Coast Guard Auxiliary

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Dustin, Jan 5, 2022.

  1. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    In 1981 the Navy got so desperate that it offered me a Regular lieutenant's commission in the Supply Corps. For personal reasons I declined and maybe that was a good thing. Regular means "regular", you stay on active duty until you resign, retire or get dismissed by court martial. My life took a very different turn and I don't regret it but I do sometimes wonder if I turned down a damned good thing.
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I forgot to note that when I was commissioned, about 10% of AFROTC and Officer Training School grads were given Regular commissions. That has ended. Now, only Academy grads start off as Regulars.

    Another interesting distinction: Army ROTC grads are not guaranteed slots in the active duty Army. Some--many--get slots in the Army Reserve instead. (Not reserve commissions on active duty, but commissions as reservists--weekend warriors.) All Air Force ROTC graduates, on the other hand, go on active duty. And I don't know how NROTC handles things.

    (Lots and lots of bitter Army ROTC grads who worked so hard and didn't get military careers.)
  3. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    The Canadian Forces uses a similar commissioning system for non-commissioned members (not sure about officers.)

    Your first contract is based on your trade (3 for Infantry, 4 for Signals or 5 for Medical) based on the training you need. Your second contract is for 3 years.

    The third contract is however many years to get you to 25. So Infantry would have done 3 + 3 and then the third contract is 19 years. Medical would be 5 + 3 + 17.

    You can request to be released at any time and they're generally pretty good about it but it's odd to imagine you're technically at the pleasure of the Government.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  4. chris richardson

    chris richardson Active Member

    The Canadian Armed Forces don't have that type of warrant officer, haven't since shortly after WW2 in the navy.

    Warrant Officer, or in Navy talk a Petty Officer First Class is a senior non commissioned member, equivalent to US military E7.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The US Air Force hasn't used the warrant officer grades since the introduction of the super-grades (E-8 and E-9) in the late '50's. IIRC, the last warrant officer on active duty retired in the mid-'70s.
  6. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    The Navy tried that in the late 50s too. We ended up with Chief, Senior Chief, and Master Chief as well as Chief Warrant 2, 3, and 4. No W-1s. The CWOs are commissioned in warrant grade, a concept I never really understood.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It was a way to promote people on technical merit rather than the full leadership expectations that come with a normal commission. Thus, warrants are issued only in certain specialties, and the warrant officer is expected to stay working in that specialty. Thus, the Army makes a lot of its helicopter pilots warrant officers and that's where they stay, whereas a captain or major can move to other branches and still command.

    It was particularly useful in wartime when command leadership was necessary in a lot of specialties.

    The supergrades of E-8 and-9 really eliminated a lot of the need for warrants. All the services adopted the supergrades, but each reacted to that development differently.

    If I'm not mistaken, warrant officers can supervise enlisted personnel (and lower-graded warrant officers), but they cannot command. (The Army started making Command Chief Warrant Officers several years ago, so that distinction might be gone.) It seems silly to me. If you want them to command, why not promote them to Captain or Major and commission them as line officers?
  8. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Yabbut the Navy chief warrants are commissioned. They don't get warrants.
    Charles Fout likes this.
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Lest we forget the ultimate Chief Warrant Officer....


    (As a lifelong civilian, that's all I had to contribute to this conversation. Carry on.)
    Rachel83az, Charles Fout and Dustin like this.
  10. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    In the USCG, CWOs in certain specialities are allowed to have command. There is some overlap between the senior enlisted grades and CWOs but CWOs take on additional administrative responsibilities and serve as an embedded bridge (in the wardroom) between the enlisted and officer corps as well as subject matter experts.

    Most of these decisions and policies have to do with law and pay; certain percentage of total are allowed to be commissioned officers at each pay grade, etc.
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This seems self-contradictory. A warrant is a commission, but it is a limited one. (Not to be confused with a Limited Duty Officer, LDO.)
  12. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    That's what I'm saying. The statute says that commissioned warrant officers "rank with but after Ensigns." Well, technically I suppose that's true but it takes an Ensign even stupider than I was to think that way. A W-1, of which I've seen exactly one, ranks under midshipmen. Again you'd have to be pretty foolish to think that way.
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it was a little weird to have 40-year-old men call me "sir" when I was a 24-year-old lieutenant. However, I was a staff sergeant before being selected for commissioning, so I got it.

    When I was in Korea, enlisted personnel could not cook in their rooms, but officers could. (Our rooms had kitchens.) I always thought it was weird that a 35-year-old master sergeant was limited to a microwave oven and some kid right out of ROTC had a full kitchen. Driving, too. You had to be a technical sergeant (E-6) or above to drive off-base. So, a 30-year=old staff sergeant couldn't drive, but that kid right out of ROTC with the kitchen has his/her car, too.

    The concept of officership goes back to a time before professional officers, when such positions were held by noblemen. I think it all could use an update.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  14. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Today, E-3 and below in the USMC are limited to 6 beers in their barracks room or one bottle of wine. When you hit E-4, the amount of beer doubles to a 12 pack but still only one bottle of wine.

    I don't get it.
  15. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I don't mind taking direction from someone much younger than myself. I never have minded. I do my best to make my superior's job easier. The fact is, that person deals with all the guff from on high. Having been "that person" I know that I'm not a fan of "guff".
  16. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It's always seemed classist to me, but as I said recently, I'm a civilian. I'm curious, though, if you had carte blanche to remake this as you think best, what would you do?
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I would have it mirror the rest of society. One class instead of a bifurcated caste system. Make the divisions less blunt. Have multiple entry points and even fast tracks for some high-performers, but one system.

    When I was commissioned, I was the same age (just turned 24) as my non-prior-service peers. But I had 6 years in and was a staff sergeant. That gave me credibility as a second lieutenant most do not have, yet I wasn't perceived as "old." I think officers would do well to have some enlisted time, even if they did it as part of their training to become officers. And I definitely would get rid of the overlap between senior NCOs and junior officers. This would require more education and professional training for senior NCOs, but that can be done. For those who don't want to move up, they can remain technical managers getting pay raises along the way to reward their enhanced capabilities and performance due to experience.

    I would also get rid of the "up-or-out" aspect of officer promotions. When your year group comes up for promotion, if you're not selected, you have to get out. That's it. But there are a lot of good officers who would do just fine at their current grades if left there, or considered again for promotion down the road. But if you happen to hit a time when the force is being downsized, you get cooked. Yet a year or two later, everyone's becoming a colonel. And believe me, almost every officer considered for promotion would do just fine if promoted; there are tons of reasons for getting passed over, but performance is almost never one of them. It's mostly a manpower/staffing issue.

    Imagine if you were at your job for 10 or 15 years, then got considered for a promotion. You didn't apply for it, "they" just thought it was time to consider it. But, in this case, you weren't selected. But instead of just losing out on the promotion, you were also laid off! And--this is the kicker--you could never do that job for any other employer ever again. Oh, and you were in your mid-30s when it happened. Fun, huh?

    ("Hmmm...I wonder if the RAF is hiring....?")
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  18. BruceP

    BruceP Member

    I would create a system like the Army, Navy and Marine Corps use to create Warrant Officers to select Commissioned Officers. In this system your hard charging creme of the crop NCOs would be selected for commissions. The learning curve for college grads is to great... consider all of the second Lieutenant jokes...
  19. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Countries like China have tried this. It doesn’t work as well as you might hope. You cannot expect a degreed engineer let alone a physician to enlist and work his way up. Fact is you can't really expect many college graduates to do so and you need educated people. You know this, Bruce P. whether you want to admit it or not. The downside is the "Ensign is a joke" phenomenon. It's true but it can't be avoided. In fact, being the joke is (a painful) part of the training I think.
    Charles Fout likes this.
  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is why I suggested multiple entry points, and that serving in an enlisted role would be valuable for everyone trying to become an officer.

    BTW, an engineer in the Air Force is a line officer who went through an accession program (Officer Training School, AFROTC, or the Academy). Physicians (like attorneys) are NOT line officers and do not go through an accession (commissioning program). They're commissioned directly. That distinction applied to my wife.

    Back when I was commissioned, the Air Force had a scholarship program for engineers. During their senior years, they were enlisted as E-3s and given full scholarships. They didn't go to boot camp, however, and didn't wear the uniform. After graduation, they were sent to OTS. We had several in my flight at OTS. One of them didn't make it and they sent him over to basic training to finish out his enlistment as an E-3 (4 years, with one already completed while in college). If that person didn't make it through basic training, he would have been liable to pay back his scholarship. So, putting these people through a boot camp before their senior years would not be too hard to add on.

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