REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command now has 73 warrant officers throughout its ranks, providing expert knowledge and experience needed to accomplish command missions, according to USASMDC’s senior leader.
During his opening remarks at the Warrant Officer Association’s Annual Meeting of Members, Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, USASMDC commanding general, discussed the impact warrant officers have throughout the command and the command’s concerted effort to bring additional warrant officers to the team over the past two years.
“A warrant officer is an ombudsmen for the unit,” Karbler said. “They will give you the unvarnished truth, but they’re not just going to bring you a problem, they’re going to bring you a couple of solutions too.”
In 2019, USASMDC brought on its first command chief warrant officer, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Wesley Klees, who made it a mission to build the command’s warrant officer team.
“Wes (Klees) had a whiteboard; I gave him a dry-erase pen, and he went to work,” Karbler said. “Our warrant officer numbers went up from 77% to north of 90% just in terms of billets within our command.”
Karbler said a warrant officers’ ability to network within their community plays a major role in their ability to be problem solvers, because they have connections with experts in various fields.
“A warrant officer has a rolodex unlike any other,” Karbler said. “And that rolodex allows them to reach across multiple enterprises: supply, ordnance, munitions - doesn’t matter. They can reach across that vast rolodex - those relationships they’ve made - to help solve a problem.”
Klees used his connections, according to Karbler, to bring together more than 500 warrant officers within the air and missile defense enterprise during his tenure at USASMDC. He integrated the warrant officers into a group of common purpose, creating a community to share information on talent management, technical skills and even professional development.
Within the command, warrant officers represent six branches and three components. With 73 warrant officers now on staff, USASMDC’s average warrant officer strength mirrors that of the Army’s, of less than 3% of total force.
Last month, USASMDC welcomed Chief Warrant Officer 5 Anson Seebeck as its new command chief warrant officer.
“Anson Seebeck came in behind (Klees) just last month,” Karbler said. “Anson came to us from Germany and I know that he will pick up the ball from where Wes left it and will continue on doing those functions of command chief warrant officer that we expect.”