Army 420A Warrant Officer: The Human Resources Technician

Today, I want to take some time to educate you about the Army 420A Warrant Officer branch, the Human Resources Technician.  This is a great career field in the Army for anyone who enjoys paperwork, administration and human resources.

I like to think of the Human Resources Technician as the Human Resources Director (in the civilian world), or something very similar.  Basically, they are the subject matter expert in the human resources arena.  If it involves paperwork, policies, files, reports, or automation, they are the ones to oversee it, and make sure it is done right.

Whether you plan on making a career out of the Army or transitioning to the civilian sector, serving as a 420A can give you plenty of real world experience that is in demand in the corporate world.

Job Duties, Responsibilities & Job Description 

Here is a brief list of duties, responsibilities and a job description for a 420A: 

  • Prepare, evaluate and initiate correspondence for military personnel and civilians
  • Establish policies and guidance
  • Advise commanders on human resources issues and concerns
  • Interpret regulations
  • Work with office automation
  • Supervise HR personnel
  • Counsel individuals and family members
  • Provide Soldiers guidance on HR issues
  • Prepare reports and correspondence

 Jobs You Could Have in the Army 

Here is a brief list of jobs you could have in the Army while serving as a 420A, Human Resources Technician: 

  • S1 OIC
  • Assistant S1
  • Instructor
  • Detachment Commander
  • Section Chief
  • Platoon Leader
  • OIC of Personnel Department or Section
  • HR Technician
  • Advisor

Life after the Army & Career Opportunities 

Here are some jobs and careers you could have in the civilian sector, after you retired or separated from the Army: 

  • Personnel Advisor
  • Human Resources Director
  • Executive Assistant
  • Benefits Administrator
  • Operations Manager
  • Personnel Director
  • Human Resources Assistant 

Prerequisites to Become a 420A Warrant Officer 

In order to become a 420A Human Resources Technician, you must first serve as either a 42A or 42F enlisted Soldier.  In the Active Component, you must be an E-6, with 8 to 12 years of service and have completed the Army Leader’s Course or BNCOC equivalent.  From what I read online you also need minimum 30 hours of college credits.

To qualify for this job in the ARNG or USAR you must be an E-5 and have experience as a 42A, 42F or 42L, have 30 college credits, and 3 years of operational HR experience.

You must also graduate from WOCS.

*** These requirements do change from time to time, so please refer to the current regulation or career manager to give you the specific details.  

Skills to Succeed in this Job 

It takes a special type of person to succeed in this career field.  Here are some skills that would be very beneficial: 

  • Attention to Detail
  • Desire to Lead Soldiers
  • Subject Matter Expertise
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Patience
  • Creativity
  • Willingness to Expand and Learn
  • Negotiation Abilities
  • Presentation Skills

Final Thoughts 

The bottom line is that the 420A, Human Resources Technician, is a great career field in the Army.  If you have the desire to serve as a Warrant Officer, enjoy human resources and administration, and like working in an office environment, this might just be the perfect fit for you.

What are your thoughts?  If you have experience serving as a 420A, I would love to hear from you.  Please leave a comment below to talk about your experience in this job.  Talk about your daily duties, what you liked about this career field, what you disliked, and any tips you can recommend for anyone with the desire to become a 420A.  I look forward to hearing from you.


chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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3 thoughts on “Army 420A Warrant Officer: The Human Resources Technician”

  1. This is one of those fields nobody really thinks about when they join the military. The human resources officer isn’t featured prominently in recruitment ads, and most people do not think about the possibilities here. I disagree with Greg on this one – this MOS is not about paperwork. It is about getting the right people into the right jobs. That is every bit as important as getting materials to a certain place. In fact, it is actually more important.

  2. To me, I believe that anyone who likes and enjoys paperwork should absolutely consider this job. It has many potential opportunities after life in the service. There are companies and corporations everywhere that are looking for Human Resources staff. Having Army experience in a position such as this would guarantee you a job. Great post sir.

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