Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Army National Guard gets new command chief warrant officer

By Army Sgt. Darron Salzer
National Guard Bureau

Click photo for screen-resolution image
ARLINGTON, VA. (11/7/12) - Chief Warrant Officer 5 Gary Ensminger began his new duties Oct. 29 as the Army National Guard’s new command chief warrant officer.

Before being selected as the new command Chief warrant officer, Ensminger served as the force integration readiness officer for the Tennessee Army National Guard.

Although he will be working for the director of the Army National Guard, Ensminger said he is representative of the 54 states, territories and District of Columbia.

“I will serve as his advisor and relay the needs and the concerns of the Warrant Officer Corps,” he said. “Warrant officers are all about being a part of an integrated unit, bringing our technical expertise into the mission, but we are just one part of any unit.”

To learn just what the Corps needs, Ensminger said he will be on a listening tour for his first months, but coming directly from the state level he is confident he can quickly understand what the needs are.

“I want to make sure that I work with the state command warrant officers and understand their concerns, and then bring those concerns to the national level,” he said. “I also want to get out there to the schools where the warrant officers go for their training and education to work to develop some good programs that could benefit the states and the Army National Guard, because the Guard is a whole different bird than the active component.”

“We have different needs and requirements as traditional Soldiers,” said Ensminger, who is working at the Army National Guard Readiness Center in Arlington.

Aside from education, Ensminger hopes to alleviate issues of personnel end strength within the states as well.
“Some states are doing great and some are not,” he said. “Units are deploying without a warrant officer and I don’t want units to have to deploy without warrant officers in those [military occupational specialties].”

Ensminger said he will have some big shoes to fill, but the transition will be an easy one since he feels like his goals are in line with what the senior leaders of the Army National Guard have also.

Having served in the National Guard since 1980, Ensminger said he is blessed to have had the opportunity to serve in the positions he has held throughout his career. Ensminger came into the Guard through the Reserve Officer Training Course at Tennessee Tech University and after a few years, switched to the Warrant Officer Corps.

“I’ve been a warrant officer for the vast majority of my career and I have truly enjoyed it,” he said. “The Guard has been good to me.”

Ensminger said he looks forward to his new duties, and that he is confident that he and the leadership of the Army National Guard will be able to further the needs of the Corps.

“I’m here to represent the states and I want to help further develop that relationship between the active component, the National Guard Bureau, and the 54 states, territories, and District of Columbia,” he said.

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