Fort McCoy News August 23, 2013

Candidates complete Phase II of WOC School at WMA

Eight candidates have completed Phase II of Warrant Officer Candidate (WOC) School at the Wisconsin Military Academy (WMA) at Fort McCoy. The class originally started with 12 WOCs, but four of them will be attending Fort Rucker, Ala., instead.

Photo for WOC story
Members of a Warrant Officer Candidate class practice formation movements at the Wisconsin Military Academy at Fort McCoy.
Photo by Rob Schuette

WOC Joshua Koch, who is currently a WMA Range Operations specialist, said typical candidates are enlisted Soldiers in the rank of staff sergeant and above who have completed the advanced leader course.

Army warrant officers are known as adaptive technical experts, combat leaders, trainers, mentors, and advisers to both Soldiers and commanders. Warrant officers administer, manage, maintain, operate, and integrate Army systems and equipment across the full-spectrum of Army operations.

The course at the WMA for National Guard WOCs was held during extended weekend training sessions, Koch said. This group started in March by completing distance learning prerequisites online (Phase I) and held subsequent extended weekend training sessions in April through August at Fort McCoy.

The candidates went through two written examinations, Army Physical Fitness Testing (APFT), a 6.2-mile (10-kilometer) ruck march, military briefings, song and hat ceremony, and dining etiquette procedures, among other events.

Training will conclude with a two-week training session at Camp Atterbury, Ind., in September. At that time, the candidates will complete an examination, an APFT, land navigation training, and a leadership certification field training exercise and participate in a staff ride to the Indiana War Memorial.

After this training, the candidates have a pinning ceremony.

Candidates then have two years to complete their schooling (Warrant Officer Basic Course), which is similar to advanced individual training, and begin their career as warrant officers, he said.

"The new warrant officers typically remain in their career fields and are subject-matter experts," Koch said.