slides or type concepts. They never went to the range and ducked out of all things with the team.” (Trust me on this I have seen this happen twice in the last 8 months.) Also, I have seen my fair share of SR NCOs who would be “qualified” in your argument to be WOs but don’t know their 4th point from a hole in the ground about UW or the full spectrum of SF OPS. I have also seen dudes with 3-5 years on the team who not only understand such things, but can conceptionalize the 3rd and 4th order effects of said operations. THOSE are the guys we need to be hunting and recruiting. Those are the guys that make the regiment revere the WO position. If we work off of seniority alone, we give guys like kgoerz a very good reason to believe that WO was the worst team decision ever made.

Today the WO is as much if not more of a combat leader as any other officer in the regiment. He should be expected by his team to throw on his ruck and keep up. He doesn’t need to be the best, but he needs to be right there with the team. The days of the old sage WO1 or CW2 sitting in the back of the room and just interjecting wisdom should not have happened in the past and those of us in the W01-CW3 typically don’t want to see them happen again.

When it comes down to brass tacks it should be the WO and TM SGT on that ODA that makes the decision if a guy is capable of being a good WO or not. Not his time line, JCET participation etc.

I do agree with you on the 18F issue. I think that as the WO you are the fusion cell of the team and it should remain as a criteria.

When it comes down to it for knowledge, we need to improve the 180A education course, period. 180A NEED to be the SME on all things UW/Ops/Intel and that needs to be the focus of our training.

I know that this post will ruffle a few feathers. Also, I can not be as articulate as is my typical nature…its 0230 here now. Sorry. BLUF WO are COMBAT LEADERS. SF Leaders lead from the front. WO NEED TO BE the example of an SF Officer. That means recruiting guys that are in the jr E7 range, putting them through a process beyond their WO and TM SGT picking them to insure we have the right guy, and then putting him through the best SF educational system we can produce.

my 2 cents

Soft Target 01-24-2009 17:40

FOG Question
Who jumps the generator?

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