Special Forces Warrant Officer (180A)





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Information and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about
National Guard Special Forces Warrant Officers (180A)

Duty Description of a Special Forces Warrant Officer.

"Special Forces (SF) warrant officers are combat leaders and staff officers. They are experienced subject matter experts in unconventional warfare, operations and intelligence fusion, and planning and execution at all levels across the operational continuum. They advise commanders on all aspects of special operations and are responsible for the integration of emerging technologies. Warrant officers in the rank of WO1, CW2, and select CW3s serve on a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha (SFOD-A) primarily as the assistant detachment commander and can also serve as the detachment commander (in the absence of a commander) or commander of specialized teams. CW3 through CW5 SF warrant officers serve as staff operations warrant officers within the SF group and at higher commands within SF, Army SOF, and joint SOF staffs. They may lead task-organized SOF elements as directed. They serve as senior warrant officer advisors (SWOAs) to the commander for all warrant officer matters and other interests as directed. Select CW5s serve as the Command Chief Warrant Officer (CCWO) for the Commander, United States Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), CCWO for the Commanders of the SF groups, and SWOA to Commander, United States Army Special Operations Command as an integral part of the commanderís personal staff."

(The paragraph above taken from the link below from the United States Army Warrant Officer Recruiting website. Click here for the Army WO Recruiting website.)

Special Forces Warrant Officer Institute (SFWOI).  Special Forces Warrant Officers attend the Warrant Officer Tactical and Technical Certification Course and the Special Forces Warrant Officer Advance Course at the Special Forces Warrant Officer Institute at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  Below is a description of the SFWOI taken from the USAJFKSWCS website. One correction to the verbage below is the length of the WOTTCC - as of 2011 the course is 20 weeks long.

"The Special Forces Warrant Officer Institute is an adaptive and collaborative learning institution that provides the most current and relevant professional military education for SF warrant officers at every level of their career in support of operational requirements. The Special Forces Warrant Officer Institute supports all of the lifelong learning requirements of both warrant officer candidates and senior warrant officers in the 180A MOS. The institute educates, mentors, trains and appoints warrant-officer candidates to the grade of WO1 as well as provides education and training to senior warrant officers at key points in their career. The institute produces highly capable combat leaders and innovative planners capable of planning and executing SF missions.

The Special Forces Warrant Officer Technical and Tactical Certification (SF WOTTC) is conducted in three iterations each year. The 16-week class results in the appointment and qualification of selected Special Forces Soldiers as WO1s in MOS 180A. The SFWOTTC, conducted at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School's Warrant Officer Institute, conducts Army BOLC and Special Forces proponent based MEL 7 training and education to provide the force with skilled assistant detachment commanders.

The Special Forces Warrant Officer Advanced Course (SFWOAC) provides proponent-based MEL 6 professional military education to mid-grade SF WOs to prepare them to serve as operational-level planners and operations officers in SF units, component commands, joint task forces and joint staffs as subject-matter experts in unconventional warfare and foreign internal defense."

Frequently Asked Questions about SF Warrant Officers

Can I join the National Guard Special Forces with no prior military experience and become a Special Forces Warrant Officer? No, you can't.  You must meet the prerequisites below.

What are the prerequisites to become a Special Forces Warrant Officer?  The prerequisites have changed from time to time over the years.  You must have served at least three years on a Special Forces Operational Detachment "A" with good NCOERs to prove it.  You must have the rank of Staff Sergeant or higher.  There are a number of Letters of Recommendations from commanders at every level and senior warrant officers required. You must have a final SECRET clearance.  There are some specialty intelligence courses that you must complete.  You must demonstrate a language proficiency or the ability to learn a language.

What is the minimum GT score for Special Forces Warrant Officer?  You must have a GT score of 107 or higher.  This is the same as entry into Special Forces.

What is the age limit for becoming an SF warrant officer?  The maximum age one can attend WOTTCC is currently 46 years old.  One has to demonstrate superior physical fitness and excellent medical condition to enter the SF warrant officer ranks above age 40.

What MOS do I need to become a Special Forces Warrant Officer?  You must be a 18B, 18C, 18D, 18E, or 18F.  At one time more than one MOS was required.  In earlier days one was required to also be an 18F but that requirement has been changed.

Can a Warrant Officer with another MOS become a 180A?  Not usually; you must meet all the prerequisites listed above.

Can a Special Forces Officer (18A) become a Special Forces Warrant Officer?  In some cases this is authorized; however, you must attend the entire 20-week long SF WOTTCC and meet many of the prerequisites SF NCOs must meet.

How long is Special Forces Warrant Officer training? The Special Forces Warrant Officer Tactical and Technical Certification Course (WOTTCC) is 20 weeks long.

Where is SF WOTTCC conducted? The John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School conducts WOTTCC at the Warrant Officer Institute at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Is there any difference between the prerequisites and training between active duty and National Guard SF Warrant officers?  No, the prerequisites and the training are the same.

Other Web Sites with Info on Special Forces Warrant Officer

The Special Forces Warrant Officer, the Beginnings, by J.H. Crerar, COL, USA Retired, Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation, August 31, 2004.

Warrant Officer Historical Foundation

Warrant Officer History Articles. Warrant Officer Historical Foundation

United States Army Warrant Officers Association

180A Discussion on Professional Soldiers provides an interesting read on the early history of SF WOs (replacing the LTs) and pros and cons of WO service.

Special Forces Warrant Officer Institute Beret Flash and Back Trimmings
The Institute of Heraldry at pentagon.mil

Papers and Publications about SF Warrant Officers

McPherson, William A. et al. Recruitment and Accesson of Special Forces Warrant Officers, U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Research Report 1851, April 2006.


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