10 pieces of advice for the WOBC Graduate.

So, you’ve completed all the training that has made you a MOS-qualified Warrant Officer. You've been instantly transformed into the subject matter expert of all things, your MOS or not. What do you do now? Fear not! Below are our Top 10 pieces of advice for the new WO1, ready to report to your first assignment.

#10 Network, Network, Network

Pretty sure we talked about this, but networking is one of the most important things you will do as a Warrant Officer. As quiet as kept, we can’t know everything, but we are amazing at knowing WHO to call! Keep close to the Network you have created during school and pull in those from your new surroundings. Don’t ignore those people who don’t share your MOS. You WILL need them as well. 

#9 Be present

The best way to make an impact on your unit, in your field, and with your subordinates and peers is to be present. Ensure the people who need to know who you are do, and be sure that you are on the ground with your Soldiers, showing them what right looks like. As a Warrant Officer, we are still responsible for training Soldiers, except we also train NCOs, and Officers as well. Make sure that you gain their trust and confidence, it will make things smoother as you go about your daily activities.

#8 Let the NCOs be NCOs

I’m not saying “Stay out of NCO business.” I’m saying let the NCOs be the first lines and initial trainers that they are meant to be. Let them coach train and mentor their Soldiers as you coach train and mentor them. Don’t step on their toes but also don’t stand and watch something you know is morally, or ethically wrong occur because you don’t want to rub someone the wrong way. As Officers, we take an oath to fulfill the duties of the position we are appointed. Ensure you take it seriously. 

#7 Stay in Physical and Mental Shape

By this time you’ve gotten into physical shape, good. Stay there. We also need to ensure the mental stays on par with the physical. There will be things that test your patience, and situations that make you want to yell but act accordingly. As a quiet professional, you must ensure that you are keeping your mind clear and your resiliency up so that you can remain the sounding board, and trusted advisors for our organizations.

#6 Observe your Unit FIRST

Do NOT go into your new unit half-cocked with guns drawn ready to make corrections on the first day. Take 30 days to assess, and only make changes before that on things that are egregiously wrong or out of regulation. Outside of that let your unit show you what its strengths and weaknesses are and develop a plan to adjust the issues you’ve noted so you are offering solutions and not just pointing out problems.

#5 Find your Senior Warrant Now!

Yes, right now! Go find them! This person is going to be a huge part of your life! They will be your sounding board, your mentor, and a listening ear to ensure you are not facing the new challenges of warrant officer life alone. Depending on the type of unit your i,n you may very well have more than one Senior. The two people to find right now are your MOS Senior Warrant and your Unit Senior Warrant.

#4 Table Talk, Invitations optional

Sometimes we have to invite ourselves to where the decisions are being made so that we can better help our unit. Especially when they don’t even realize they need us. In the begging it can be hard to figure out where these locations are. Ensure you are paying attention to when decisions are being made, where the meetings are occurring and how they impact your sections. 

#3 Commander’s Priorities

Know them and align yourself with them. We should be working toward the Commander's priorities at all times while maintaining the integrity of our sections. If at some point the integrity of our section and the Commander’s Priorities are not aligned it is time to have a discussion.

#2 You are the Expert

As soon as you pinned WO1 you were looked at as an expert in your field. There is an assumption that you will have the answers. DO NOT lose this credibility by answering on a whim or when you are unsure of the full scope of the answer. The best thing you can do when asked a question you were not prepared to answer, is to let the person asking know you will get back to them, then, actually get back to them. Follow up in a timely manner and you will retain your status as a trusted advisor and subject matter expert. 

#1 Remain Flexible

Things change and the expectation of what we will walk into at our first unit will never be what we expect. Remain flexible, remember your why, stick to your values and remember as a newly transitioned officer you swore an oath… But unlike in the Enlisted oath where you swear to obey the order of the officers appointed over you; in this oath, the Officer Oath you swore to uphold the duties and responsibilities of the POSITION in which you have been appointed. That means you are working to ensure you do the best at your job, not that you make the most friends or get the most credit for work. Simply that you do your job to the utmost of your abilities.

There you have it. 10 pieces of information to get you started in the right direction. Do you have additional tips or tricks? Comment below and let's see what else we can share with our new counterparts. If you missed our Blogs on WOCS preparation, WOCS completion and SRB Updates make sure you go back and check them out.


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