By definition, transformation is a dramatic change in form or appearance; transition is a process or period of changing from one state or condition to another. The definitions are similar yet distinct. The Army and the Army Reserve are in a perpetual state of transformation and transition. One follows the other like the changing of seasons. As an example, when I enlisted in the USAR, females had just begun to join the ranks. The female latrine at my first unit of assignment was a transformed broom closet located in a far, dark corner of the reserve center. Since that time, female Soldiers have transitioned through the ranks into leadership positions and into combat MOSs. The concept of ARFORGEN began with a functional change in mission and to comply with BASOPS. In order to support this concept, a structural transformation had to take place; thus, the major initiative of migrating the Army from a division-centric force to a modular brigade-centric force. Along with the structural transformation, processes within the structure needed transition to support the new configuration.
We enter a new phase of transformation and transition with the publication of Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley’s Rally Point 32. This phase focuses not only on the transformation of the USAR fighting force as a whole; but also, on the forward transition of the Soldier by going back to the basics. Talley states, “The future will require an Army Reserve that can enable our Army to Prevent, Shape, and Win across a full range of missions. Maintaining an Army Reserve with operational flexibility and strategic depth will be essential.”
The Warrant Officer Corps is poised for transition. CCWO, USAR, CW5 Phyllis Wilson’s vision for the Warrant Officer Corps’ transition can be summed in the phrase “refocusing the future.” Our corps holds fast to the technical expertise that is the foundation of our ranks; however we need to incorporate warrant officer managers within our ranks. Wilson is developing and implementing several strategies to produce an end state that builds on our technical contributions and supports the functionality and relevance of our corps. Wilson is “exploring initiatives that might permit us to recruit in new/innovative ways.” The fruition of Wilson’s long-range strategies has begun with the combination of MILPER messages 13-034, FY13 Reserve Component Chief Warrant Officer Three and Chief Warrant Officer Four Competitive Categories, Promotion Selection Boards, and 13-035, FY13 Reserve Component Chief Warrant Officer Five Competitive Categories, Promotion Selection Boards. Message 13-034 expanded the zones for consideration. Message 13-035, expanded the zones for consideration and included MOS 011A (Branch Immaterial). The significance of this transition is that it opens the pipeline to fill gaps in our ranks, it creates a pipeline for warrant officer managers in CCWO positions, and it provides opportunities for advancement for warrant officers outside the rank structure of some MOSs.
In February 2012, TRADOC was tasked to “coordinate an outcomes-based study of the warrant officer continuum of learning to identify strengths and weaknesses and determine alignment with AR 350-1, the Army Leader Development Strategy (ALDS), and the Army Learning Model (ALM).” The Warrant Officer Continuum of Learning Study (WOCLS) final report is complete and can be found on the 108th Training Command’s Warrant Officer Share Point at https://xtranet/Organization/MSCs/Training/108TC(IET)/CCWO/.
Please take the time to read this report. The findings may impact your future. The bottom line of this comprehensive report is that our role as technical experts is expanding to include greater leadership and strategic-level functions; thus, the need for cultural and Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, Multinational (JIIM) proficiency. The report states, “These broad requirements increase the cohort’s reliance on PME vs. experiential learning in order to gain foundational knowledge, skills, and behaviors (KSB) the result in success.” To be sure, the General Learning Outcomes (GLO) for warrant officers must transform so that the corps will transition with the total force.
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