FORT LEE, Va.(July 9, 2018) -- Among the ranks of professional Soldiers, there are members of the Officer Corps, the Noncommissioned Officer Corps and the Warrant Officer Cohort.The latter's official, yet distinctive, moniker -- changed from corps to cohort in 2004 -- is reflective of its unparalleled role and responsibilities as subject matter experts, teachers and advisors. They are the "nuts and bolts" technicians heavily relied upon in a technology-hungry Army.Celebrating that significance, and the beating heart of its team of professionals, was the purpose of the Fort Lee Warrant Officer Centennial Observance that took place July 9 at the Lee Theater.Attended by representatives from all levels of installation leadership and large numbers of warrant officer students enrolled at the Army Logistics University, the event highlighted the cohort's collective contributions to the Army's rich history and its members' distinctive role as technical specialists, said the guest speaker, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Richard C. Myers, command CWO for CASCOM."The United States Army Warrant Officer Cohort is small but impactful," he said. "They enhance the Army's ability to build readiness; they defend our national interests by serving as the Army's premiere land force technical experts and systems integrators."Currently, warrant officers comprise 2.5 percent of the total force, which equates to roughly 27,000 Soldiers, said Myers. Thirty-two percent of those individuals serve in sustainment branches, he added.Myers stood in for Lt. Gen. Edward Daly, deputy commanding general for Army Materiel Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala. The former Chief of Ordnance could not make the trip due to unforeseen circumstances but previously shared with Myers his contention warrant officers are pivotal elements in the Army's institutional and operational effectiveness."His point is our warrant officers are the technical experts at the tactical point of need," said Myers, "not only building and sustaining equipment readiness, but also training and coaching a generation of officers, noncommissioned officers and junior Soldiers to be technically competent."Warrant officers are functional experts with a multi-functional understanding," he continued. "They are superstars; game-changers in the battlespace. They embrace their roles and responsibilities and are like Michael Jordan on the basketball court, making everyone around them better. Warrant officers shape, drive and influence others in their unit to focus on readiness, supply, maintenance and much more."With a cemented legacy, Myers said the cohort's future is dependent on its ability to provide the highest level of expertise commanders cannot get anywhere else."The next 100 years will see competition against near-peer competitors, making the relevance of Army warrant officers that much greater," he said with a tone of urgency meant to seize the attention of the warrants in the audience. "The Army requires your unique ability as a technical expert, combat leader, trainer and advisor to remain ready to deploy, fight and win decisively against any enemy."The observance agenda also included a historical presentation, time capsule dedication and cake-cutting. Retired CW5 Samuel P. Galloway, the CASCOM honorary regimental warrant officer, said the gathering was uplifting and tributary."It makes me proud to be a warrant officer and to see the continuity of our functions," said the 39-year food service veteran. "There are people who paved the way for me when I came in, and I got a lot of comments from the warrant officers today thanking me for my service. I told them I am just paying it forward."Noting the function of present warrant officers, similar to those of yesterday, Galloway said there is always a constant -- that need to always be prepared for the "what ifs.""It requires constant study and research because when commanders call you in for advice, you can't shoot from the hip," he said. "You have to be ready."To remain as viable in the future as they have been in the past, Galloway said warrants need to consider the following:"Be prepared; always be in the position to learn; be accessible to Soldiers and commanders; and if you see a problem, you should address it," he said. "If don't, you become part of the problem."Readers who want to learn more about the history of the Warrant Officer Cohort can find an in-depth overview at warrantofficerhistory.org/Hist_of_Army_WO.