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First Warrant Officer 1 Grads in Decades Hailed at LDO/CWO Academy

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NEWPORT, R.I. (Nov. 1, 2019) (NNS) -- The first eight Navy warrant officer 1 (WO1) Sailors in decades graduated from the Limited Duty Officer/Chief Warrant Officer (LDO/CWO) Academy at Officer Training Command, Newport (OTCN), Nov. 1.

The new warrant officers are Benjamin Nichols, Jonathon Wynn, Brent Gray, Ryan Snyder, Devan Sorenson, Nicholas Drenning, Kevin Koller, and Brian Ruzin.

“I’m enthusiastic for this new program because we can pave the way for the future of the Navy’s cyberwarfare efforts,” said Warrant Officer Devan T. Sorenson, from Bozeman, Montana. “The unique world of this career field is modeled like a meritocracy where it is a collaborative environment to be effective. The evolution of technology outpaces the training so it is important to stay current.”

“Our expertise comes from the enlisted ranks and we can better assist officers to make those necessary decisions through our experience,” said Warrant Officer Ryan C. Snyder, from Hollis, New Hampshire. “It is essential to be innovative and always strive to be the subject matter experts in this fast-paced field of cyberwarfare.”

The LDO/CWO Academy is a four-week course designed to prepare these prior enlisted Sailors for their new roles in the wardroom per the Navy’s Officer Professional Core Competencies. The class officers at the schoolhouse develop these newly commissioned officers morally, mentally, and physically, and imbue them with the highest ideals of honor, courage, and commitment in order to prepare them for the Fleet. Additionally, the academy will prepare these officers to become effective leaders by developing fundamental skills in leadership, written and oral communication, career management and administration.

“The new WO1 program opens up more advancement and designator opportunities,” said Cmdr. Zeverick L. Butts, the Director of the LDO/CWO Academy. “These new students bring unique skillsets and perspectives, increasing the dynamic interaction in the classroom for problem solving.”

The eight WO1s along with the 45 LDOs and CWOs of class 20010 graduated during a ceremony on Nov. 1, 2019. Graduates of this academy, nicknamed “Mustang University,” will join the LDO/CWO community to support the war-fighting capability and readiness of Naval Forces through leadership, technical proficiency and experience.

NAVADMIN 140/18 announced the implementation of the WO1 pay grade (W-1) for cyber warrant officers, and solicited applications for the FY-19 and FY-20 WO1 Cyber Warrant Selection Boards, the first since 1975. The rank was reinstated through the Cyber Warrant Officer In-Service Procurement Selection Board as the result of increasing threat of cyberwarfare on the modern battlefield. To be eligible, E5 and above applicants must be in the Cryptologic Technician Networks (CTN) rating, possess at least one of the following Interactive On-Net (ION) Operator naval enlisted classifications (NEC): H13A, H14A, H15A, or H16A, and meet time-in-service requirements.

Officers appointed as cyber WO1 incur a six-year service obligation from the date of appointment, shall serve a minimum time in grade of 3 years and must complete a minimum of 12 years of time in service prior to promotion and commissioning to Chief Warrant Officer 2.

The distinctive insignia worn on the WO1 cover of two cross-fouled anchors makes them easily recognizable in place of the traditional officer badge worn by other Naval Officers.

Headquartered in Newport, Rhode Island, OTCN oversees Officer Candidate School, Officer Development School and Limited Duty Officer/Chief Warrant Officer Academy.

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