By Story and photos by Pfc. Amy M. LaneJuly 22, 2011
To celebrate the 93rd birthday of the Warrant Officer Corps, warrant officers on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, gathered for a dinner July 9 at Memorial Hall here.
The party capped off a week of celebrations, which included an informational meeting for Soldiers interested in becoming warrant officers.
Lt. Col. James Smith, a Hampton, Va., native; the commander of the 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division; and the guest speaker at the event, stressed the importance of military education and mentoring new and future warrant officers.
“You were pulled from the best of the best of our esteemed corps of noncommissioned officers, who are commonly referred to as the backbone of our Army,” he said. “Warrant officers have a rich tradition in our Army. You are known as subject-matter experts with a unique, highly specialized skill set.”
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Laura Fairchild, a Miami, Fla., native and a supply systems technician with the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, said she originally wanted to become a warrant officer because she observed someone doing the wrong thing.
“I decided that if I wanted change, I should be the one to set the example,” she said. “I saw someone setting a bad example, and I wanted to do better.”
Fairchild said some of her Soldiers from her first unit still keep in touch and contact her for advice and mentorship, and she feels like she has made a difference.
“I could retire in two years, but I’m thinking about staying in,” she said. “I feel like I am having an impact.”
Fairchild led a game of warrant officer trivia, where guests won prizes for correctly answering trivia questions related to their history.
“You are all heroes in my book,” Smith said. “We could not have accomplished what we have over the last 93 years without your professionalism.”