The Maneuver Support Center of Excellence held a professional day in conjunction with a centennial birthday celebration in honor of U.S. Army warrant officers July 19 at locations across the installation.

Warrant officers and fellow service members began the celebration with an early morning run where Maj. Gen. Kent Savre, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, stressed the importance of the cohort.

"For a hundred years warrant officers have provided the critical technical expertise we need to be successful," he said. "Why that's important is, we have the most technically capable Army in the world, and our Army can't be successful if our stuff doesn't work and if our systems aren't in place."

Savre said he was proud to stand side-by-side with the warrant officers as they celebrate their 100th birthday.

"There is no other center of excellence, and there are no other three branches in the United States Army that provide more critical skills, tools and technical capability than the Engineers, the Military Police and the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear schools and regiments," he said. "And we absolutely rely on our warrant officers to ensure that we have the capability that we need to accomplish the mission in support of the maneuver commander."

A professional development session was held later in the morning with the topic of discussion being the cohort's past and present, followed by a luncheon and cake-cutting ceremony with guest speaker Col. Eric Towns, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander.

Towns said he has been the recipient of technical expertise from several warrant officers throughout his career and went on to list several instances.

"What that is meant to illustrate is that warrant officers are so far reaching -- in every echelon, and in a myriad of careers," he said. "As we move to the future, on a battlefield that we have dubbed multi-domain, the expertise of the warrant officer is going to remain vital."

A panel discussion was held at Lincoln Hall Auditorium addressing the cohort's future in the afternoon followed by a birthday celebration at the Pershing Community Center.

Fort Leonard Wood conducts warrant officer basic courses for the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear; Engineer and Military Police schools. While the Engineer and MP schools have had warrant officers for quite some time, the cohort is relatively new to the CBRN School, whose first class of warrant officers graduated in 2011.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert Lockwood is only the third regimental chief warrant officer for the Chemical Corps and was part of that graduating class. The position was upgraded to chief warrant officer 3 this spring. He said this is a significant move forward for the cohort.

"It signifies the growth and accomplishments of our young cohort to this point," Lockwood said. "It is the first time we have had a field-grade warrant officer in the position, or in the Chemical Corps period, and is indicative that all the hard work and efforts put in by everyone involved with the CBRN Warrant Program are coming to fruition."

He added, "It also is significant to me, because I realize that we are still a ways off from getting the CBRN Warrant Officer Program to where its full potential is realized for the Chemical Corps, and this event was yet another mark on the growth timeline, so I had better be re-doubling my efforts to get it the rest of the way."