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NEWS | March 8, 2023

Warrant officer applicants attend new National Guard course

By Andy Dickson, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

The Army warrant officer is a technical and tactical leader who is critical to today’s operational environment and is a subject matter expert for both enlisted and commissioned officers in their branch. The Kentucky National Guard’s Warrant Officer Candidate Accession Program (WOCAP) is a streamlined process to help Soldiers achieve their goals of becoming a warrant officer.

The path to becoming a warrant officer is not an easy task for many of the branches and depends on the Soldier’s experiences in both their military and civilian careers and education.

According to Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jennifer Ritchie, the director of Kentucky Army National Guard’s WOCAP, the program streamlines the process for prospective candidates.

“The have packets to complete, collect documents, take physicals, and all the other parts that are required before attending school,” said Ritchie. “In the past, we’ve seen some Soldiers take up to four years to complete their packets. By devoting their IDTs to becoming a warrant officer, we’ve been able to reduce that process, for some Soldiers, down to about six months.”

To enter the program, Soldiers must meet the basic requirements for their branch, complete a preliminary checklist, not be flagged for favorable actions, meet educational requirements, and have a letter of recommendation from their commander.

Once the Soldier contacts Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jonathan Bailey, the warrant officer strength manager, Bailey can assist the Soldier through the process with their unit. Once all the checks are made and the commander writes a letter of recommendation, the future candidate can begin attending WOCAP.

“This program has helped us identify folks and help them become well-rounded applicants,” said Bailey. “We also put them through training in physical and mental fitness and bring in guest officers who can talk about the process to better prepare them for school.”

Not only does the WOCAP speed up the application process for Soldiers, it also has improved the chance Soldiers will be selected for WOCS.

According to Sgt. Dylan Nash, a traditional Soldier with the 307th Chemical Company, the program has helped him speed through the application process.

“The biggest thing I have taken away from this is the clarity of what I am doing,” added Nash. “The WOCAP team has been incredibly professional and motivating so that I can get my packet complete. I have the resources here and I get to work face-to-face with the people who know the process”

Once a Soldier completes all requirements to attend WOCS, they pin on the WOCS rank. The warrant officer candidate course begins each April and is a six-month program that culminates in a commissioning ceremony where they receive the rank of Warrant Officer 1.

For more information on WOCAP and how to become a warrant officer, contact Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jonathan Baily at or (502) 607-6200.

You can also contact the warrant officer recruiting office by reaching Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Brumley at or (502) 320-0330.

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