warrant officer
   HOME

TheInfoList



Warrant officer (WO) is a
rank Rank is the relative position, value, worth, complexity, power, importance, authority, level, etc. of a person or object within a ranking, such as: Level or position in a hierarchical organization * Academic rank * Diplomatic rank * Hierarchy * Hi ...
or category of ranks in the
armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by the ...
of many countries. Depending on the country, service, or historical context, warrant officers are sometimes classified as the most junior of the commissioned ranks, the most senior of the
non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not earned a commission. Non-commissioned officers usually obtain their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks. (Non-officers, which includes most or all enli ...
(NCO) ranks, or in a separate category of their own. Warrant officer ranks are especially prominent in the militaries of
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...

Commonwealth
nations and the
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., federal di ...

United States
. The name of the rank originated in
medieval England England in the Middle Ages concerns the history of England during the Middle Ages, medieval period, from the end of the 5th century through to the start of the Early modern Britain, Early Modern period in 1485. When England emerged from the colla ...
. It was first used during the 13th century, in the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's Navy, naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years' War against ...
, where Warrant Officers achieved the designation by virtue of their accrued experience or seniority, and technically held the rank by a
warrant
warrant
—rather than by a formal
commission Commission or commissioning may refer to: Business and contracting * Commission (remuneration), a form of payment to an agent for services rendered ** Commission (art), the purchase or the creation of a piece of art most often on behalf of another ...
(as in the case of a commissioned officer). Nevertheless, WOs in the British services have traditionally been considered and treated as distinct from non-commissioned officers, as such (even though neither group has, technically, held a commission). Warrant officers in the United States are classified in rank category "W" (NATO "WO"), which is distinct from "O" (commissioned officers) and "E" (enlisted personnel). However, Chief Warrant Officers are officially commissioned, on the same basis as commissioned officers, and take the same oath. US WOs are usually experts in a particular technical field, with long service as enlisted personnel; in some cases, however, direct entrants may become WOs—for example, individuals completing helicopter pilot training in the US Army Aviation Branch become flight warrant officers immediately. In Commonwealth countries, warrant officers have usually been included alongside NCOs and enlisted personnel in a category called other ranks (ORs), which is equivalent to the US "E" category (i.e. there is no separate "W" category in these particular services). In Commonwealth services, warrant officers rank between chief petty officer and sub-lieutenant in the navy, between staff sergeant and second lieutenant in the army and between flight sergeant and pilot officer in the air force.


Origins

The warrant officer corps began in the nascent
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's Navy, naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years' War against ...
, which dates its founding to 1546. At that time, noblemen with military experience took command of the new navy, adopting the military ranks of
lieutenant A lieutenant ( or abbreviated Lt., Lt, LT, Lieut and similar) is a commissioned officer in the armed forces, fire services, police and other organizations of many nations. The meaning of lieutenant differs in different militaries (see compar ...

lieutenant
and
captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a military rank in ar ...
. These officers often had no knowledge of life on board a ship—let alone how to navigate such a vessel—and relied on the expertise of the ship's
master Master or masters may refer to: Ranks or titles *Ascended master Ascended masters in the Ascended Master Teachings of a number of movements in the theosophical tradition are believed to be spiritually enlightened beings who in past incarnat ...
and other seamen who tended to the technical aspects of running the ship. As cannon came into use, the officers also required gunnery experts; specialist gunners began to appear in the 16th century and also had warrant officer status. Literacy was one thing that most warrant officers had in common, and this distinguished them from the common seamen: according to the
Admiralty Admiralty usually refers to: * Admiralty (United Kingdom), military department in command of the Royal Navy from 1707 to 1964 *The rank of admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank ...
regulations, "no person shall be appointed to any station in which he is to have charge of stores, unless he can read and write, and is sufficiently skilled in arithmetic to keep an account of them correctly". Since all warrant officers had responsibility for stores, this was enough to debar the illiterate.


Rank and status in the 18th century

In origin, warrant officers were specialist professionals whose expertise and authority demanded formal recognition. In the 18th century they fell into two clear categories: on the one hand, those privileged to share with the commissioned officers in the
wardroom The wardroom is the mess cabin or compartment for commissioned naval officers above the rank of midshipman. Although the term typically applies to officers in a navy, it is also applicable to marine officers and coast guard officers in those na ...
and on the
quarterdeck The quarterdeck is a raised deck behind the main mast of a sailing ship. Traditionally it was where the captain commanded his vessel and where the ship's Colours, standards and guidons, colours were kept. This led to its use as the main cere ...
; and on the other, those who ranked with more junior members of the ship's crew. Somewhere between the two, however, were the standing officers, notable because, unlike the rest of the ship's company, they remained with the ship even when it was out of commission (e.g. for repair, refitting or replenishment, or whilst laid up); in these circumstances they were under the pay and supervision of the Royal Dockyard.


Wardroom warrant officers

These classes of warrant officer messed in the
wardroom The wardroom is the mess cabin or compartment for commissioned naval officers above the rank of midshipman. Although the term typically applies to officers in a navy, it is also applicable to marine officers and coast guard officers in those na ...
with the commissioned officers: *the
master Master or masters may refer to: Ranks or titles *Ascended master Ascended masters in the Ascended Master Teachings of a number of movements in the theosophical tradition are believed to be spiritually enlightened beings who in past incarnat ...
: the senior warrant officer, a qualified navigator and experienced seaman who set the sails, maintained the
ship's log A logbook (a ship's logs or simply log) is a record of important events in the management, operation, and navigation of a ship. It is essential to traditional navigation, and must be filled in at least daily. The term originally referred to a bo ...
and advised the captain on the seaworthiness of the ship and crew; *the
naval surgeon A naval surgeon, or less commonly ship's doctor, is the person responsible for the health of the ship's company aboard a warship. The term appears often in reference to Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's Navy, naval warf ...
: who treated the sick and injured and advised the captain on matters of health; *the
purser A ship's purser (also pusser)From which the Pusser's brand of rum takes its name. is the person on a ship principally responsible for the handling of money on board. On modern merchant ships, the purser is the officer responsible for all adminis ...

purser
: responsible for supplies,
food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, protein (nutrient), proteins, vit ...

food
and pay for the crew. In the early 19th century, they were joined in the wardroom by naval
chaplain The Reverend Manasseh Cutler, American Revolutionary War chaplain who served in George Washington's Continental Army and co-founded Ohio University A chaplain is, traditionally, a cleric (such as a Minister (Christianity), minister, priest, p ...

chaplain
s, who also had warrant officer status (though they were only usually present on larger vessels).


Standing warrant officers

The standing officers were: *the
boatswain A boatswain ( , ), bo's'n, bos'n, or bosun, also known as a Petty Officer, deck boss, or a qualified member of the deck department, is the seniormost Naval rating, rate of the deck department and is responsible for the components of a ship's Hul ...
: responsible for maintenance of the ship's boats, sails, rigging, anchors and cables; *the
carpenter Carpenters in an Indian village Carpentry is a skilled trade and a craft in which the primary work performed is the cutting, shaping and installation of building materials during the construction of buildings, Shipbuilding, ships, timber bridg ...
: responsible for maintenance of the ship's hull and masts; *the gunner: responsible for care and maintenance of the ship's guns and
gunpowder Gunpowder, also known as the retronym black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder, is the earliest known chemical explosive. It consists of a mixture of sulfur Sulfur (in traditional laity, lay Commonwealth English: sulp ...
.


Junior warrant officers

Other warrant officers included surgeon's mates, boatswain's mates and carpenter's mates, sailmakers, armourers, schoolmasters (involved in the education of boys, midshipmen and others aboard ship) and clerks. Masters-at-arms, who had formerly overseen small-arms provision on board, had by this time taken on responsibility for discipline.


Warrant officers in context

By the end of the century, the rank structure could be illustrated as follows (the warrant officers are underlined):


Demise of the royal naval warrants

In 1843, the
wardroom The wardroom is the mess cabin or compartment for commissioned naval officers above the rank of midshipman. Although the term typically applies to officers in a navy, it is also applicable to marine officers and coast guard officers in those na ...
warrant officers were given commissioned status, while in 1853 the lower-grade warrant officers were absorbed into the new rate of chief petty officer, both classes thereby ceasing to be warrant officers. On 25 July 1864 the standing warrant officers were divided into two grades: warrant officers and chief warrant officers (or "commissioned warrant officers", a phrase that was replaced in 1920 with "commissioned officers promoted from warrant rank", although they were still usually referred to as "commissioned warrant officers", even in official documents). By the time of the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war that began on 28 July 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918. It involved much of Europe, as well as Russia, the Unite ...
, their ranks had been expanded with the adoption of modern technology in the Royal Navy to include
telegraphist A telegraphist (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval Engl ...
s,
electrician An electrician is a tradesman A tradesman, skilled tradesman, or tradie refers to a skilled worker who specializes in a particular occupation that requires work experience, on-the-job training, and often formal vocational education V ...
s,
shipwright Shipbuilding is the construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, systems, or organizations,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition on ...
s,
artificer Artificer may refer to: * Armed-forces artificer, a service member skilled in working on artillery devices in the field * Artificer (Dungeons & Dragons), Artificer (''Dungeons & Dragons''), a character class in the ''Dungeons & Dragons'' fantasy ro ...
engineer Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are Professional, professionals who Invention, invent, design, analyze, build and test Machine, machines, complex systems, architecture, structures, gadgets and materials to fulfill functional objectiv ...

engineer
s, etc. Both warrant officers and commissioned warrant officers messed in the warrant officers' mess rather than the wardroom (although in ships too small to have a warrant officers' mess, they did mess in the wardroom). Warrant officers and commissioned warrant officers also carried swords, were saluted by
ratings A rating is an evaluation or assessment of something, in terms of quality, quantity, or some combination of both. Rating or ratings may also refer to: Business and economics * Credit rating, estimating the credit worthiness of an individual, co ...
, and ranked between
sub-lieutenant Sub-lieutenant is a junior military officer rank. In many navies, a sub-lieutenant is a naval commissioned or subordinate officer, ranking below a lieutenant. In the Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's Navy, naval war ...
s and
midshipmen A midshipman is an officer of the lowest rank, in the Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's Navy, naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first m ...
. In 1949, the ranks of warrant officer and commissioned warrant officer were changed to "commissioned officer" and "senior commissioned officer", the latter ranking with but after the rank of lieutenant, and they were admitted to the wardroom, the warrant officers' messes closing down. Collectively, these officers were known as "branch officers", being retitled "special duties" officers in 1956. In 1998, the special duties list was merged with the general list of officers in the Royal Navy, all officers now having the same opportunity to reach the highest commissioned ranks.


Modern usage


Australia

The
Royal Australian Navy The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the navy, naval force of Australia. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate Colonial navies of Australia, colonial navies were integrated into a national force, ca ...
rank of warrant officer (WO) is the Navy's only rank appointed by warrant and is equivalent to the Army's WO1, and the RAAF's warrant officer. The most senior non-commissioned member of the Navy is the
Warrant Officer of the Navy Warrant Officer of the Navy (WO-N) is the most senior sailor in the Royal Australian Navy The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the navy, naval force of Australia. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the sep ...
(WO-N), an appointment that is only held by one person at a time. The
Australian Army The Australian Army is the military land force of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the isla ...
has two warrant officer ranks: warrant officer class two (WO2) and warrant officer class one (WO1), the latter being senior in rank. The equivalent rank of WO2 in the Navy is now chief petty officer, and the RAAF equivalent of the Army's WO2 is now flight sergeant, although in the past there were no equivalents. All warrant officers are addressed as "sir" or "ma'am" by subordinates. To gain the attention of a particular warrant officer in a group, they can be addressed as "Warrant Officer Bloggs, sir/ma'am" or by their appointment, e.g. "ASM Bloggs, sir/ma'am". Some warrant officers hold an appointment such as company sergeant major (WO2) or regimental sergeant major (WO1). The warrant officer appointed to the position of Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A) is the most senior enlisted soldier in the Australian Army and differs from other Army warrant officers in that their rank is just warrant officer (WO). The appointment of RSM-A was introduced in 1983. The rank insignia are: a crown for a WO2 (or a crown in a square on DPCU (camouflage uniform) rank slides); the Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms (changed from the Royal Coat of Arms in 1976) for a WO1; and the Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms surrounded by a laurel wreath for the RSM-A. The
Royal Australian Air Force "Through Adversity to the Stars" , colours = , colours_label = , march = Royal Australian Air Force March Past , mascot = , anniversaries ...
rank of warrant officer (WOFF) is the RAAF's only rank appointed by warrant and is equivalent to both the Army's WO1 and the Navy's WO. The most senior non-commissioned member of the RAAF is the
Warrant Officer of the Air Force Warrant Officer of the Air Force (WOFF-AF) is the senior Warrant Officer Warrant officer (WO) is a rank or category of ranks in the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized f ...
(WOFF-AF), an appointment that is only held by one person at a time.


Bangladesh

Bangladesh-Navy-OR-9.svg, Master Chief Petty Officer Bangladesh-army-WO-3.svg, Master Warrant Officer 08.BAF-CWO.svg, Master warrant officer Warrant officer is the lowest
junior commissioned officerJunior Commissioned Officer (JCO) is a term used for a group of military personnel which is higher than havildars and lower than lieutenants; this term is only used by Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Senior havildars are promoted to JCO rank on the ...
rank in the
Bangladesh Army The Bangladesh Army ( bn, বাংলাদেশ সেনাবাহিনী, ''Bangladesh Senabahini'') is the Ground warfare, land warfare Military branch, branch and the largest component of the Bangladesh Armed Forces. The primary miss ...
and
Bangladesh Air Force Bangladesh (, bn, :bn:বাংলাদেশ, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, eighth-most populous country ...
, ranking below and master warrant officer.


Benelux

In the
Belgian Army french: Composante terre , image = Flag of the Belgian Land Component.svgborder , caption = Flag of the Land Component since 1982 , dates = 1830–2002 (as the Belgian Army ...
and
Luxembourg Army The Luxembourg Army is the national military force of Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxe ...
, the ranks are ''adjudant'' (OR-8), ''adjudant-chef'' (OR-9) and ''adjudant-major'' (OR-9) (or ''adjudant-majoor'' in
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
). In Dutch, they are collectively known as ''keuronderofficier'' (OR-7 to OR-8) and ''hoofd onderofficier'' (OR-9). ''Adjudant-onderofficier'' is the only rank of warrant officer in the
Royal Netherlands Army The Royal Netherlands Army ( nl, Koninklijke Landmacht) is the land forces element of the military of the Netherlands. Though the Royal Netherlands Army was raised on 9 January 1814, its origins date back to 1572, when the ''Staatse Leger'' was ra ...

Royal Netherlands Army
.


Canada

In the
Canadian Army ) , colors = Rifle Green and Gold , colors_label = Colors , march = "The Great Little Army" , mascot Juno the Bear, equipment = , equip ...
and
Royal Canadian Air Force , image = Royal Canadian Air Force Badge.svg , image_size = 250px , caption = Badge of the Royal Canadian Air Force , start_date = , country ...
, the cadre of warrant officers includes the specific ranks of warrant officer (''adjudant'' in French), master warrant officer (''adjudant-maître''), and
chief warrant officer Chief warrant officer is a military rank used by the United States Armed Forces The United States Armed Forces are the Military, military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the United States Army, Army, United States Marin ...
(''adjudant-chef''). File:Canadian Army OR-9a.svg, Insignia of a chief warrant officer File:Canadian Army OR-8.svg, Insignia of a master warrant officer File:Canadian Army OR-7.svg, Insignia of a warrant officer


France

In the
French Army The French Army, officially the Ground Army (french: Armée de Terre , ) to distinguish it from the French Air and Space Force (), is the Army, land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces. It is responsible to the Government of Fra ...
, Air Force and
Gendarmerie Wrong info! --> A vedette of the French Maritime Gendarmerie, ''Gendarmerie Maritime'' in La Rochelle harbour A gendarmerie () is a military force with law enforcement duties among the civilian population. The term ''gendarme'' () is ...
, the ranks of ( in the navy) and ( in the navy) may be considered equivalent to Commonwealth warrant officer ranks. These ranks are senior to the rank of and junior to the rank of . Like the officers, the are entitled to the ''mon'' before their rank, as in "". In France, each corps has a colour (gold for most infantry units, artillery, the air force and engineers, or silver for most cavalry units, transport and materiel corps). A French adjutant wears a band, with thin red line, in the opposite colour to that of his corps. A chief adjutant wears a band, with thin red line, in the colour of his corps. In order to distinguish an ''adjutant'' from a ''chief adjutant'' it is necessary to know the arm's colour. In cavalry units, ''adjudants'' and ''adjudants-chefs'' are addressed by tradition as "lieutenants".


Indonesia

In the
Indonesian Armed Forces , march = " March of the Indonesian National Armed Forces" , branches = , headquarters = Cilangkap, Jakarta Jakarta (; ), officially the Special Capital Region of Jakarta ( id, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta), is the Capital of I ...
, there are two warrant officer ranks known as ''pembantu letnan'' (assistant lieutenant). These are warrant officer 2nd class (''pelda'') and warrant officer 1st class (''peltu'').


India

Junior commissioned officerJunior Commissioned Officer (JCO) is a term used for a group of military personnel which is higher than havildars and lower than lieutenants; this term is only used by Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Senior havildars are promoted to JCO rank on the ...
s are the Indian Armed Forces equivalent of warrant officer ranks. Those in the
Indian Air Force The Indian Air Force (IAF) is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Its complement of personnel and aircraft assets ranks fourth amongst the air forces of the world. Its primary mission is to secure Indian airspace Airspace is the porti ...

Indian Air Force
actually use the ranks of junior warrant officer, warrant officer and master warrant officer. In the
British Indian Army The British Indian Army was the main military of the British Raj, British Indian Empire before its decommissioning in 1947. It was responsible for the defence of both the British Indian Empire and the princely states, which could also have thei ...
, warrant officer ranks existed but were restricted to British personnel, mostly in specialist appointments such as
conductor Conductor or conduction may refer to: Music * Conductor (music), a person who leads a musical ensemble like, for example, an orchestra. * Conductor (album), ''Conductor'' (album), an album by indie rock band The Comas * Conduction, a type of ...
and sub-conductor. Unlike in the British Army, although these appointments were warranted, the appointment and rank continued to be the same and the actual rank of warrant officer was never created. Indian equivalents were
viceroy's commissioned officer A viceroy's commissioned officer (VCO) was a senior Indian member of the British Indian Army. VCOs were senior in rank to warrant officers in the British Army, and held a commission issued by the governor-general of India, viceroy. Also known as "I ...
s.


Ireland


Irish Naval Service


Israel


Israel Defense Forces

The ("warrant officer") and the ("chief warrant officer") are both non-commissioned officers ranks in the
Israel Defense Forces The Israel Defense Forces (IDF; he, צְבָא הַהֲגָנָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל ; ), commonly referred to by the Hebrew-language acronym ''Tzahal'' (), are the combined military forces of the Israel, State of Israel, consisting of t ...
(IDF). Because the IDF is an integrated force, they have a unique rank structure. Israel Defense Forces ranks are the same in all services (army, navy, air force, etc.). The ranks are derived from those of the paramilitary ''
Haganah Haganah ( he, הַהֲגָנָה, lit. ''The Defence'') was the main Zionist was the founder of the Modern Zionist movement. In his 1896 pamphlet '' Der Judenstaat'', he envisioned the founding of a future independent Jewish state during ...
'' developed in the British Mandate of Palestine period to protect the ''
Yishuv Yishuv ( he, ישוב, literally "settlement"), Ha-Yishuv ( he, הישוב, ''the Yishuv''), or Ha-Yishuv Ha-Ivri ( he, הישוב העברי, ''the Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of ...
''. This origin is reflected in the slightly compacted IDF rank structure.


Malaysia

In the
Malaysian Armed Forces Malaysian may refer to: * Something from or related to Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutional monarchy consists of States and federal territories of Malaysia, thirteen states and three f ...
, warrant officers ( ms, pegawai Waran) are the highest ranks for non commissioned officers.


New Zealand

The
New Zealand Army , image = New Zealand Army Logo.png , image_size = 175px , caption = , start_date = , country = , branch = ...

New Zealand Army
usage is similar to that of the Australian Army, except that it has two warrant officer ranks. The warrant officer class 2 (WO2), addressed as "sergeant major", and the warrant officer class 1 (WO1), addressed as "sir" or "ma'am". There are also appointments such as company and squadron sergeant major (CSM and SSM) which are usually WO2 positions and regimental sergeant major (RSM), which are usually WO1 positions. The highest ranking WO1 holds the position of Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA). In certain uniforms, WO2s wear black shoes, the same as the enlisted ranks, whilst WO1s wear brown shoes, in common with commissioned officers. The exception to this are WO1s of the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps (RNZAC), who wear black shoes. The
Royal New Zealand Navy , website = , image = RNZN Crest.jpg , image_size = 150px , caption = Crest of the Royal New Zealand Navy , start_date = , dates ...
has a single warrant officer rank, addressed as "sir" or "ma'am". This rank is equivalent to the Army WO1. The
Royal New Zealand Air Force The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) ( mi, Te Tauaarangi o Aotearoa, "New Zealand Warriors of the Sky"; previously ', "War Party of the Blue") is the aerial warfare, aerial military service, service branch of the New Zealand Defence Force. It ...
also has a single warrant officer rank, equivalent to the Navy warrant officer, and the Army warrant officer class 1 (WO1). A warrant officer in the RNZAF is addressed as "sir" or "ma'am". Previously an aircrew warrant officer was known as master aircrew; however this rank and designation is no longer used. The RNZAF also has a post of Warrant Officer of the Air Force, the most senior warrant officer position in the RNZAF.


Singapore


Boys' Brigade

The rank of warrant officer is the highest rank a Boys' Brigade boy can attain in
secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both lower secondary education (age 12 to 15) and upper secondary educatio ...
.


National Civil Defence Cadet Corps

The rank of warrant officer is given to selected non-commissioned officers in National Civil Defence Cadet Corps units. It is above the rank of staff sergeant, and below the rank of cadet lieutenant. It is the highest rank a cadet can attain in the NCDCC while they are in secondary school. The rank insignia is one point-up chevron, a , and a garland below.


Singapore Armed Forces

In the Singapore Armed Forces, warrant officers begin as third warrant officers (3WO), previously starting at the rank of second warrant officer, abbreviated differently as WO2 instead. This rank is given to former Specialist (Singapore), specialists who have attained the rank of master sergeant and have either gone through, or are about to go through the Warfighter Course at the Specialist and Warrant Officer Advanced School (SWAS) in the Specialist and Warrant Officer Institute (SWI). In order to be promoted to a second warrant officer (2WO) and above, they must have been selected for and graduated from the joint warrant officer course at the SAF Warrant Officer School.MINDEF
History Snippets, 1992 – The SAF Warrant Officer School
7 January 2007. Accessed 19 March 2007.
Warrant officers rank between specialists and commissioned officers. They ordinarily serve as battalion or brigade regimental sergeant majors. Many of them serve as instructors and subject-matter experts in various training establishments. Warrant officers are also seen on the various staffs headed by the respective specialist officers. There are six grades of warrant officer (3WO, 2WO, 1WO, MWO, SWO & CWO). Warrant officers used to have their own mess. For smaller camps, this mess are combined with the officers' mess as a combined mess for better camaraderie. Warrant officers have similar responsibilities to commissioned officers. Warrant officers are usually addressed as "''encik''" ("mister" in Malay language) or as "warrant (surname)" or "''encik''" (surname) by the Enlisted rank, other ranks (including commissioned officers in respect for their experience and knowledge). Exceptions to this are those who hold appointments. Warrant officers holding the appointment such as Commanding officer, Commanding Officer (CO) and Officer commanding, Officer Commanding (OC) are to be addressed as "sir" by Enlisted rank, other ranks, and those holding Sergeant major, Sergeant Major appointments such as Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM), Company Sergeant Major (CSM), Formation Sergeant Major (FSM) and Army Sergeant Major (ASM) are to be addressed as "sergeant major" by Enlisted rank, other ranks. Also, warrant officers holding the rank of Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) are to be addressed as "sir" by Enlisted rank, other ranks. Although ceremonial swords are usually reserved for Officer (armed forces), commissioned officers, warrant officers of the rank Master Warrant Officer (MWO) and above are presented with ceremonial swords, but retain the use of the pace stick with the ceremonial sword holstered during drills and parades. Since all warrant officers are
non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not earned a commission. Non-commissioned officers usually obtain their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks. (Non-officers, which includes most or all enli ...
s, they are not saluted.


Singapore Civil Defence Force

In the Singapore Civil Defence Force, there are two warrant officer ranks. These ranks are (in order of ascending seniority): 2nd warrant officer and 1st warrant officer.


South Africa

In the South African National Defence Force, a warrant officer (WO) is set apart from those who hold a non-commissioned officer (NCO) rank. Warrant officers hold a warrant of appointment endorsed by the Minister of Defence. Warrant officers hold very specific powers, which are set out in the Defence Act and the Military Defence Supplementary Measures Act. Before 2008, there were two classes – warrant officer class 1 and 2. A warrant officer class 1 could be appointed to positions such as regimental sergeant major, formation sergeant major or Sergeant Major of the Army or Warrant Officer of the Navy. In 2008, five new warrant officer ranks were introduced above warrant officer class 1: senior warrant officer (SWO), master warrant officer (MWO), chief warrant officer (CWO), senior chief warrant officer (SCWO) and master chief warrant officer (MCWO).


United Kingdom


Royal Navy

In 1973, warrant officers reappeared in the Royal Navy, but these appointments followed the army model, with the new warrant officers being ratings rather than officers. They were initially known as fleet chief petty officers (FCPOs), but were renamed warrant officers in the 1980s. They rank with warrant officers class one in the British Army and Royal Marines and with warrant officers in the Royal Air Force. There are executive warrant officers for commands and ships. Five branches (surface ships, submarines, Royal Marines, Fleet Air Arm, and Maritime Reserves) each have a command warrant officer. The senior RN WO is the Warrant Officer of the Royal Navy. Under the Navy Command Transformation Programme, there are now a Fleet Commander's Warrant Officer and a Second Sea Lord's Warrant Officer, all working with the Warrant Officer of the Naval Service, taking over the roles of the Command Warrant Officers. In 2004, the rank of warrant officer class 2 was introduced. However, the rank was phased out in April 2014, but is being reinstated for non-technical and technical branches of the Royal Navy in 2021.


British Army

In the British Army, there are two warrant ranks, warrant officer class two (WO2) and warrant officer class one (WO1), the latter being the senior of the two. These ranks were previously abbreviated as WOII and WOI (using Roman instead of Arabic numerals). "Warrant officer first class" or "second class" is incorrect. The rank immediately below WO2 is staff sergeant (or colour sergeant). From 1938 to 1940 there was a WOIII Platoon Sergeant Major, platoon sergeant major rank. In March 2015, the new appointment of Army Sergeant Major was created, though the holder is not in fact a warrant officer but a commissioned officer holding the rank of captain. The creation of the appointment of command sergeant major was announced in 2009.


Royal Marines

Before 1879, the Royal Marines had no warrant officers: by the end of 1881, the Royal Marines had given warrant rank to their sergeant-majors and some other senior non-commissioned officers, in a similar fashion to the army. When the army introduced the ranks of warrant officer class I and class II in 1915, the Royal Marines did the same shortly after. From February 1920, Royal Marines warrant officers class I (renamed warrant officers) were given the same status as Royal Navy warrant officers and the rank of warrant officer class II was abolished in the Royal Marines, with no further promotions to this rank. The marines had introduced warrant officers equivalent in status to the Royal Navy's from 1910 with the Royal Marines gunner (originally titled gunnery sergeant-major), equivalent to the navy's warrant rank of gunner. Development of these ranks closely paralleled that of their naval counterparts: as in the Royal Navy, by the Second World War there were warrant officers and commissioned warrant officers (e.g. staff sergeant majors, commissioned staff sergeant majors, Royal Marines gunners, commissioned Royal Marines gunners, etc.). As officers, they were saluted by junior ranks in the Royal Marines and the army. These all became (commissioned) branch officer ranks in 1949, and special duties officer ranks in 1956. These ranks would return in 1972, this time similar to their army counterparts, and not as the RN did before. The most senior Royal Marines warrant officer is the Corps Regimental Sergeant Major. Unlike the RN proper (since 2014), it retains both WO ranks.


Royal Air Force

The Royal Air Force first used the ranks of sergeant major first and second class as inherited from the Royal Flying Corps, with the rank badges of the Royal coat of arms and the crown respectively. In the 1930s, these ranks were renamed warrant officer class I and II as in the Army. In 1939, the RAF abolished the rank of WOII and retained just the WOI rank, referred to as just warrant officer (WO), which it remains to this day. The RAF has no equivalent to WO2 (NATO OR-8), an RAF WO being equivalent to WO1 (NATO OR-9) and wearing the same badge of rank, the Royal coat of arms. The correct way to address a warrant officer is "sir" or "ma'am" by airmen and "mister or warrant officer -surname-" by officers. Most RAF warrant officers do not hold appointments as in the army or Royal Marines; the exception to this is the station warrant officer, who is considered a "first amongst equals" on an Royal Air Force station, RAF station. Warrant officer is the highest non-commissioned rank and ranks above flight sergeant. In 1946, the RAF renamed its aircrew warrant officers to master aircrew, a designation which still survives. In 1950, it renamed warrant officers in technical trades to master technicians, a designation which survived only until 1964. The most senior RAF warrant officer by appointment, although holding the same rank as all other warrant officers, is the Warrant Officer of the Royal Air Force, known as the Chief of the Air Staff's Warrant Officer from the post's creation in 1996 until 2021.


United States

In the United States Armed Forces, a warrant officer (grade W-1 to W-5) is ranked as an officer above the senior-most enlisted ranks, as well as officer cadets and officer candidates, but below the officer grade of Second Lieutenant (United States), O‑1 (NATO: OF‑1). All Warrant Officers rate a salute from those ranked below them; i.e., the enlisted ranks. Warrant officers are highly skilled, single-track specialty officers, and while the ranks are authorized by Congress, each branch of the military selects, manages, and utilizes warrant officers in slightly different ways. For appointment to warrant officer (W-1), normally a warrant (law), warrant is approved by the service secretary of the respective branch of service. However, appointment to this rank can come via commission by the President of the United States, President, but this is less common. For the chief warrant officer ranks (CW‑2 to CW‑5), these warrant officers are commissioned by the President. Both warrant officers and chief warrant officers take the same oath of office as regular Officer (armed forces), commissioned officers (O-1 to O-10). A small number of warrant officers command Detachment (military), detachments, military unit, units, activities, vessels, aircraft, and armored vehicles, as well as lead, coach, train, and counsel subordinates. However, the warrant officer's primary task is to serve as a technical expert, providing valuable skills, guidance, and expertise to commanders and organizations in their particular field. All U.S. armed services employ warrant officer grades except the U.S. Air Force. Although still technically authorized, the Air Force discontinued appointing new warrant officers in 1959, retiring its last chief warrant officer from the Air Force Reserve in 1992. The U.S. Army utilizes warrant officers heavily and separates them into two types: Aviators and technical. Army aviation warrant officers pilot both rotary-wing and fixed wing aircraft and represent the largest group of Army warrant officers. Technical warrant officers in the Army specialize in a single branch technical area such as intelligence, sustainment, supply, military police, or special forces; and provide advice and support to commanders. For example, a military police officer and a military intelligence officer both have to be branch qualified in their respective fields, learning how to manage the entire spectrum of their profession. However, within those broad fields warrant officers include such specialists as United States Army Criminal Investigation Command, CID Special Agents (a very specific track within the military police) and United States Army Counterintelligence, Counterintelligence Special Agents (a very specific track within military intelligence). These technical warrant officers allow for a soldier with subject matter expertise (like non-commissioned officers), but with the authority of a commissioned officer. Both technical and aviation warrant officers go through initial training and branch assignment at the Army Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS), followed by branch-specific training and education paths. Technical warrant officers are generally selected from the non-commissioned officer ranks (typically E-6 through E-9). Aviation warrant officer candidates can apply from all branches of service, including junior enlisted and non-prior service civilians (aviation warrant officers join through the Warrant Officer Flight Training Program). The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard discontinued the grade of W-1 in 1975, appointing and commissioning all new entrants as chief warrant officer two (pay grade W-2, with rank abbreviation of CWO2). This was to prevent a pay decrease that an entrant may take since all Navy chief warrant officers are selected strictly from the chief petty officer pay grades (E-7 through E-9). The Coast Guard allows E-6 personnel to apply for chief warrant officer rank, but only after they have displayed their technical ability by earning a placement in the top 50% on the annual eligibility list for advancement to E-7. In 2018, the U.S. Navy expanded the warrant program, re-implementing the W-1 pay grade for cyber warrant officers and accepting three new WO1s in fiscal year 2019. Warrant officers in the Army holding the rank of warrant officer 1 (WO1) are formally addressed as "Mr/Ms" [last name]. Upon promotion to chief warrant officer 2, "Chief" becomes an additional authorized term of address. WO1s are informally addressed as "Chief" by many soldiers as well. In the Navy, warrant officers are typically addressed as "Mr/Ms" [last name], "Chief Warrant Officer", or informally as "Warrant" regardless of their grade. The U.S. Maritime Service (USMS), which is established at 46 U.S. Code § 51701, falls under the authority of the Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation and is authorized to appoint warrant officers. In accordance with 46 U.S. Code § 51701, the USMS rank structure must be the same as that of the U.S. Coast Guard while uniforms worn are those of the U.S. Navy with distinctive USMS insignia and devices. The USMS has appointed warrant officers, of various specialty fields, during and after World War II. Warrant officer rank is also occasionally used in law enforcement agencies to grant status and pay to certain senior specialist officers who are not in command, such as senior technicians or helicopter pilots. As in the armed forces, they rank above sergeants, but below lieutenants. For example, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol had several warrant officer helicopter pilot positions from the 1960s until the mid-1980s. The WO insignia was a silver bar with a black square in the center. The WO ranks were abolished when the aviation program expanded and nearly twenty trooper pilot positions were created. The New York State Police rank of technical lieutenant is similar to a warrant officer rank insofar as it is used to grant commissioned officer authority to non-commissioned officers with extensive technical expertise.


See also

* List of comparative military ranks


Notes


References

{{Use dmy dates, date=September 2019 Military ranks of Australia Military ranks of Canada Military ranks of Singapore Military ranks of the Commonwealth Warrant officers, Military ranks of the United States