Happy Birthday to the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Corps! Warrant Officers trace their lineage to July 9, 1918 when Congress established the Army Mine Planter Service as part of the Coastal Artillery Corps. A total of 40 Warrant Officers were authorized to serve as masters, mates, chief engineers, and assistant engineers on each mine planting vessel in an Army War Department Bulletin less than two weeks later on July 22, 1918.
Although only one rank of Warrant Officer was authorized by Congress, in effect, three grades were created because of their varying levels of pay authorized for masters, 1st mates, 2nd mates, and marine engineer personnel.
The Army created the distinctive insignia of the Warrant Officer in May 1921.
The insignia of the Warrant Officer Corps consisted of an eagle rising with wings displayed, adapted from the great seal of the United States. The eagle is standing on two arrows, which symbolize the military arts and sciences for which Warrant Officers draw their specialties. Warrant Officers of the Army Tank Corps were the first to wear this new insignia.
Today’s Warrant Officers are the Army’s specialists in a variety of fields, including artillery, military intelligence, aviation, maintenance, medical, logistics and administration.
Pictured above, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Charles Eldridge (left), assigned to the 27th Infantry Combat Brigade Team assist Master Sgt. William Yohn of the 42nd Infantry Division install secure communications data into a vehicle radio in October 2011. Photo by Spc. James Roa.