ARNG WOCS Program: Reasons to Pursue It

To say that Warrant Officer Candidate School, or WOCS is one of the most challenging experiences you will ever encounter would be a huge understatement. WOCS is arguably the most fast-paced, grueling and stressful school in the entire United States Army. Few, if any, NCOs are chosen to participate in the Warrant Officer selection process who have not repeatedly demonstrated their ability to perform at levels far higher than their current grade/positions would indicate. In other words, Warrant Officer Candidates are typically the “cream of the crop”. So why go through such a difficult and grueling program?

What incentives are there for going through WOCS and becoming a Warrant Officer?

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1. Number one in my eye is being able to FLY!

Back in the day (WWI/WWII era) you could be a squared away NCO and still fly birds… Between then and now that has changed and unfortunately, you must become a Commissioned or Warrant Officer in order to fly.  Nothing, besides being a tanker could be more bad-ass in the Army than being able to say you’re a pilot.

2. Less BS. 

As a Commissioned Officer, I must say that my job is very broad and full of thorns in my side (i.e. politics, etc.).  You never get the chance to master anything…just by the time you are starting to get your footing in a position, BAM; you are moved onto another leadership position.  To some, that is great.  To others, they may prefer to spend their career doing ONE THING and becoming a MASTER at that one specific area.  No better way to do that than becoming a Warrant Officer.

3. Going through WOCS may be just what you need to re-motivate your career.

In the words of one of my Soldiers, “I have one more ass-kicker in me…”  A lot of people feel this way, but others don’t.  However, the structure and discipline involved with completing WOCS may be just what you need as a tired, unmotivated NCO to recharge your career!  Sounds silly, but then again…makes sense too.

4. WO’s are given the utmost respect and admiration. 

Whether you’re an NCO or Officer, you do not start to gain any real “appreciation” or “respect” until you add that rocker or transform that one bar into two.  Warrant Officers are experts and professionals from day one.  My experience has been that most every Soldier respects and admires a Warrant Officer at EVERY level and rank.

5. WHY NOT!?

I think that we here at Part-Time Commander have made more than enough claims stating how becoming a Warrant Officer is a great way to serve in the Army and National Guard.  If you’re not happy with where you’re at or what you’re doing, make the moves to correct that!  Who knows, maybe WOCS is right for you and it may be what you need to continue your service.


Lots and lots of misinformation out there folks.  I wanted to clear up one aspect of becoming a WO.  For NCOs, unfortunately you have no commissioning source, so you MUST go through the WOCS indoctrination.  For Officers, you can earn a direct appointment as a WO but it will require a lot of work on your end building a packet, getting all the recommendation letters and interviewing for the appointment.   That may or may not be worth it…depending on your outlook.  My advice, before you talk with someone who has not a clue what they’re talking about…talk with a Warrant Officer recruiter.  Each state has its own procedure to handle WO appointments, whether you’re an NCO or Officer.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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3 thoughts on “ARNG WOCS Program: Reasons to Pursue It”

  1. I would just like to comment on my own post here and let our viewers out there know that what I post is no BS. I am actually so convinced about the benefits of going Warrant that I have a packet being compiled now… I hope that this inspires others to really take what we are posting seriously as well!

    1. Candace Ginestar

      Justin, are you applying for IERW? If not, what do you want to do? I found that most of my buddies that reverted to warrant had an easier time after they were already a pilot. I am applying for flight school, but sticking to the O path. My husband will make an awesome warrant (and my old CW5 buddy is proud to say that all are commissioned so don’t let any O give you crap!)

      Warrant officers are my favorite and I am fortunate I got to work with some of the finest! In 2011, I had the honor of writing the retirement awards for two CW5 that each retired after over 40 years of service. Combined, they had 86 years of service, service in Vietnam (AIR CAV) with combined over 50 air medals, almost 20,000 accident free flight hours, and were two pillars in not only the Oregon aviation community, but the entire aviation community. One of them helped design the Military Air Rescue Team training plan we use in Oregon and the other had a hand in designing the precursor to what we know as the ULLS program. Logistics genius.

      Anyway if you can’t tell, I’m proud of their legacy!

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