With the Warrant Officer Corps sitting at only 80 percent strength, the Army National Guard, or ARNG, is taking strides to increase this number and ensure readiness.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Thomas “Gary” Ensminger, command chief warrant officer, ARNG, paid a visit to Fort Huachuca, May 31, to address the issues and challenges of the Military Intelligence, or MI, warrant officer community.
“My goal was to meet with the chief warrant officer of the MI branch and the commanding general of the post to discuss the peculiarities and uniqueness of the ARNG warrant officers,” said Ensminger. “They bring a different background to the fight, and one that I think adds value to the total Army.”
Ensminger explained that fixing these strength issues include providing the necessary support to the state recruiters and their efforts, and reviewing and possibly changing some Army policies that have a negative impact on the traditional ARNG Soldier.
In an article from the Fort Leonard Wood, Kan., “Guidon,” Ensminger said, “The plan is to encourage the states because each state has a warrant officer recruiter and they can find out who’s qualified by name. Now with the downsizing of active duty [Soldiers], there’s going to be a lot more people available. We can pick some of the best out of that group, and that’s going to help.”
During his visit, Ensminger spoke with selected students currently attending the Warrant Officer Basic Course at Fort Huachuca about their personal opinions and experiences in becoming warrant officers.
“I take advantage of every opportunity to talk to ARNG warrant officers,” he said. “I especially enjoy talking with junior warrants. I always encourage them to get involved and ensure them that they do have a voice in what goes on at the [National Guard headquarters].”
“There are some major discussions that are taking place right now that will affect them in the years to come. I want to hear their thoughts. These discussions involve our promotions, our job assignments and our civilian education.”
Visiting with Ensminger were Chief Warrant Officer 5 Robert Davis, command chief warrant officer for the state of Tennessee, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Bonny Bell, the warrant officer recruiting manager for the entire ARNG. Ensminger said he invited them along with him because of their affiliation with the intent of the visit.