Chief Warrant Officer of the Branch / By CW5 Allen R. Godfrey: As outlined in Army Doctrine Reference Publication 1, the Army is a profession. As a military profession, our relationship with the American people is built on a foundation of trust, continuously reinforced as we contribute honorable service, demonstrate military expertise, provide faithful stewardship, and exhibit courageous esprit de corps.
2LT Saint Blanchard (3rd from left) leads key personnel through mission rehearsal on the terrain model prior to executing an air movement in the Aviation Leader Exercise. Pictured from left to right are: W01 Busen (flight lead), W01 Castro, 2LT Saint Blanchard (air mission commander), W01 Martin, W01 Bradish, and W01 Brolin. / U.S. ARMY PHOTO
A profession is a trusted, disciplined, and relatively autonomous vocation whose members provide a unique and vital service to society, without which it could not flourish. They provide this service by developing and applying expert knowledge. The members earn the trust of society through ethical, effective, and efficient practice. They establish and uphold the discipline and standards of their art and science, including the responsibility for professional development and certification. Finally, they are granted significant autonomy and discretion in the practice of their profession on behalf of society.
The Army’s ability to fulfill its strategic role and discharge its responsibilities to the Nation depends on trust between Soldiers, trust between Soldiers and leaders, trust between Soldiers and Army civilians, trust among Soldiers, their families, and the Army, and trust between the Army and the American people.
We have gained deep respect from the American people because we are a professional military. Our men and women serve with distinction and honor. We stand ready to deploy, engage and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat. We are also ready to provide aid and comfort to those in need.
Setting the Example
Warrant officers set the example right, wrong, or indifferent. We must do what is right while no one is watching. More importantly, we must do right while the whole world is watching. Social media, 24-hour news organizations, and global communications mean information is available nearly instantaneously. Everything we do reflects on the Army. Additionally, our individual conduct reflects on all of us as warrant officers.
We must understand that anything posted to video sites, social media, blogs, etc. can last forever. We are Soldiers 365 days a year, 7 days per week, and 24 hours per day. We cannot be a Soldier on duty and not off duty. Our online conduct is as important as offline. When using electronic communications, we should apply “think, type, post” Think about the meaning of the message and the viewer; type a communication consistent with army values; and post only messages that demonstrate dignity and respect.
Our Soldiers show and uphold the Army Profession through their commitment, character, and competence. Our aviation warrant officers are the professionals making tactical decisions that may have strategic impacts. Commit to honesty at the beginning. The end does not justify the means. We must conduct our mission, duty, and ourselves legally, morally, and ethically.
CW3 Daniel Fernandez is a 150U Unmanned Aerial Systems Technician and a former Kiowa Warrior aviator. While in the 150U course, he provided valuable input during a course visit. His comments define the Army Profession of character, commitment, and competence.
“Every day I get to wear my uniform is a blessing and I am always looking for ways to remain relevant and productive for the Army. As a 58 pilot, I was hoping that the use of UAS would have been better integrated into my combat missions. It was my understanding of how I would have preferred to use UAS (as a manned aviator) that made the chance to be a 150U very appealing. I decided that I could use this to help make a great idea (manned/unmanned) even better from the UAS side. Regardless of where I would have come out on the transition list, the transfer to 150U is my primary course of action. I see unlimited and exciting potential to help develop from the ground floor a new chapter in Army Aviation. I have the attitude that I owe the Army much more than it will ever owe me. Walking away from a flying position as well as flight pay was very easy in order to be able to continue my service while getting the chance to be a part of aviation history.”
Our enemies will continue to be unpredictable and changing. The global demand for Army Aviation will only increase due to the ever-changing complex world. We must be prepared to win in a complex world. This requires agile and adaptive leaders.
Remember to start our day asking, “What are we doing for the Warfighter?” At the end of the day, the answer is, “We provided no fail support to the Warfighter on the ground and in the air.”
“Above the Best”
CW5 Allen R. “Randy” Godfrey is the chief warrant officer of the Aviation Branch with the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort Rucker, AL.