FORT SILL, Okla. -- The air defense artillery branch is looking for warrant officers to fill its manning gaps. The need is so great that the Army is offering a $60,000 incentive to Soldiers, said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jonathon Boone, ADA Proponent warrant officer.

The ADA branch is expanding from the ground to well into space, Boone said. There is renewed emphasis on short range air defense artillery for maneuver (ground) troops, and air defenders are exploring the technologies beyond the range of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD.

"We always need three warrant officers per (ADA) unit, and 12 warrant officers per battalion," he said. To fill those billets the Army needs 68 new ADA warrant officers each fiscal year.

The three ADA WO specialties are 140 command and control systems integrator; 140K air and missile defense tactician; and 140L air and missile defense systems technician, Boone said. New 140K and 140L warrants can get the $60,000 bonus.

Typically, the feeder Military Occupational Specialties for the ADA warrant branch are the 14 series, but the Army is accepting warrant applicants from other military service members, including the Air Force and Navy, he said.

The ADA warrant branch is only about 6 percent women, and the Army wants to increase those numbers, Boone said. Diverse perspectives and thoughts are important in an organization because if everyone thinks alike, or groupthink, that leads to stagnancy.

"Last year, finally after 52 years as a branch, we had our first female CW5 selectee," Boone said.

WHY GO WARRANT?

Boone said he enjoys being the technical subject matter expert, the autonomy of the job, and being the commander's go-to Soldier.

"Being trusted, having your word as law is fantastic," he said. "If you're trying to be a force multiplier, or actually create change in your organization, then warrant officer is a fantastic route to go."

Of course there is the increase in pay, which consequently improves the quality of life for Soldiers and their Families, he said.

Don Herrick, ADA Outreach officer, said ADA enlisted Soldiers who want to take charge of their future should consider going warrant. Only three warrant branches have ever offered accessions bonuses: special forces, criminal investigation division, and now defense artillery, Boone said.

After completing the Warrant Officer Candidate School at Fort Rucker, Alabama, air defense artillery warrants attend their ADA Warrant Officer Basic Candidate school at Fort Sill, Boone said. They have a two-year window to complete that.

For information about ADA warrant opportunities, visit Facebook's ADA Proponent Warrant Officer.