By By Master Sgt. Christina Steiner, U.S. Army Human Resources Command Public Affairs OfficeApril 1, 2011
FORT KNOX, Ky. -- Officers, warrant officers and enlisted Soldiers interested in changing careers for a new field have a chance to become electronic warfare, or EW, professionals. Interested Soldiers should talk with their career managers at U.S. Army Human Resources Command.
Incentives exist for enlisted Soldiers who qualify. Because of the popularity of those making the switch to this new enlisted military occupational specialty, or MOS, those monetary incentives are dwindling.
The EW professions came about in 2006, when then Vice Chief of Staff for the Army Gen. Richard A. Cody directed Army operations, or G-3, to establish it, after the Army had been relying upon Navy and Air Force EW specialists.
Full EW qualification courses take between nine and 13 weeks at Fort Sill, Okla., and produce the 29A officer area of concentration, or AOC, 290A warrant officer MOS, and 29E enlisted MOS. An abbreviated course of six weeks, also offered at Fort Sill, produces an additional skill identifier of 1J.
"Recruiting efforts [for enlisted Soldiers] are going great, and we only have 25 seats available in the full course in fiscal year 2012," said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Boorn, professional development noncommissioned officer career manager in the Enlisted Promotions Management Directorate, HRC. Boorn holds the 29E MOS.
"Incentives came through the bonus extension and retraining program," he said. "We're no longer critically short and the only seats left (in the full course) are for specialists.
"The biggest concern with the new MOS is for commanders to understand its function. We're EW integrators. We can pull assets from other services to control the electromagnetic spectrum on the battlefield."
Enlisted Soldiers interested in applying must hold at least a secret security clearance.
Over in the Officer Professional Development Directorate at HRC, career manager Maj. John Transue, EW branch manager, shared insights concerning EW and officers.
"There are two ways we recruit officers for electronic warfare," he said. "One - it's part of the Voluntary Transfer Incentive Program program, which brought 15 officers last December, or officers go to a functional designation board managed by the Leadership Development Directorate, which receives its quotas from the Director of Military Personnel Management, Army G-1, Pentagon.
"By the summer of 2012, the intent is to have one functional area 29-qualified officer in each brigade," Transue said. "Now, it's a mixture of FA 29s and 29E1Js. We want to train our officers slow, steady and methodically. The only requirement for officers to become FA 29 qualified is a top secret security clearance, which is delaying the process (of becoming qualified).
"The recruiting piece is going well, though we are short of lieutenant colonels because it takes several years to groom a lieutenant colonel," he said. "We also sent an email to all 29E1Js and there is an Armed Forces Network commercial in theater that advertises this functional area. So far we have received 37 officers, and two were from sister services."
The EW Proponent's senior warrant officer, at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., explained the EW warrant officer part of the program.
"We are close to 70 percent assessed for this fiscal year alone, so we're doing very well," explained Chief Warrant Officer 4 Brian Filibeck of the Electronic Warfare Proponent Office. "Although we are currently open to all MOSs, we try and recruit high-quality candidates who have EW experience in combat and a secret clearance. Incentives for becoming a 290A include better pay, a longer more rewarding career, and many more post-retirement opportunities."
"We invite Soldiers who are up to the challenge of becoming an electronic warfare technical expert to check out the USAREC website," Filibeck said.
For more information on the electronic warfare career field, call 1-888-ARMYHRC (276-9472) or email the HRC Field Artillery Branch at email@example.com
or visit the EW Proponent website at: https://combinedarmscenter.army.mil/pages/2/ElectronicWarfareProponent.aspx