DRAWSKO POMORSKIE, Poland — U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brian Myers, pauses as he thinks how to describe the importance of a warrant officer. It is his last day in Poland before he heads home to prepare the paperwork to retire from the Army.
Myers is an automotive maintenance warrant officer for 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, with 21 years of active service in the maintenance field. He has spent the last nine years as a warrant officer, a subject matter expert to his Soldiers.
“Chief Myers is the glue that sticks this entire maintenance program together,” said Sgt. 1st Class Narciso López, a maintenance noncommissioned officer in charge for 1-68AR. “Without him, his expertise, and knowledge of his craft, everything would be a mess.”
Army warrant officers make up the technical foundation of the U.S. Army. They are highly trained experts who specialize in one of 48 technical areas including intelligence, aviation and maintenance.
“The thing about the Warrant Officer Corps is that it’s so small,” said López. “But they’re so well connected within their own corps, they’re able to figure out the tough answers to further the mission of the unit.”
Although they make up less than three percent of total Army strength, warrant officers have important responsibilities that include training Soldiers, organizing and advising on missions, and serving as the Army’s technical experts and trusted advisors.
“I advise the commander, do research and find information Soldiers need to do their job well,” Myers said. “I like the fact that I can interact with Soldiers, and try to be someone they can look up to. I always make sure I am present at training events, physical training, and formations. I want them to think positively about warrant officers.”
López commended Myers for his involvement to improve the unit as a warrant officer, “Chief has been what this unit was missing,” said López “Until Chief got here, everything was all over the place. He came in and went through everything little by little, sacrificing his personal time and time away from his family to ensure everything was in order and that the mission was ready to go.”
In 1999, Myers joined the Army as a wheeled vehicle repairer, and completed his first enlistment. “I got out of the Army for a couple of years,” said Myers, “the Iraq war kicked off, and I felt strongly about being a part of that after September 11th.” After he re-enlisted to serve his country in a time of war, the Army changed the mechanic military occupational specialty job title to what it is today — from the 63 to the 91 series. He served in that role while he worked his way through the ranks to sergeant first class and after 12 years as an enlisted mechanic, decided to make the switch to a warrant officer role.
“I felt like it was the right choice for my family, and for my career path,” said Myers. “It’s a very different world, being a warrant officer. It’s a very hard job and challenging. But, also, it’s very cool because you’re the one person in the battalion Soldiers go to when they don’t know what to do.”
Warrant officers remain single-specialty officers whose career track is oriented towards progressing within their career field rather than focusing on increased levels of command and staff duty positions, like commissioned officers.
Warrant officers must be technically and tactically focused and able to perform the primary duties of technical leader and advisor. They lead and train functional sections, teams, or crews all while being the primary adviser to the commander.
Myers oversees the maintenance on every item of equipment in the battalion, from night vision goggles, radios, generators, tanks, vehicles, pro masks and anything else that maintenance can be performed on. If there is an item that cannot be repaired, he helps the Soldiers to complete the paperwork needed to turn that item back into the Army.
Myers will retire from the U.S. Army after serving 21 years. “I’m sad to leave. There are so many good memories. I hope that I have portrayed a good outlook on the Warrant Officer Corps,” said Myers. “I have always been very careful of how I treat officers and NCOs because one day a lieutenant will grow up to be a battalion commander and I want them to have a positive view of the warrant officer.”
“There are no bounds to this job,” said Myers “I love it.”