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U.S. Marine Warrant Officer Ranks

A Warrant Officer in the United States Marine Corps provides leadership and displays technically superior skills in a specialized field. In general, a Warrant Officer is not responsible for any type of managerial or direct supervisory duties due to the fact that he/she is expected to focus on his/her specialty. The vast majority of Warrant officers are promoted from the senior Non-Commissioned Officer ranks of the Marine Corps. The Enlisted to Warrant Officer Program provides the opportunity for a qualified enlisted Marine, who is a technical expert in his/her field, to apply for appointment to Warrant Officer in the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) in which he/she is technically proficient.

A Marine Corps Warrant Officer is not required to obtain a degree in order to serve in that capacity. However, a four-year degree can certainly enhance the career of Warrant Officer. To find schools that support your drive to earn a degree, click on the "Find A School" button below:

Grade
Insignia
Title
Description
W-1
Marine Warrant Officer 1 (WO1)
Warrant Officer 1
(WO)
A Warrant Officer 1 (WO) is the first rank of Warrant Officer available in the USMC. Basically, this individual was promoted from the enlisted ranks and is a technically and tactically focused officer.
W-2
Marine Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CWO2)
Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CWO2)
Chief Warrant Officer is an individual that maintains an intermediate level of technical proficiency in his/her area of expertise. A Marine wearing this rank is also commonly a tactical expert.
W-3
Marine Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CWO3)
Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CWO3)

A Chief Warrant Officer, CWO2-CWO5, with an MOS 0306, is known as an "Infantry Weapons Officer." This individual is more affectionately known as a "Marine Gunner." A Marine Gunner replaces the Chief Warrant Officer insignia on the left collar with a bursting bomb insignia.

W-4
Marine Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CWO4)
Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CWO4)

A Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CWO4) is a an advanced level expert in his/her MOS supporting higher echelons. A Marine of this rank is often in a position to provide advice to commanders on issues that concern Warrant Officers. They also interact with NCOs, other officers, primary staff, and special staff.

W-5
Marine Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CWO5)
Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CWO5)
A Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CWO5) in the Marine Corps was created due to the Warrant Officer Management Act and limits the number of CWO5's to 5% of the total Marine Corps Warrant Officer force. The Army initiated the 5 level movement as a retention tactic due to the fact that the Army's Warrant Officer force consisted of younger individuals, many of whom were helicopter pilots, and they required better than 4 level pay to retain. The money invested in the training of these pilots was the main point of contention. Even thought the Navy and Marine Corps did not see the need for this level, they reluctantly made it active.
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