PACT Act PASSES!! - Largest Health Care and Benefit Expansion in VA History
The PACT Act is perhaps the largest health care and benefit expansion in VA history. The full name of the law is The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act.
The PACT Act will bring these changes:
Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras.
Adds more than 20 new presumptive conditions for burn pits and other toxic exposures.
Adds more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation.
Requires VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every Veteran enrolled in VA health care.
Helps us improve research, staff education, and treatment related to toxic exposures.
If you’re a Veteran or survivor, you can file claims now to apply for PACT Act-related benefits. For more VA information click here.
USAWOA CANDIDATES FOR USAWOA NATIONAL LEADERSHIP
I am seeking election as the United States Army Warrant Officers Association’s (USAWOA’s) national president. I am assigned to Fort Meade, MD, 40 miles from the USAWOA headquarters office, which easily allows me to participate in meetings and other association activities.
I am an active duty Command Chief Warrant Officer (CCWO) of the Military Intelligence (MI) Brigade at Fort Meade, MD; responsible for Warrant Officer readiness, training, leader development, and talent management for more than 125 Warrant Officers, assigned to 40 locations around the world. A USAWOA life member since 2013, and US Army Warrant Officer for more than 25 years, I proudly served the past four years as your USAWOA national secretary.
Since becoming the national secretary in 2018, one of my main goals has been working to improve our ability to share information and increase collaboration for our Warrant Officers across all three Army components, our Veterans, and our retirees. This started with the creation of a new USAWOA website in 2019, aimed to ease navigation and streamline access to our organizational information.
In 2021, the USAWOA board of directors (BOD) directed the implementation of the Membership Enhancement Project (MEP), a monumental transformation of the USAWOA. Once completed, this will revolutionize how USAWOA members share, contribute, and participate in all facets of USAWOA functions.
I believe the Warrant Officer cohort will face challenges in the coming years. Three of these challenges are:
Relevancy. All Warrant Officers must ensure they remain trained, proficient, and relevant in their technical skillsets and ability to provide technical leadership in support of the Army of 2030 and beyond.
Acquire And Develop Talent. Tomorrow’s Warrant Officers come from the ranks of today’s noncommissioned officers (NCOs). Some Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) continue to miss yearly accession goals, which continues to affect the technical health of the force. It is critical that Warrant Officers of today provide mentorship to our junior Soldiers and NCOs to ensure a healthy future for the Warrant Officer cohort.
Talent Management. Part of the Army People Strategy focuses on the deliberate managing of Soldier skills and talents to capitalize on unique knowledge, skills, and behaviors (KSBs). Ensuring the right Warrant Officer is in the right job at the right time and point of need is crucial to effective talent management. We must continue to advocate for Warrant Officer specific talent initiatives and encourage the use of the current systems to gain the greatest effect.
I think the most significant challenges facing the USAWOA are:
Membership. We continue to see a decline in overall membership, especially members who simply let their membership lapse instead of renewing. All USAWOA members share the responsibility of working to increase our membership and recognize our members making the biggest impact to our recruiting and retention goals. It will take the combined efforts of everyone but I know that in time we can see an increase in our overall membership.
Viability. With USAWOA celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022, I strongly believe that we must develop a path to ensure the association remains viable for the next 50 years. Working with the other nationally elected officers, we will develop a five- to 10-year strategy with realistic goals and milestones. Additionally, every successful association or business has what they consider to be “core values or principles.” If elected, I will advocate to update the USAWOA vision statement and develop USAWOA core values that reflect what the association stands for, for our members, our communities and our professionalism. Our strategy, vision and core values must not only account for our current members, but address recruitment and retention of our future Warrant Officers and our future retirees and Veterans.
Business Processes. We must look to evaluate and assess our business practices and processes, identifying areas where we can make improvements for the betterment of the association and our members. This can include automating and/or streamlining select business functions, routinely auditing our accounts and resources, and continued fiscal responsibility in executing our budget. We should not be afraid of change, as long as change is done responsibly and with the association and our members always as the collective priority.
The year 2022 is a transition year unlike any other for the USAWOA, as all the current national leadership will transition out of office. Additionally, our executive director (ED) will retire after nearly 12 years in the position, and we have recently hired new headquarters staff to replace our longtime employees.
With all this personnel churn, I believe that my tenure as the national secretary will help me as the next national president, providing calm, thoughtful, and deliberate leadership for the association. I am very proud of the collective progress we have made these past four years and I seek an opportunity to continue to serve as your national president, as I look forward to continuing to move the association forward.
I seek election as the United States Army Warrant Officers Association (USAWOA) national vice president. I am a Pennsylvania Army National Guard member, currently working out of Fort Indiantown Gap, PA. I live 132 miles from the USAWOA headquarters, which is within the required distance, and can be easily accessed as needed. I became a Member of the USAWOA in November 2010 and became a lifetime member in December 2020.
From January 2014 – December 2018 I accepted appointment as the Keystone Silver Chapter’s secretary. After completing my time as Keystone Silver Chapter secretary, I was awarded the USAWOA Honorable Order of the Eagle Rising, bronze level award.
From January 2019 – present I have served as the Keystone Silver Chapter’s President. In 2020, we received the USAWOA Community Service Affairs for Services to the Community, in the same year our Region (Northeastern) became the USAWOA Outstanding Region. Again in 2021, our Chapter was a driver in the Northeastern Region’s selection as the USAWOA Outstanding Region awardee.
I accepted appointment as the USAWOA national treasurer in April 2020 and still serve as such today. In 2021, I received the USAWOA CW4 Albert M. Holcombe Memorial Award, as Warrant Officer of the Year.
While accepting appointment as USAWOA’s national treasurer, I have been able to continue serving as president of the Keystone Silver Chapter. During this time, I’ve continued to ensure the Chapter remains relevant and meets the needs of our members. I feel holding multiple key positions within the organization has allowed me to strive for the best, supporting both our local community and national-level initiatives.
In addition to being a USAWOA lifetime member, since 2019 I have also been a life member of multiple other organizations including the Association of Quartermasters, National Guard Association of the United States, and the 1918 Society of the United States Army Warrant Officers Association.
Over the years, as a Pennsylvania Army National Guard (PAARNG) member, I have worked in a few key positions that have impacted many. For 10 years, I served as a federal technician in the G4, as the State Food Advisor, allowing me the opportunity to work directly with United States Property and Fiscal Office (USPFO), key leadership, and vendors, to provide the state with a quality 14-day menu, along with coordinating and presenting for the Food Service Workshop and Food Safety and Protection class. All these components directly impacted our mission and capabilities. Over the last six years, I have been working for the Homeland Response Force (HRF) as their budget officer in charge (OIC), and had the opportunity to directly support the J3, backfilling the J38 Budget Analyst position.
This additional responsibility came on quickly, and with minimal details on background projects. While many of the personnel were new to their roles, I was able to successfully manage multiple accounts and personnel, ensuring we all met mission requirements in a fiscally responsible manner.
There are several challenges that face the Warrant Officer cohort. I think the most significant are:
Managing Mission Creep
We must ensure our Warrant Officers are remaining relevant – which is at the heart of being technically and tactically proficient in their craft – as well as mentoring our junior Warrant Officers, and potential Warrant Officers. Also important is aligning our educational training to ensure we are keeping up with changes.
Managing mission creep must be factored into time, as ensuring we are meeting the commander’s intent – while balancing requirements in the Guard, Reserve, and active components – continues to be more challenging. I think the most significant challenges facing the USAWOA are:
Regarding membership, finding the “why” to join, as well as inspiring our members to be volunteers at the National, Regional, and Chapter levels is crucial. Technology is constantly at our fingertips, and often viewed through our cell phones.
Currently our website does not allow our members to view and progress through membership renewal and purchases easily on cellphones. This is a portion of the Membership Enhancement Program (MEP) that I feel will significantly enhance our appeal to our younger members
In closing, if elected as the national vice president I will do everything in my ability to support the USAWOA, its members, and the cohort, to continue traditions and ensure the success of USAWOA long into the future.
I seek election as the United States Army Warrant Officers Association (USAWOA) national secretary. Immediately below are positions I have held, at various levels of the USAWOA, since June 2005.
Arlington Hall Minuteman Silver Chapter:
Secretary, from June 2005 – October 2007
Vice President, from October 2009 – June 2010
President, from June 2010 – March 2011
Note: Chapter was awarded the 2010 Outstanding Chapter and 2010 Best Retention awards. Masters’ Chapter: Secretary, from November 2018 - February 2020
National Treasurer, from February 2012 - October 2016
Northeastern Region Director, from October 2016 - October 2018
I believe I am well suited for this position as I have served both locally and nationally, in a variety of positions, and can provide insight and guidance on current issues affecting the cohort. I am a motivated and effective leader, as attested by my evaluations and decorations/wards. Furthermore, I am a strong believer in education and have earned a master’s degree in network and communications and a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Additionally, I have earned several highly demanding information technology (IT) certifications that attest to my technical knowledge, skills, and abilities, and affirm my commitment to my field of expertise and my ongoing relevancy, through continuing professional education.
During my 38 years of military service, I have often set the example or led by it. In 2001, I was the first and only female Warrant Officer in the Guam Army National Guard. I was selected as the Soldier of the Year, and further selected as a Resourceful, Energetic, Dedicated, and Innovative (REDI) Employee award winner twice, while assigned to the National Guard Bureau.
In 2019 I served as first female Command Chief Warrant Officer (CCWO) for the Guam ARNG. In this position I managed all Warrant Officer issues related to readiness, policy, performance, care, professional development, conduct, appearance, personnel actions, and education and training.
While serving as the principle ARNG senior Signal Warrant Officer advisor at Fort Gordon, GA, from 2018-2019, I reviewed, advised, evaluated, executed, and coordinated all ARNG training programs pertaining to ARNG Signal Warrant Officers.
As part of those duties, I worked closely with numerous CCWOs and State Warrant Officer Strength Managers to assess qualified Warrant Officer candidates. Additionally, I provided mentorship, support, and guidance to ARNG Warrant Officer students, and addressed critical challenges facing them during their training.
My previous assignments have provided me the opportunity to work closely with Soldiers, provide mentorship, and be a trusted advisor – all characteristics worthy of an individual who is entrusted to a national level position.
Challenges Facing Our Cohort
Some of the most significant challenges that face the Warrant Officer cohort are:
Benefits. During my nearly 40 years of service I have seen our benefits slowly dissipate and it is unacceptable. The benefits I enjoyed as a young, enlisted Soldier in the 1980s are not the same as the Soldiers of today.
Education/Training. More Warrant Officers are obtaining degrees and certifications and it is noticeable. Not only does this strengthen our relevance, but promotes self-improvement. As we transformed from being a corps to a cohort, the role of the Warrant Officer has transformed as well. Although our motto is “The Quiet Professionals®,” we can no longer be quiet. We need to voice our concerns, and education/training provides the skills and knowledge to assist us in being successful, thereby embracing a key tenet of our association motto – “professionalism” – in all facets of our being.
Maintaining Expertise. As technical experts, maintaining our expertise is a must. Although the Regular Army does well at providing training opportunities for all three components, I have found that the ARNG and USAR have challenges in maximizing those training opportunities, due to a variety of reasons. This is something I have seen firsthand, at two of my last three assignments.
These challenges and issues can be addressed by USAWOA continuing to be a member (and prolific supporter) of The Military Coalition (TMC), having an executive director who represents the association on Capitol Hill, and reaching out to our company grade Warrant Officers and getting them engaged. This allows us to address, contest, and resolve issues, as well as have a voice that is robust, active, and passionate.
USAWOA’s Biggest Challenge
I believe the single most significant challenge facing the USAWOA is, and will continue to be, membership.
We just can’t seem to be able to crack this nut. I have seen this longstanding issue firsthand, as a former Region director and national treasurer. Membership is tied to more than just keeping our numbers high, thereby giving us a strong voice in TMC – it is also crucial to our financial success and well-being as an association.
I have seen declines in membership, which has had a slight, but direct financial impact. This can be alleviated by managing the dropped-member list, renewing memberships, and recruiting new members to sign up.
Thank you for your consideration.
I seek reelection as the European Regional Director. I have been a Warrant Officer for 14 years, with a total of more than 19 years of service. I believe my age – relatively younger than the average Warrant Officer – allows me to connect with the junior Warrant Officers, while still being able to provide purpose, motivation, and mentorship. I was an instructor at the Cyber Center of Excellence and currently coach CrossFit, which enables me to speak easily with interested individuals.
I used my initial membership as a member of the Fort Gordon Masters Chapter, but failed to renew my membership – and frankly, I was never contacted about my membership status. Consequently, my focus as the sitting European Director has been to reach out to those members whose membership is about to end, and personally encourage them to stay or at the very least find out why they are leaving.
There are a number of challenges that face the Warrant Officer cohort. I think the three most significant are the “Three Rs”:
I am going to speak specifically about the challenges in the signal branch of the Warrant Officer cohort, but believe these challenges apply across the board. The recruitment of Warrant Officers is in a decline, and we are not making the necessary recruitment goals across the Army.
The Army has reduced the requirement for individuals to join, which will solve part of the problem. We as Warrant Officers need to groom our new recruits and mold them into Warrant Officer material. If we do not get personally involved in recruiting we cannot retain, which is the next challenge.
Once again, the Army is struggling to retain Warrant Officers in the rank of CW4 and CW5. Many cross over with 12 or more years, reaching 20 years of service, and retire. The Army is one of the only services that has Warrant Officers and we must continue to prove our relevance (the third R) and keep our numbers healthy, or face the potential dissolution of our cohort (which would be terrible for the Army we love).
I think the three most significant challenges facing the USAWOA are the very same three Rs:
As I hope is evident, that both our cohort and our association share many of the same challenges is evidence of their symbiotic relationship. If the cohort is not healthy and bringing in new recruits, the association has no pool of new members.
One benefit the association offers is our no-cost initial 18-month memberships, offered to all new WO1s, which leads right into retention. We must retain these new Warrant Officers, plug them into the association, and get them involved. We must show them that they make a difference, while reinforcing the global relevance of the association.
I personally send welcome letters to every new member in my Region and ensure them that I am here for them.
The past two years have been hard with COVID. As we climb out of the pandemic and return to life as we knew it before, I want to empower and motivate our European Region Chapters to get out and engage in life. Moreover, they must insert themselves back into the community, recruit, retain, and make our Warrant Officer voices heard.
During the late 1980s, following the US military drawdown in Europe, the European Region went from being our largest to one of our smallest. But regardless of our size, we have never failed to set the example regarding per capita esprit de corps, fellowship, and service to our families and communities! The future is ours, and it is ours to seize!
I have been a member of the USAWOA since April 1986, when I joined as a Life Member. I did not become an active member until December 2008, when I volunteered to be the Secretary for the Northwest Silver Chapter at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. I have held that position since then.
I was the first chapter secretary to be honored with the Certificate of Appreciation for the USAWOA Chapter Secretary of the Year in October 2016. Although it is an award that cannot be presented a second time to the same person, I have strived to continue to maintain outstanding attention to detail in capturing the events that take place throughout the years in the life of my Chapter.
While on active duty, like many of the Warrant Officer cohort, I did not provide any support for the cohort other than financial, because of my full-time duties. That came to an abrupt end, while still on active duty, when I was informed my picture was on the Lewis Chapter website as a contributor to the USAWOA. I felt embarrassed I had done nothing for the Chapter, so I approached the Chapter president and volunteered to be the secretary.
The Chapter has had more than half a dozen presidents and vice presidents since then. I have always felt the president should be a Warrant Officer in uniform rather than a retiree. An active-duty Warrant Officer has more contact with other Warrant Officers and is more in tune with the latest training needs and professional development requirements.
On occasion I have guided our Chapter presidents not only in the conduct of the monthly meetings, but also to recognize worthy fellow Warrant Officers for a job well done. Additionally, I have reminded the current president of the need for continuity in the Chapter and his duty to bring on his/her replacement. This goes for other positions in the Chapter as well, such as vice president, treasurer, and committee managers.
Challenges Facing USAWOA And Our Cohort
It is at the Chapter level where the most significant challenge for our association is found. That is the challenge of recruiting and retaining Warrant Officers in local Chapters. This current generation of Americans are geared to social media. They live and die by their phone. If they can’t do it on the phone, they don’t have the time for it. Worse, they don’t believe their time is worth the “extra” effort.
This is where the National Office is currently working to bring the USAWOA into the 21st century with technology that will grab the new, young Warrant Officers and talk their lingo, so they understand the importance of being a member of an organization that is there for their benefits
Yes, this will cost a pretty penny. However, the alternative is the USAWOA would become obsolete in today’s quickly moving multi-levels of communication. If you don’t keep up with the latest and greatest in your own MOS, you are passed over for promotion, and worse, shown the door. In a sense, the same holds true for our association. There is a deep feeling of camaraderie among Warrant Officers when we gather for a large social event. I have felt it every time I have attended a Warrant Officer ball, a Warrant Officer birthday celebration, or at a military class made up solely of Warrant Officers. Face it – we are a minority in the US Army, but by that same token, as really great leaders, mentors, and trainers we are few and far between.
To quote from my two MOS’, each of us needs to be “Always Out Front” and “Do What Has to Be Done” to bring in the new Warrant Officers. That means a personal effort to talk up the USAWOA to every Warrant you know. That will make a stronger Warrant Officer cohort and a better US Army. USAWOA Chapters can be force-multipliers at the grassroots level in the following areas:
Mentoring: This has always been a perennial concern within our cohort, and one which USAWOA is well positioned to engage on, in a welcoming environment.
Membership Recruiting and Retention: In order to address the challenges we face, it is crucial that we enthusiastically engage in recruiting and retaining junior and senior Warrant Officers alike.
Improving USAWOA: Foster membership understanding of, and participation in, national-level efforts to improve USAWOA, such as the Membership Enhancement Project (MEP).
Material Support of National level Representation Efforts: Keep members informed on USAWOA efforts to support our senior Warrant Officer leader initiatives and legislative efforts and encourage their grassroots efforts to support these – we can all make a difference!
Support Our Families And Communities: Be it community service or Chapter fellowship, create and sustain programs that encourage participation of not only members, but their families as well.
Members of the great Mid-Northern Region, I seek election as your next Region Director. First, I would like to let you know a little about my military background.
I was appointed as a Supply Warrant Officer on 22 October 1976, and became a Member of USAWOA in April of 1977. During my first assignment as a Warrant, I served as the Class IX Warrant Officer for the 701st Maintenance Battalion, between 1977 and 1979.
That assignment was followed with the opportunity to work as the Accountable Officer, and for seven months, the commander of a General Support Maintenance unit, Equipment Support Company Mannheim (ESCM), manned by 400 Germans nationals, supporting the area north of Mannheim, to Bremerhaven, Germany.
I served in other assignments as the Accountable Officer for facilities across Europe. This included the largest Class IX account in the Army, valued at $11 billion, located in three main storage – and 19 sub-storage – facilities in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
After retiring, I remained in Germany and served as the Chief of Quality Assurance for Combat Equipment Group Europe (CEGE), moving the unit from Mannheim, Germany to Kerkade, the Netherlands. I remained there until being reassigned to the United States, in 1998. I was then given the opportunity to return to Germany, from 2004 until 2010. There, I served as the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) representative to the U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) G4, supporting V Corps and the 5th Signal Command G4; 2nd and 7th Signal Brigade; 30th Medical Brigade; and 405th Army Forward Support Brigade - Europe (AFSB-E).
Offices I have had the pleasure of serving in, as a proud member of the USAWOA, include:
Chapter Vice President, Mid-America Chapter, from 1982 to 1983
Chapter President, Rhein Neckar Silver Chapter, from 1984 to 1985
European Region President and European Region Director, from 1985 to 1988
European Region Vice President, from 1994 to 1995
European Region Director, from 2005 to 2007
Deputy Director, Mid-Northern Region, from 2016 to present
For decades I have proudly served our great association, with unwavering loyalty to my brothers and sisters in our magnificent Warrant Officer Corps. Some of my most cherished memories are from my times in Europe.
mong other things, we hosted one of the most well-attended Annual Meetings of the Members (AMMs) in association history and provided funds for both Region- and National-level scholarships. I have also thoroughly enjoyed working with local Chapters on numerous fundraisers and membership drives.
The three most significant challenges that face the Warrant Officer cohort are:
Retention of both junior and senior Warrant Officers
Education: Ensure all Warrant Officers are able to maintain their respective skills at their present and future ranks.
Provide support for our retired ranks to ensure they are not forgotten.
I believe the three most significant challenges facing the USAWOA are:
Identify better methods to track new members that have been given WO1 no-cost initial memberships.
Look at establishing a unit-level mentorship program for young Warrant Officers, once they are assigned to a unit.
Encourage Senior Warrant Officers to make it part of their mission to contact and meet with new Warrants in their command.
I seek re-election as the Director of Region 4, the Mid-Southern Region of the United States Army Warrant Officer Association (USAWOA). I have been a member of USAWOA since 2015, joining after becoming a Warrant Officer in the Texas Army National Guard.
I have been an active member and previously served as the vice president of the Audie L. Murphy Chapter, Austin, TX. Some of my favorite activities at the chapter level included participating in three community “American Heroes” event weekends, helping with the 100th Anniversary of the Warrant Officer cohort’s festivities conducted in 2018, and performing my duties as an officer within my Chapter.
During my 31 years of military service, I have developed and practiced skills of accountability, integrity, mentorship, communication, and selfless service. I believe each of these attributes to be essential to any leadership position within USAWOA, and I look forward, if reelected, to being able to continue focusing my skills and experience towards the position of Director, Mid-Southern Region.
There are a number of challenges that face the Warrant Officer cohort, and have for some time. From my perspective, I think the three most significant challenges are as follows:
Training and certifications for each Warrant Officer that enable our cohort to obtain and sustain that critical education of a technical expert.
Pay and benefits that allow us to maintain a fighting force that can also provide for their families.
Mentorship that will build relationships and pass on knowledge, experience, expertise, and build esprit de corps for legacies to embrace.
I believe the association can help the cohort and the Army best meet these challenges through establishing vital senior level involvement and mentorship. The presence of senior level Warrant Officers within the Chapters and Regions of USAWOA will help develop junior Warrant Officers to become those critical advisors to their commanders. Mentors can provide guidance and understanding to elevate the priorities of our armed forces and hold peers, subordinates, and superiors accountable for doing what is right.
In turn, I believe the three most significant challenges facing the USAWOA are as follows:
Membership – growing our numbers is critical to keeping our voices heard at the national level.
Mentorship – building mentorship programs will not only serve as a force multiplier for the cohort we serve but will be a significant key in growing and sustaining association membership.
Fundraising – innovating creative programs to raise needed resources is the backbone in allowing the organization to remain strong and running.
I trust the USAWOA leadership can best meet these challenges by partnering and building relationships with other organizations to make our voices stronger on legislative issues, as well as defending our cohort on Capitol Hill.
We must provide guidance, education, and incentives for mentoring junior Warrant Officers to enhance membership and future leadership. Equally important, we must strive to keep our members informed on legislative issues as well as what is happening at the Department of the Army level, so they know that USAWOA represents them well. I humbly ask for your vote to reelect me as Director, Mid-Southern Region.
I am respectfully seeking election as the Southeastern Region Director. To this end, I humbly submit the following as my resume.
I am a native of Queens, NY, and entered the United States Army in June 2006 as an 88N, Transportation Management Coordinator. I attended Basic Training at Fort Jackson, SC, and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Eustis, VA.
After serving 10 years as an 88N, I earned the rank of Sergeant First Class prior to my selection to attend the Warrant Officer Candidate Course in October 2015, to become a mobility officer. My civilian education includes an associate degree in general studies from Central Texas College, a bachelor’s degree in transportation and logistics management from the American Military University, and I am currently pursuing a master’s degree.
My military education includes the Warrant Mobility Officer Warrant Officer Advance Course, Mobility Officer Warrant Officer Basic Course, Joint Planning and Execution System (JOPES) Support Personnel Course, JOPES Action Officer Course. I was also trained in Joint Capabilities Requirements Management, TC-AIMS II Theater Distribution, TC-AIMS II System Administrator, Air Deployment Planning Course, and the Integrated Computerized Deployment System.
My first Warrant Officer assignment was as the Brigade Mobility Warrant Officer/Technician for the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team (3ABCT), 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX. I deployed and redeployed 3ABCT to National Training Center rotations and deployed the brigade support of Operation Spartan Shield and South Korea rotational brigade.
My immediate past assignment was to the 10th Mountain Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY. I maximized total assets available to increase distribution velocity through a combination of intra theater air support, channel movements, and rotary wing assets. I was responsible for retrograding more than 325 multi-modal unit line numbers, consisting of more than 550 20-foot equivalent units and 9,250 short tons of cargo.
I was the direct tasking authority for one Air Force direct support C- 130J valued at more than $136.3 million, a rotary wing contract valued at over $956 million with 16 rotary wing aircraft, and the Bagram Airfield Sling Load Team.
Awards and Decoration
My awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (w/6OL), the Army Commendation Medal (w/5OLC), the Army Achievement Medal (w/10OLC), the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Army Good Conduct Medal (w/4Clasps), the National Defense Service Medal (w/ Star), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal (w/Star), the GWOT Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (numeral 3), the Overseas Ribbon (numeral 3), and the NATO Medal.
In 2019, after being assigned to Fort Drum, NY, I began serving as the Thousand Islands Chapter vice president for two years. This Chapter is amazing, and everyone became family – and the whole family was very involved in the Chapter’s numerous monthly community service activities.
We all believe “it takes a village,” and the Chapter president, our team, and I ensured that our Chapter provided support to not only active-duty service members on Fort Drum, but to those in the surrounding area, including our retiree community. Consequently, we always ensured incoming families, Soldiers, and retirees knew all local churches and organizations that assist families while in the North Country region.
The Chapter’s secretary and treasurer are a retired husband and wife team, who have served in numerous Chapter positions throughout the years, making them amazing leadership team partners.
By working together, the Thousand Islands Chapter was recognized with the following awards at last year’s 49th Annual Meeting of the Members:
USAWOA Chapter Secretary of the year, awarded to CW3 (Ret) Katherine A. Garvey-Ixtlahuac
2021 community affairs for sustaining programs
2021 community affairs for service to the community
2021 outstanding Chapter Thousand Island Chapter.
This recognition was a testament to the support of all those in the North Country, and very personally motivating. When I did a permanent change of station (PCS) in 2021 to Fort Bragg, NC, “The Center of the Universe,” I immediately became very active with the Fort Bragg Silver Chapter and was sworn in as its Chapter president on 7 April 2022, looking forward to being the best president I could be to this amazing Chapter.
Volunteering and giving back have a positive effect on your mental and physical health. No matter your schedule or time constraints, there are plenty of ways to get involved. Building the future for those who follow you, while influencing positive change is priceless.
As a leader, I know that my ability to influence change is important. Being a part of professional organizations allows you to gain different target audiences required to influence change for the better. Effective communication is important in all facets of life, as a leader, a mother, and a wife.
I have strived to set an example for everyone within my Chapters when we were out giving back to the community. I would like to take my passion to the regional level!
I seek election as the Director of the Northeastern Region (Region 6). I have been a member of USAWOA since 3 March 2005, and a Lifetime Member since 2006. I was the founding president of First State Chapter (0613).
I also served as Scholarship Selection Committee Chairperson of the USAWOA Scholarship Foundation (USAWOASF) from 2010 to 2012, and currently serve on the USAWOASF board of directors.
I have been involved at the national level of USAWOA for the past 12 years, serving as deputy director for four Northeastern Region directors, and serving two terms as director of the Northeastern Region. I am currently the sitting deputy director of the Northeastern Region.
Challenges Facing Our Cohort
There are many challenges facing U.S. Army Warrant Officers, the least of which is filling vacancies in our formations. It should be a requirement that every Warrant Officer groom their replacement. We must be consistent in coaching, counseling, teaching, and mentoring our junior Warrant Officers, and also NCOs that show potential of being Warrant Officer.
There are three challenges in the forefront that stand out.
Challenge One: Ownership of Systems
Due to the rapid rate of development and fielding of new systems and equipment (beginning with the Gulf Wars) to meet the everchanging conditions and up-tempo of the battlefield, there was little time to train our maintainers on new equipment and systems as they were fielded. The Department of Defense contracted with developers to support said equipment causing a loss of ownership by Army maintainers.
As Warrant Officers, we need to take ownership of systems as they come online and help with the development of required training. One of the goals is to reduce Army contracted logistical support. This requires refocused Warrant Officer technical training (“train the trainer”). To support this, the Army needs to seek industrial-based technical certifications and credentialing to proactively support emerging systems requirements.
Challenge Two: Education and Progression
The earliest record of official Warrant Officer training occurred shortly after the act of 1918. The Army opened the training institution at Fort Monroe, VA, commanded by a US Navy officer who taught navigation and marine engineering skills to the Army’s newest Warrant Officers.
Little official Warrant Officer training was conducted until 1966, when the first Warrant Officer Professional Development Program was published in Department of Army Pamphlet 600-11. In July 1972, a tri-level education system was established and supplied formal training at the basic or entry level, intermediate, and advanced levels, but was not available for all specialties.
We are the only officers without mandatory levels of civilian education requirements for career progression, other than completion of secondary level education. There are recommended levels however, and these often come into play when being ranked for promotion. At some point it will become a mandatory requirement. Be proactive and get that civilian education. It is the one thing that you have total definitive control of for your progression.
Challenge Three: Adapting to Change
Warrant Officers are adaptive leaders that thrive in complex and uncertain environments. Despite this attribute we are sometimes resistant to change. The future of the cohort is dependent on change. Accept it and drive on.
Challenges Facing The USAWOA
Challenge One: Membership
This is an ongoing challenge that should be easy to fix but will continue to plague us. It takes vigilance on the part of all of us. Chapter officers need to request a current roster periodically to check member status. Region directors receive a region roster monthly and need to review the status of all members, contact them for renewal at two months out, and follow up monthly. If you see a Warrant Officer, ask him or her if he or she is a member.
Challenge Two: Update Systems and Procedures
The Past Presidents Council has made recommendations that will help bring us into the digital age and prepare us for the future. Funding these changes will be on the forefront for the next few years. The goal is to carry out the changes with negligible negative impact on the membership.
Challenge Three: Change of Staffing At National Office
As of the first of next year, the entire office staff will be new. The transition should go well, with little disruption to the membership. The national leadership will help in this transitional phase and supply continuity to the operation of the association. We ask for your patience during this time.
In Conclusion The knowledge gained over the past 15 years of serving in leadership positions, from Chapter president to Region director, allows me to be a beneficial assistant to Chapter leaders, as well as national officers. I look forward to continued service to the members of the association and the Northeastern Region, as their director.
USAWOA Membership Enhancement Project
CW5 Russel Houser Team Leader, Professional Development Program
I am happy to announce that CW5 Russell Houser, known to many of you as the creator of the COHORT W podcast, has joined the MEP team as the Professional Development Program Team Lead. CW5 “Russ” Houser brings extraordinary expertise and knowledge to the team, and we are beyond excited to have him join us. The Professional Development Program will offer multiple modes of training to develop the skills of our members to effectively serve in key leadership roles in USAWOA. We look forward to CW5 Houser’s development of this excellent and much needed program.
I want to thank Carl, Misty, and the MEP Team for the warm welcome and the opportunity to serve as the Team Leader for the Professional Development Program. For those who don’t know me, I’m a simple postmodern social constructionist qualitative research-focused Army Bandmaster who enjoys the practical work of force management, teaching, curriculum design, performing music, and digging into Army doctrine. Those concepts and activities stem from my credo that the purpose of the Army is to make the world a better place. The MEP-PDP is an opportunity to assist leaders in finding their way and voice as efficiently as possible in their new roles. In addition to an initial set of videos and nuanced interviews for continuity, I imagine other flexible mid-tenure ideas to record thoughts for the following leaders to help enrich the continuity collections. Ultimately, this is about keeping all leaders aware of their tasks to forward the Collective Cohort of retired, serving, and future Warrant Officers and our supporters to make the Army and the world better.
Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Don Hess Founder’s Coins
The USAWOA is pleased to introduce our latest memorabilia item for sale – 50th Anniversary Don Hess Founder’s Coins. There will only be 50 goldtoneSOLD OUT! and 250 silver-tone coins sold, respectively for $40 and $25 apiece. All coins are numbered and will be sold in order – from lowest to highest – on a first come, first served basis.
When they are gone, they are gone… Available by calling National Headquarters at 703.742.7727
Or visit the Online Store on the USAWOA Portal.
To serve as the preeminent professional association supporting Army Warrant Officers in all components and statuses (Regular Army, ARNG and USAR), whether currently serving, former, or retired, and their families.
FOR OVER 45 YEARS
Focusing on What Matters to Army Warrant Officers & Their Families Since 1972.
Available to members and their immediate family members
We fight on Capitol Hill for you and your loved ones
Annual meetings and networking help build your support system
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