Warrant Officer Corps celebrates birthday
July 12, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (July 12, 2012) -- Construction at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum couldn't stop Fort Rucker from celebrating the 94th U.S. Army Warrant Officer Corps birthday July 9 as the celebration went on at the post theater with food and cake.
"Today's ceremony recognizes the 94th birthday of the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Corps," said CW4 Tim McCarter, president of the Above the Best chapter of the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Association. "Today marks a historic event for not only the Warrant Officer Corps, but also the Army as we recognize the contributions of the men and women, both past and present, active, Guard, Reserve and retired who heeded the call of the nation."
The traditional cake cutting took place during the ceremony in which the oldest present warrant officer, CW3 Jim Ramge, cut the cake with the youngest present warrant officer, W01 Josh Carter.
"The Warrant Officer Corps birthday cake cutting ceremony is important to us all," said McCarter. "It is an annual renewal of each warrant officer's commitment to the corps, and the Warrant Officer Corps' commitment to our nation's quest for peace and freedom worldwide."
After the cake was cut, the USAWOA chapter president said it was tradition that the first piece of cake be presented to the guest of honor, Bob Cooper, by the oldest present warrant officer, Ramge.
The second piece of cake was then presented to the oldest warrant officer by the youngest warrant officer to signify the honor and respect accorded to experience and seniority, said McCarter, adding that the oldest officer then served the younger officer to signify the experienced warrant officers that have nurtured and led young officers that fill the ranks and renew the corps.
For CW5 Max Dean, Alabama Army National Guard command chief warrant officer, the day was also an opportunity to bring recognition to another July birthday.
"This month is the 40th anniversary of the Warrant Officer Association," he said. "In 1972, a group of senior warrant officers met together in Indianapolis to discuss the changes that needed to come about in the Warrant Officer Corps."
From that meeting, the USAWOA was founded, according to Dean.
"The U.S. Army Warrant Officers Association is an organization that has contributed many of the positive changes to the corps in the last 40 years," said Cooper, who was also a former president of the USAWOA. "These positive changes have boiled down to three key words: professionalism, recognition and representation. These words are more than just their meaning and have made the corps what it is today by following these words."
Cooper also said that the Warrant Officer Career College was another addition that was a positive change to the WOC.
"As time goes by and changes come about, we must reflect back on what made this country great," said the former USAWOA president. "Freedom, which is provided by the sacrifices of our military, and that does not only mean the active-duty force. We must also look after the Families who have lost an active-duty warrior and also retired Soldiers."