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News | March 23, 2022

Female CWOs look to bring in a wave of change

By Senior Airman Marcus M. Bullock 633d Air Base Wing Public Affairs

For U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Sarah Stone, Maritime and Intermodal Department Warrant Officer Advanced Course 880A2 instructor, representation in her career field has been a topic which she does not shy away from addressing.

Out of the approximately 90 members that make up the 880A marine deck warrant officer military occupational specialty, only four of those spots are held by females. Likewise, there are approximately 79 total members within the 881A marine engineering warrant officer MOS and only two of those members are females.

Stone along with other female 880A and 881A warrant officers are advocating to see that discrepancy change by holding lunch-ins to discuss potential barriers and spread awareness about the marine deck warrant and marine engineer warrant career fields.

“My primary goal was for all of us to get on the same page and discuss different recruiting techniques to get more of our enlisted Soldiers (male and female) to take the warrant officer path within the field,” Stone said. “It is also very important that we put ourselves out there and set aside time to talk to and be there for Soldiers that need our mentorship and inviting them out to lunch with us has done just that.”

Some of the recruiting techniques are simply being available to help guide Soldiers through the warrant officer process. Many of the lunch-in attendees want to let Soldiers interested in the process know that there can and should be a diversified mixture of mentors available to them.

 “I personally came up through the ranks with little to no female mentorship, but I wouldn’t trade my male mentors for anything and I am very lucky to have found amazing warrants that took the time to train and guide me through many difficult assignments,” Stone said. “It would have been nice in some situations to have had a female mentor available to reach out to. Regardless of whether or not they are male or female, I want our junior Soldiers to know we are here for them.”

Despite having nothing but praise for their prior mentors in the 880A and 881A career fields, many of the female warrant officers from the lunch-in noted how having a lack of female leadership to turn to for guidance created certain obstacles when rising through the ranks.

“I have serious male mentors who I credit for every success I have today because they took me for my strengths and helped me work on my shortcomings, never making gender a metric to judge my worth,” said U.S. Army CW2 Janice Sears, 605th Transportation Detachment Logistics Support Vessel-8 chief engineer. “I was lucky, but only having male mentors as an engineer left me missing some aspects. A female who knows what I am experiencing and has dealt with it in their own career can offer support and advice based on their experiences.”

Stone and several of her female counterparts may have traversed several different paths to get to their respective positions in their career field, but many of the shared experiences have helped shape a need to disseminate information about their MOS so others can reach out and gain a better understanding of this route in the Army.

According to Stone, the path of a warrant officer isn’t one that is widely known or utilized by members of the Army, but especially in her field, being a warrant officer has a resounding impact on the Army’s mission.

Marine deck warrant officers command Army vessels and are responsible for proper maintenance of vessels and vessel system. Likewise, marine engineer warrant officers are tasked with maintaining an efficient and economical operation of the engine room machinery, auxiliary machinery, and deck equipment while also supervising and performing installation and repairs across a multitude of marine systems.

“Being a warrant officer can be a challenge because there are many hurdles in our day to day operations that we have to circumnavigate to get the job done, but this is also the best job I could have ever asked for,” Stone said. “We have all completed complex missions with amazing officers and Soldiers all over the world. What we do is important and often we get to see the impact of our efforts on the faces of the people we help.”

For more information regarding U.S. Army chief warrant officer recruiting, visit https://recruiting.army.mil/ISO/AWOR/.

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