Three new Kansas Army National Guard Warrant Officers were appointed at Fort McClellan, Alabama, April 23.
“Warrant Officer Candidate School is a six-month process where candidates are challenged physically and mentally by completing a 10K foot march, the Army Combat Fitness Test, and land navigation test,” explained Chief Warrant Officer 4 David Lockhart, commander and course manager of the WOCS program. “They must complete four exams covering academic topics such as military history, mission command, and the operational environment.”
Lockhart said warrant officers are the subject matter experts in their fields.
“Warrant officers differ from noncommissioned officers and officers by maintaining a specific set of technical and tactical skills,” said Lockhart. “They provide commanders with steadfast knowledge and solutions derived from years of experience.”
This diversity of skills and knowledge is clearly seen in the careers of these latest WOCS graduates.
Warrant Officer Michael Gernhard Jr. will be an information systems technician and serve as the data operations warrant officer with 997th Brigade Support Battalion. He previously served as the first sergeant and staff senior team chief for the 635th Regional Support Group. He also served as the staff senior team chief while deployed with 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 137th Infantry, and electromagnetic spectrum manager for both 130th Field Artillery Brigade and the 287th Sustainment Brigade. Gernhard is also a federal technician as a tactical communications officer and the state frequency manager under the Mission Command branch of the Command, Control, Communications and Computers Directorate.
Warrant Officer Derek Meyer enlisted into the Kansas Army National Guard in February 2012. Meyer served as a computer system detection repairer within the 995th Maintenance Company and 170th Maintenance Company. Meyer will be switching from the Ordnance branch to the Signal branch. Meyer has worked as an electronics mechanic for Combined Support Maintenance Shop and as an information technology specialist for the Sustainment Automation Support Management Office and Command, Control, Communications and Computers Directorate.
Warrant Officer Claude Williams enlisted in February 2008. He attended Basic Combat Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Military Occupational Specialty qualification at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, as a Motor Transport Operator. He joined the 73rd Civil Support Team as a survey team member in October 2009, reclassifying as a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist. In July 2017, he became the information systems analyst with 73rd CST. Meyer earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science in 2019. Upon graduation from the Warrant Officer Basic Course, he will be qualified as the information systems technician for the 35th Infantry Division at Fort Leavenworth.