There are approximately 28,000 warrant officers in the U.S. Army and this number only represents 3% of the total Army force. A warrant officer advancing to the rank of chief warrant officer 5 is an accomplishment only achieved by 3-4% of senior warrant officers. Additionally, being promoted to CW5 -- by your father -- who also served as a CW5 – in the same branch -- is even more exclusive.
This is the story of Chief Warrant Officer 5 Brian Stephens and his father, retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 Charlie Stephens. Both Brian and Charlie enlisted in the Ordnance Corps and became an Ordnance Corps warrant officer later in their careers.
CW5 Brian Stephens, a Senior Electronics Maintenance Warrant Officer, was assigned to the U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command and Sustainment Center of Excellence as a Capability Developer when he was selected for and promoted to CW5. His father helped promote him during a January 28 ceremony at Fort Lee, Virginia.
“To follow in my dad’s footsteps and achieve the rank of the CW5 is such a great and humbling feeling,” said the younger Stephens.
In 1997, Brian joined the Army as a Land Combat Electronic Missile System Repairer and became an Electronics Missile Maintenance Warrant Officer in 2006. He served three overseas tours in Korea; two tours in Germany; Fort Riley, Kansas; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; two deployments to Afghanistan; and one deployment to Iraq.
His father, CW5 (Retired) Charlie Stephens enlisted in the Army in 1976 as a Construction Equipment Mechanic and became an Engineer Equipment Maintenance Warrant Officer in 1985. He served at Fort Rucker, Alabama; Germany; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Drum, New York; and Washington D.C.
Charlie also deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm in 1990-1991 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. He was promoted to CW5 in 2004 and, after 31 years of dedicated service, retired in 2007.
CW5 Brian Stephens currently serves as the Senior Executive Technical Advisor at the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. He and his wife, Dorothy, have been married for six years.
“To have him pin my warrant officer one rank at Warrant Officer Candidate School and now CW5 [16 years later] is something that I will forever cherish and remember,” said Brian.