Army Warrant Officer Job Overview

Virginia Guard Warrant Officer Recognition Ceremony

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Warrant Officers are technical and tactical leaders who specialize, throughout an entire career, in a specific technical area. The Army Warrant Officer Corps comprises less than three percent of the total Army. Although small in size, the level of responsibility is immense and only the very best will be selected to become Warrant Officers. Benefits include extended career opportunities, worldwide leadership assignments, and increased pay and retirement benefits.


With the exception of Warrant Officer MOS 153A (Aviator), all other Warrant Officer (WO) Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) require you to be at least pay grade E5 or higher with 4-6 years experience in a skill that is closely associated with a WO MOS. Review the Prerequisites and Duty Descriptions in our WO Job Description Pages to determine if you are doing very similar work to one of the WO MOSs.

To apply for any WO MOS, you must meet the minimum prerequisites or ask for a prerequisite waiver. You must submit a separate waiver for each prerequisite you do not meet. In your prerequisite waiver(s) you must explain how you obtained the equivalent knowledge or experience required by the prerequisite through training or experience in your service.

You can gauge the training/experience required by a prerequisite by first reviewing the WO MOS duty description. If you have been doing work similar to what's described in the WO MOS duty description, then you probably have good justification for requesting a waiver. Approval is granted only if the Army proponent for that MOS feels you have the skills and experience that justify approving the waiver.

The prime candidate for WO has 5 - 8 years of active federal service (AFS) and meets all other prerequisites. You can apply regardless of AFS but require a waiver if you have 12 years or more of AFS. The standard for approving an AFS waiver is more stringent than for a prerequisite waiver.

If either of these two waivers applies, prerequisite or AFS, you must submit them with your application to determine if the waivers will be approved. You cannot submit the waiver first and wait for the outcome to determine if you should submit an application. If any of the waivers are not approved, then you are not qualified, and your application will be returned.

Download the Sample Application package from the Army's Warrant Officer Recruiting Web Site. This will give you a good idea of what they are looking for and what information you will need to apply.

If requesting MOS 153A (Aviator), you will need to Schedule an Alternate Flight Aptitude Selection Test (AFAST) and a Class 1A Army flight physical. You should first try to schedule the AFAST through your education services officer. Next option is to schedule at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) through an Army recruiter. The physical is scheduled and completed at your servicing hospital but must be approved by the Aeromedical Center at Ft Rucker before you can include a copy of your application.

Non-Army Personnel

A joint service agreement allows service members who are selected for this program to be discharged from their component and enlisted in the Army. Applicants must apply for this program while on active duty and must have two years remaining on their enlistment contract; civilians must contact their local Army recruiter. Applications are forwarded from the individual to Headquarters United States Army Recruiting Command, USAREC.

After screening, the application is forwarded to the appropriate proponent who evaluates the applicants' technical experience and determines if the applicant is qualified to compete against other qualified applicants for the limited warrant officer positions.

Applications from those who are not technically qualified will be returned to the applicant without further processing. The most common MOS that personnel from other services are eligible to apply for is 153A (Aviator) because this MOS requires no prior skills or training.

Additional Eligibility Requirements for Non-Army Personnel

  • Army General Technical (GT) score of 110 or higher. The GT portion of the ASVAB test must be converted to an Army GT score.
  • Approved conditional release.
  • Army 3-event physical fitness test (APFT): push-ups, sit-ups, and 2-mile run administered by an Army E7 or above. Check with a nearby Army installation or the local Army recruiting office for someone to administer the test. The APFT score is valid for 6 months but should not be close to expiration when forwarding the packet. Results must be recorded on DA Form 705, signed by an Army E7 or above, and included in the packet. If you pass the APFT to standard, you should not have trouble passing this event while attending the Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS).
  • Personnel data record equivalent of the Army Enlisted Record Brief (ERB). 
  • Official Military Personnel File. As a minimum, this file contains your enlistment and reenlistment documents, awards, evaluations, training certificates, and promotion orders. If your personnel records are not on microfiche, then a hard copy of these documents are sufficient. Documents missing from your record should be provided in hard copy. It is your responsibility to ensure your records are accurate and current.
  • An applicant can now apply with 15 months remaining on his or her current active duty enlistment.

The above requirements must be met, in addition to, or in place of the other requirements in the sample application and governing regulations. Include the supporting documentation that proves you have completed each requirement as a part of your application.


Those selected for the Warrant Officer Program will be notified by the Department of the Army (DA) about 90 days after the board adjourns. DA establishes a reporting date to Ft Rucker, AL-based upon MOS requirements. Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) will then publish your orders with authorized travel time to Ft Rucker.

Upon arrival, you will be given your basic issue and time to resolve any military-related problems, i.e., pay, uniform, etc. You will be paid as an E5, or your current pay grade if higher, and begin wearing the WOC brass.

Selectees will attend the six week, four-day Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS) similar to basic training or boot camp. This course is designed to evaluate leadership and management skills. Soldiers will be appointed as a Warrant Officer One (WO1) upon successful completion of WOCS. Soldiers who fail to successfully complete WOCS will serve the remainder of their four-year enlistment based upon the needs of the Army.

All Warrant Officers have an initial obligation of six years, which will be served on active duty as an Army Reserve Officer. Warrant Officers remain on active duty in the Army Reserve until promotion to CW3, normally between the seventh and eighth year of warrant officer service. Upon promotion to CW3, the Warrant Officer is integrated into the Regular Army.

Warrant Officer (WO) selectees will receive instructions from Warrant Officer Accessions, Total Army Personnel Command (TAPERSCOM) 90 days after selection and will report back to an Army Recruiter with those instructions. The recruiter will complete the DD Form 1966 (enlistment contract) and SF 86 (no other forms are required) and schedule WO selectee for processing based on the instructions from TAPERSCOM. The recruiter will then schedule the WO selectee into the Army Recruiting and Accession Data System (ARADS) for enlistment into the Army.

WO selectees do not require a physical because a physical was taken as part of the application process. WO selectees' copy of the physical will have the physical category. WO selectee must enlist in the Army for 4 years on the day scheduled. MEPS will administer the oath of enlistment and issue orders using AR 600-8-105 to assign Aviation WO selectee to HHC, Warrant Officer Career Center, Ft Rucker, AL.

All other WO selectees will be reassigned to their first WO assignment with TDY en route at Ft Rucker, AL for the Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS) and TDY en route at their basic technical course (wherever the school is located). Movement of family members is authorized to the location where the WO selectee is to be permanently assigned after training.

During the Discharge and Enlistment process, you must ensure that you arrange to enlist into the Army the next day after separation from your parent service. If you have a day or more break in service, or if you enlist on the same day as separation, you will not receive your correct pay and allowances until this discrepancy is corrected. The process of correcting this discrepancy could take 3-6 months.

The above Information is Courtesy of the U.S. Army.