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U.S. Navy Warrant Officer Ranks

A Navy Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) is a technical specialist who performs at a level that exceeds that of a Master Chief Petty Officer. The tasks of an individual CWO are confined to one area of expertise and the responsibilities are almost always void of any type of supervisory duty. This situation allows for the CWO to become an expert in the assigned area, which is a tremendous benefit to the United States Navy.

In order to become a Chief Warrant Officer in the United States Navy, an individual must first serve as an enlisted member of the branch. The sailor must have been a senior NCO to receive this commission; however, an E-5 is eligible for the Flying Chief Warrant Officer Program. Also, this sailor must have a spotless service record.

Even though a college degree is not a prerequisite for the rank of CWO, it is highly recommended that a potential candidate earn at least an associate’s degree prior to submitting an application. This is an extremely competitive position, so those individuals who do not have a college background will be lacking the desired credentials. 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
Navy Warrant Officer 1 (WO1)
Warrant Officer 1
(WO)
The United States Navy discontinued the use of the Warrant Officer 1 (WO1) rank In 1975, due to the fact that the NCOs promoted to this rank actually experienced a salary decrease at this level.
W-2
Navy Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CWO2)
Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CWO2)
A Navy Chief Warrant Officer 2 (WO2) is an individual that possesses and maintains an intermediate level of proficiency in his/her area of expertise. Promotions to Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CWO2) are attainable through time in grade and through technical proficiency in the area of proficiency.
W-3
Navy Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CWO3)
Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CWO3)

The Navy started the Flying Chief Warrant Officer Program in 2006 in order to develop pilots and navigators from the enlisted ranks. Indoctrination and 18 – 30 months of flight school follow promotion to the ranks of CWO through this program.

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

A Navy Chief Warrant Officer that earns the rank of CWO4 must be an advanced level expert in his/her technical area of expertise. A CWO 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
Navy Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CWO5)
Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CWO5)
A Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CWO5) in the Navy was made possible through the Warrant Officer Management Act. The Army initiated the 5 level movement in order to provide a higher salaried position, which was meant to retain the young, highly-trained helicopter pilots. Even thought the Navy and Marine Corps did not see the need for this level, they reluctantly made it active.
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