Air Force Warrant Officer Training Returns to Action for First Time Since the 1950s

Air Force Warrant Officer Training Returns to Action for First Time Since the 1950s
Maj. Nathaniel Roesler, right, takes command of Warrant Officer Training School during a June 28 activation ceremony at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. (Photo by Senior Airman Evan Lichtenhan/Air Force)

This article by Lydia G. Gordon originally appeared on Stars and Stripes serves the U.S. military community by providing editorially independent news and information around the world.


The Air Force’s warrant officer training school is open for business, marking a return to the service after nearly 70 years.


The school, which held an assumption of command ceremony Friday at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., aims to address the growing demand for highly specialized technical and tactical experts, a service statement said.


The Air Force disbanded the warrant officer corps in 1958 after the creation of the senior master sergeant and chief master sergeant ranks.


That left the Air Force as an outlier among the other Pentagon services, where warrant officers work in such varied roles as aviation, food safety, special operations and vehicle maintenance.


[FROM 2019: Navy Brings Back Warrant Officer 1 Rank to Retain Cyber Talent]


The Air Force says its future warrant officers are expected to play a crucial role in areas such as technology and cybersecurity.


In an April statement, service chief Gen. David Allvin said the reintroduction of the school is part of larger changes that are “essential for maintaining a strategic advantage in an era defined by Great Power Competition.”


The changes in force structure come as China continues to modernize and grow its armed forces and as the U.S. seeks to deter Russia from aggression against NATO allies in Europe.


Similar to the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, the Air Force will undergo a selective application process to designate qualified airmen to attend the school.


[RELATED: Air Force Pilots Now Can Start Mental Health Treatment and Continue Flying]


The school’s opening class of about 30 people is set to begin its eight weeks of training in October.


To attend, the students must be in the pay grade of E-5 or higher, age 42 or younger and in the service for at least five years, among other requirements.


Download MOAA’s Officer’s Guide

For more resources on deployments, PCS moves, educational and professional development, transitioning and more.