In December, Rob will celebrate two years of being a Warrant Officer. Which also means he will pick up another rank and the official Chief title.
It's hard to believe it has already been almost two years since Rob completed Warrant Officer Candidate School and recited the Oath of Commissioned Officers, officially crossing over.
Rob went from a Staff-Sergeant in the United States Army to a Warrant Officer. Which also means he went from the enlisted side of the Army to the officer side.
Watching him go through this process, rooting him on every step of the way and experiencing the transition with him... here are my five biggest take aways.
1. Your person has been selected! The easy part is done. Warrant Officer Candidate School is a HUGE test for not only your soldier but for family too. The five weeks of WOCS is a lot like basic training. Your soldier will be put through a lot and you will have little to no communication when they absolutely need it the most. So make sure you send them off with lots of love and praise.
2. Nothing big changes for you, the spouse. Rob went through this transition while we were stationed at Fort Gordon. Our situation was unique in that Rob's Warrant Officer Basic Course (the course AFTER WOCS that is job specific) was also at Fort Gordon. Which means we did not leave our prior military community behind. Technically speaking Rob is supposed to follow certain guidelines for fraternization outside of work. But me? Those rules don't apply. No friends or prior-acquaintances were dropped as a result of Rob's career advancing.
3. Some things do change. For example... the Fort Campbell Spouse Club membership dues. Prior to Rob going warrant I would pay $20 as an E6 spouse to be a part of the club. The FCSC groups WO1-WO2 in the lower category and I actually only pay $15. The same thing happens with MyCAA. Before when Rob was an E6, I did not qualify. But when he became a WO1, I now quality for funding. It's super random... but sometimes pleasantly surprising. On the flip side of things, we sometimes find Rob's rank groups us in with higher prices. Most military golf courses divide their rates up based on ranks. A dollar or two here or there though isn't going to break ya, I promise -- but do take advantage of free school funding if you need and or want to!
4. Find a current Warrant Officer spouse and use them as a mentor. I've said several times that the ladies I met while at Fort Gordon were a HUGE help before, during and after this transition. One of my favorite ladies checked in with me the morning the list came out. Looking back on our conversation after the list was released, she knew he had been selected and was setting a positive tone for that morning and the rest of the day. Fort Gordon has A LOT of signal Warrant Officers. Fort Campbell does not. Fort Campbell has a lot of aviation Warrant Officers - none of which my husband works with. So needless to say, it has been an entirely different world here. Which is really a post for another day. Regardless, knowing other Warrant Officer spouses helps.
5. All the Warrant Officer stereotypes? They are true. They drink a lot of coffee. Have their own rules and standards to follow on top of Army wide standards. And are rarely seen by the average soldier (Warrant Officers are technical and typically do not have many soldiers that fall underneath them).
Watching Rob complete this journey was stressful and hard. But I am so so proud of him for getting through it. He achieved his goal of becoming a Warrant Officer and excels everyday at his job.
"I, _____, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God." (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)
If you are a spouse about to embark on the Warrant Officer support system journey.... shoot me an e-mail and I will send you the long and short of what you need to know.