I noticed it got brought up today....there is a Rand Corp study underway, as requested by the Pentagon on a Air Force topic.....bringing back warrant officers.....as enlisted pilots.
Yep, a shocker.
Around 1960, the Air Force concluded a study, and said that new 'super-enlisted' ranks meant that they didn't need Warrant Officers any longer.
The other services? They kept Warrant Officers.
So why bring this up? Well....they are losing pilots every single month. They went through periods like this in the 1980s, the 1990s, but the last five years.....this has been a major problem. A guy will wrap up six to eight years and just say that they aren't happy with the life-style....the stress.....the fake jobs to keep them busy....the deployment schedule.....and the gimmicks built into the promotion cycle.
How would Warrant Officers fit in? My best guess?
First, most of these pilot slots for the unmanned recon vehicles would slide over to strictly Warrant Officers.
Second, I'm guessing that maybe a third-to-half of all tanker jobs would go to Warrant Officers.
Third, I'm also guessing that Warrant Officers would begin to fit into the medical profession as well.
Fourth, it's possible that the intelligence field might allow them in, but I'd expect a massive fight from the senior NCOs when it comes time to discuss billets and actual jobs.
What it typically takes to be a Warrant Officer? A two-year degree, and usually four years of enlisted time.
From the pilot prospective, I think this is the only way to answer the drone-pilot issue in the years ahead. Regular pilots just don't want to be drone-pilots and it's bad enough now that it drives folks to hand their papers over and ask to be let go.
But senior NCOs would fight this tooth and nail.....refusing to allow this creation to occur. You'd basically have some junior NCO.....with an associates degree and six years in.....getting promoted up to a Warrant Officer position and out-ranking folks who'd been his supervisor just weeks before.
So my best guess is that the Air Force will agree to a very strong statement of creating around five-hundred WO position.....all to be strictly operations, or pilot-related....and most all to be related to drone-operations. Maybe five years down the road, after acceptance in the drone world.....maybe the other fields in the Air Force would finally accept Warrant Officers back.