ARCENT warrant officers corps celebrates 100 years

Group is headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter


A lot can happen in 100 years.

A century ago, the United States was embroiled in the throes of the Great War, and it was during this conflict the Army created the rank of warrant officer. U.S. Army Central's small band of warrant officers from throughout the organization came together on Monday to honor the 100th birthday of the warrant officer corps.

USARCENT is headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter and has been resident in the Levant, Middle East and Central Asia for more than 25 years. A Forward Command Post is at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Its presence in Kuwait, Qatar and Afghanistan preserves regional stability and prosperity and provides strategic land power that prevents conflict, shapes the environment and, when necessary, wins the nation's wars, according to the USARCENT Public Affairs Office.

The Army created the first warrant officer positions as part of the Army's Mine Planter Service on July 9, 1918. This service operated within the Coastal Artillery Corps and was responsible for laying sea-based mines.

Since the Great War, the Army has steadily expanded the role of the warrant officer corps to include 17 branches and 67 specialties. Warrant officers maintain a niche within the Army where they operate as technical experts in their designated fields.

This includes roles in the Army's seagoing vessels, bands and Army aviation.

"Well, I would say that it adds a different type of skill set to the fight," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Selwyn Roberts of U.S. Army Central's G4. "When you have the more general officer who's more controlling over and supervisory over all MOSes, all branches you need that specific MOS or cohort to specialize in certain areas to bring that extra expertise, combat multiplier."

With a century under its belt, the warrant officer corps has proven itself an asset to the Army and to U.S. Army Central on the land, on the sea and in the air.