DARIEN, Ill. - There was a change of the guard at the command chief position for the 416th Theater Engineer Command (TEC) this weekend.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Therese Beatty took over the command chief warrant officer title for the TEC as she officially replaced Chief Warrant Officer 5 Juan Luna during the change of responsibility ceremony June 8.
Luna held that position since December 2009 and will transition to the command's personnel section next. Warrant officers serve in specific positions longer than unit commanders and other staff officers in the Army.
"I want to thank all of you for giving me the opportunity and teaching me about engineers because I couldn't do it alone. I needed all of your support and I got it," said Luna during the ceremony.
The command chief at the 416th TEC is responsible for mentoring, supervising and recruiting all warrant officers within the command.
"I always like using the phrase 'MSH.' I like to make stuff happen," said Beatty. "I saw this job as an opportunity to make positive change in the Army Reserve ... to touch even just a few people and make very positive changes in their lives."
An Army warrant officer is most commonly known as a technical expert, but can also serve in the position of combat leader, trainer and adviser across 45 military occupational specialties.
In the engineer community, warrant officers are entrusted to supervise equipment maintenance, analyze malfunctions and supervise repairs of equipment responsible for power generation; earthmoving; lifting and loading; asphalt concrete mixing and surfacing; petroleum, oil and lubricants transfer; water purification; refrigeration and air conditioning; water gap crossing; and electronic application.
In other words, they ensure equipment stays operational.
Both Juan, living in Wadsworth, Illinois, and Beatty, living in Clearwater, Florida, come from the human resources community, making them especially adapt for this role.
"I really want to increase the visibility of the warrant officers of the 416th, and to be able to recruit, have a recruitment drive, to fill the many vacancies that we have as warrant officers," said Beatty.
During Juan's tenure, who has 38 total years of service, there was a six percent in warrant officer strength. He also engaged level 4 chief warrant officers to step into more leadership roles. He made mentorship one of his top priorities on the job.
Before this position, Beatty served as a liaison officer for the Army Forces Command and is a law and policy analyst for the Office of the Chief of the Army Reserve in her civilian life, working at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
"Clearly, as you can see, the depth and the breadth of Chief Beatty's assignments have fully prepared her for this important position, and I have full confidence that she'll continue the great work that's begun by Chief Luna and take it to the next level," said Maj. Gen. David Conboy, the commanding general of the 416th TEC.In preparation for her new assignment, Beatty spoke with Conboy on his command priorities for warrant officers. She said she will focus on unit readiness, warrant officer education, leader development, recruiting structure and fully engaging the warrant officer corps to be valuable team members.
"I'm a person of action," said Beatty. "I hope to establish long-term changes to the five focus areas provided by the commanding general."
She said she hopes to learn from every encounter on the job and to listen to the needs of others.
"Listening is a great way to grow and learn. Mentoring others requires good listening skills," she said.
Beatty, who is a Chicago native, rose to the rank of sergeant first class before graduating from the Warrant Officer Candidate School in 1995. She has 31 years of Army experience, including three calls to active duty throughout her Reserve career, one of which was to Bosnia from 1997-1998.
She has been married to her husband, Richard, for 22 years who was drafted and sent to Vietnam in 1968 and spent four years active and 24 years in the Army Reserve.
At one point when speaking at a Family Support Activities event, her husband said, "When I left for Vietnam in 1968, I never imagined that one day I would be kissing my wife good-bye as she departed for war."
The Army Warrant Officer Corps traces its lineage back to the civilian headquarters clerks of the Continental Army. In 1916, the Army converted those positions to military billets. The rank of warrant officer was established two years later. Warrant officers are positioned in rank above all enlisted and below all commissioned grades.