(See J. W. D. Kurtz, p. 12, December 2015 Proceedings)
Colonel Todd R. Fredricks, U.S. Army—I feel compelled to comment on Commander Kurtz’s observations. Not only does technical expertise require its own career path, but in light of budgetary pressures and our obligation to the U.S. taxpayers to manage their funds with fiscal discipline, it also requires looking for better options.
Why the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marines continue to avoid the wide adoption of warrant officer pilots and aviators befuddles me. The U.S. Army successfully uses warrant officers in all aspects of aviation, both fixed-wing and rotary. I won’t delve into the use of warrants as ship’s masters as that might just be too controversial for the Sea Services. Warrant officers are cheaper to maintain over their careers. A CW4 is simply less expensive to pay, provide allowances, and finance retirement for than is an O-5 or O-6.