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AMERICA - MILITARY BRANCH & RANK INSIGNIA

US Navy CWO5?

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US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby Luke2 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:52 pm

Why doesn't the US Navy employ the rank of CWO5? I think its allowed by law./Luke

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Or do they? What about the USCG?
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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby dcfowler » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:33 am

The Navy does. I have CWO-5 shoulder boards. They had 66 W-5s at the end of FY12. The Coast Guard is authorized the grade W-5, but I was told have no plans at the moment to implement the rank, because they manage their warrant officer community differently than the other services.
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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby Luke2 » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:22 pm

Follow up question: What is the functional difference between a Warrant Officer and a Limited Duty Officer? Why is only the latter dignified with a full command responsibility? A CWO5 with pay as a Commander (almost) cannot give order to an Ensign straight out of ROTC, but a Lieutenant LDO (with mucher lower pay) can. Why has the Navy instigated this difference?

/Luke
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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby venqax » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:14 pm

A very good question and something I have wondered about myself. The specified requirements for warrants and LDO commissions don't even seem to be different. Neither the Army nor the Marines have any LDO equivalent, though both use WOs. It's seems both unnecessary and confusing.
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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby venqax » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:20 pm

Both the charts are inaccurate, BTW. On the first (top), the Marine CWO5’s lateral stripe should be red like the rectangles, and the Army’s CWO4 should be 4 solid black squares. The Army's CWO5 on the first and the second (bottom) chart should be a black lateral stripe. They Navy CWO5 on the second chart is correct.
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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby dcfowler » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:57 am

Interestingly, although the Air Force divested itself of warrants many years ago, the Defense Logistics Agency and Institute of Heraldry have updated the insignia specifications every so often for The Air Force.

The odd part is that although USAF W-1 through W-4 insignia continue to have the specifications that they had in the 60s and 70s (gold and silver bars with sky blue bands), the specification for Air Force W-5 is currently the previous Army W-5 insignia (4 pierced rectangles on a silver bar). The difference between Air Force and Army W-5, is that the Army rectangles are black enamel and the Air Force rectangles are sky blue enamel.

An oddity.
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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:56 am

Luke2 wrote:Follow up question: What is the functional difference between a Warrant Officer and a Limited Duty Officer? Why is only the latter dignified with a full command responsibility? A CWO5 with pay as a Commander (almost) cannot give order to an Ensign straight out of ROTC, but a Lieutenant LDO (with mucher lower pay) can. Why has the Navy instigated this difference?


It is a good question. Basically it's because the two different programs evolved separately and nobody wanted to do away with one or the other. The LDO program was created after WW2 so former enlisted career officers wouldn't have to compete for promotion with "traditional" USNA and college-grad officers. After the E-8 and E-9 grades were created, the plan was for warrant officers to be phased out, leaving only the LDO path for enlisted-to-officer progress. But it never happened. I believe now that E-6 and junior E-7 are the main source for LDOs, senior E-7 and up for CWOs.

dcfowler wrote:Interestingly, although the Air Force divested itself of warrants many years ago, the Defense Logistics Agency and Institute of Heraldry have updated the insignia specifications every so often for The Air Force.

The odd part is that although USAF W-1 through W-4 insignia continue to have the specifications that they had in the 60s and 70s (gold and silver bars with sky blue bands), the specification for Air Force W-5 is currently the previous Army W-5 insignia (4 pierced rectangles on a silver bar). The difference between Air Force and Army W-5, is that the Army rectangles are black enamel and the Air Force rectangles are sky blue enamel.


Huh, that's fascinating. Leaving the options open I guess. No doubt the next time someone gets round to revisiting the insignia, the CW-5 will be changed to a light blue lengthwise bar similar to the other services.

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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby Luke2 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:56 pm

Thanks, J.T. Broderick: that takes care of the LDO's. What about the development of the CWO's?

The warrant officer class was obviously inherited from the Royal Navy with the masters and the standing warrant officers (gunner, boatswain, and carpenter). In the Royal Navy the masters became officers of the navigating branch 1867, eventually being absorbed into the executive corps. The warrant officers became Branch Officers (pretty much LDO's) in 1949, eventually also being absorbed into the executive corps.

In the US Navy, the masters became Lieutenant's Junior Grade sometime after the Civil War, which must mean that they had been in the line of promotion before that; not just sailing masters or warrant officers of wardroom rank.

At some point of time the US Navy introduced the CWO rank, which the Royal Navy also introduced. But when did the US Navy abolish the WO1 rank, and why? And when and why did they expand the CWO ranks from just "plain" CWO to today's four ranks?

Was the navy affected by developments in the army, or was the navy instigating the changes?
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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby Blakwhit » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:52 pm

My understanding is that the US Navy decided not to use the WO1 rank in 1975. The justification was that many E-7s would actually lose pay upon appointment to WO1 due to their years in service. The Army did not have this issue because enlisted men apply for the warrant officer program much earlier in their career than they do in the Navy.
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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby gghbisa » Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:28 am

The decision was made in 1958 when the two extra enlisted grades were added, it just took until 1975 for the rank to be vacated by attrition.

Other relevant dates:

Sailing masters became masters on March 3, 1837.
Some masters were put “in line for promotion” in 1847.
All masters were made “in line for promotion”, making master simply a commissioned rank on February 28, 1855.
Masters became Lieutenants Junior Grade on March 3, 1883.
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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:19 am

Luke2 wrote:In the US Navy, the masters became Lieutenant's Junior Grade sometime after the Civil War, which must mean that they had been in the line of promotion before that; not just sailing masters or warrant officers of wardroom rank.


In the early 1800s midshipmen began to be assigned to serve as sailing masters before being commissioned as lieutenants. This became more and more common, and with a large number of midshipmen in service, it obviously displaced some of the old-style warrant masters. In August 1846 Secretary of the Navy Bancroft made it official, issuing an order that vacancies in the grade of master could be filled by passed midshipmen, who would hold warrants but remain in the line of promotion to lieutenant. This was the end of the line for the old-style masters, whose numbers had never been that big and whose professional reputation had suffered in comparison to those on track to commissioned rank. The navy's Efficiency Board of 1855 got rid of those who were left, and master then became a commissioned rank.

Luke2 wrote:At some point of time the US Navy introduced the CWO rank, which the Royal Navy also introduced. But when did the US Navy abolish the WO1 rank, and why? And when and why did they expand the CWO ranks from just "plain" CWO to today's four ranks?

Was the navy affected by developments in the army, or was the navy instigating the changes?


The USN didn't really abolish W-1, they just don't use it. It is still authorized by law, but the services have some latitude for managing their own personnel, and W-1 didn't fit into the navy's system of promoting from enlisted to warrant. The W-1 insignia still appear in the USN uniform regulations.

After WW2 pretty much everything about pay grades was standardized across all services, as the military and naval affairs committees in Congress were combined into armed services committees. The four pay grades of warrant officers, but not ranks, were authorized by the Career Compensation Act of 1949: grade W-1 was WO (WOJG in the Army and USAF) grades W-2, -3 and -4 were CWO. The "why" was to keep WOs from "topping out" early and give them an incentive to stay in the service.

In 1954 the Warrant Officer Act created an actual rank for each pay grade, after which the four levels of insignia also came into being.

A great deal of information on the history of the ranks and the legislation behind them can be found in gghbisa's book mentioned here:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=6686

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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby dcfowler » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:41 am

Blakwhit wrote:My understanding is that the US Navy decided not to use the WO1 rank in 1975. The justification was that many E-7s would actually lose pay upon appointment to WO1 due to their years in service. The Army did not have this issue because enlisted men apply for the warrant officer program much earlier in their career than they do in the Navy.


The Navy briefly brought back W-1 in the mid-1990s for technical nurses (LPNs), but they killed the program, and no one was in the grade by 1997.
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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby Luke2 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:42 pm

Thanks! Great information! /Luke
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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby Caim_Dubh » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:30 pm

Some Army-side trivia for you: our technician warrant officers used to be appointed directly to CW2. That meant no WOCS and no WO1. That was reserved for pilot candidates. Sometime in the mid-80s they changed the policy so all potential warrant officers had to go through Warrant Officer Candidate School and all of them would be appointed to WO1 upon graduation. I have heard a couple of reasons for the change, including issues between Aviation Branch and the other branches, though I believe it had its roots in a change in the use of warrant officers.

The technician warrant officers were typically senior NCOs and experts in their field prior to appointment; with the change, the focus became more on appointing younger NCOs and developing them as experts after appointment. Now this is a generalization, and there are exceptions to the expertise requirement, but the average age of new warrant officers has steadily creeped down since 2000.

With regard to command authority, the Army doesn't have LDOs, but if a commissioned warrant officer is in command of a unit they have all the relevant command authority of their equivelant commissioned officer group: WO1-CW2 = company grade; CW3-CW5 = field grade (this is dependant on whether the WO1 is commissioned or not...I don't know if they approved that change). This means that for UCMJ authority the warrant officer in command has the same authority as the relevant commissioned officer. Let me caveat all of this by saying that it is hearsay and I have never actually bothered to look any of this up in the regulations.
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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:22 am

Here are some pages with info on USN warrant officers over the years:
http://uniform-reference.net/insignia/u ... ory_1.html
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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby Luke2 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:09 pm

Excellent!
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Re: US Navy CWO5?

Unread postby ijnfleetadmiral » Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:22 am

The U.S. Army pages need updating, as they've switched over to the blue uniforms. In addition, the CWO5 rank is no longer the silver squares, but a straight black line.
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