Written by Pfc. Lynnwood Thomas
40th Public Affairs Detachment
Fort Campbell, KY – Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, 5th Special Forces Group and other Fort Campbell units came together Friday to celebrate 100 years of the Army Warrant Officer Corps at Cole Park Commons.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Danny Taylor, senior ordnance logistics warrant officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, organized the celebration, and began the event with opening remarks.
“One of the best parts about being a warrant officer is being able to advise, teach, coach and mentor not only enlisted folks, but other warrant officers and [commissioned] officers as well, across your formation,” Taylor said.
The majority of warrant officers at Fort Campbell attended the event. Warrant Officer Minika Baldwin, a food service technician with 3rd Brigade Combat Team, was one of the juniors, with nearly two years of service as a warrant officer. She shared thoughts on the significance of the rank and position.
“The biggest significance is that you are the subject matter expert. In my military occupational specialty there’s only one of me in my entire brigade, so having that responsibility and trust from the unit says you’re doing something pretty significant,” Baldwin said. “It’s a good feeling.”
Baldwin has been at Fort Campbell for 18 months, she said serving here brings a special perspective.
“Every day is a mission complete,” Baldwin said. “I like the challenging part of it. The fact that it’s renowned is what the papers say, so it’s a good feeling to be in the 101st and adding value to the 101st by accomplishing the smallest of missions.” Warrant Officer Sudhir Shrestha, an intelligence analyst with D Company, 326th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, said he appreciates the comradery and support that comes with being a warrant officer.
“Just because you’re a warrant doesn’t mean you’re secluded and doing your own thing,” Shrestha said. “You have to be able to reach out, assimilate with the rest of the Soldiers, make yourself available and be there in support of whatever he or she needs.”
The keynote speaker was Brig. Gen. Todd Royar, acting senior commander of the 101st Airborne Division His remarks were filled with praise for the work of warrant officers and some personal reflection upon their impact on his career.
“It is not only the technical expertise, but it is the trusted advice and counsel that they offer to the commander or to the command sergeant major of whatever unit it may be to get the job done,” Royar said. “Make no mistake. Our readiness in the Army depends on you.”
Royar ended his speech by showing his appreciation to the warrant officer corps.
“One thing I do know is that you all have that knowledge and that body of experience to make sure that we as an Army can move forward,” he said. “Thank you for what you do on a daily basis, regardless of what unit you’re in, because at the end its all one team and one fight.”