Warrant Officers Association volunteers time in Iraq | PostIndependent.com

Warrant Officers Association volunteers time in Iraq

Story and Photos by Sgt. Jessica Rohr
103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Arthur D. Dixon, the ground fleet officer-in-charge with the 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and an Ames, Iowa, native, paints the top portion of the T-Walls as he and his Warrant Officers Association peers volunteer their time at the United Service Organizations building on Joint Base Balad, Iraq, Aug. 17. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica Rohr)

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq – Members of the U.S. Army Warrant Officers Association on Joint Base Balad, Iraq, joined with Soldiers and Airmen and volunteered to beautify the United Service Organization’s building with a fresh coat of paint on Aug. 17.

“We are always looking for opportunities to volunteer our time and efforts toward worthy causes like this one, making it a better environment for soldiers, airmen and sailors that come and utilize the facility,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Peter Salvatore, a senior instructor pilot with Company F, 52nd Aviation, 3rd Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, a U.S. Army Warrant Officers Association chapter president, and a Glenwood Springs, Colo., native.

As Soldiers and Airmen tackled the halls inside, the chief warrant officers painted the t-walls in the USO’s outdoor area a light blue to resemble water.

Volunteering within the community is one of the association’s many objectives.

“Volunteering is one of the things we are tasked with, but it’s also pretty much in every warrant’s unwritten creed, to add value without doing harm,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Anthony Brace, the command chief warrant officer and the senior maintenance technician with the 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and a River Falls, Wis., native. “This is a way that we can add value to the community and we certainly aren’t doing any harm. The community gives a lot to us, and the community actually expects a lot out of the warrant core.

“With the exception of the aviation warrants, we all come from the [noncommissioned officer] core. With that, we have a real heart for [soldiers]. The vast majority of the USO users are the enlisted, especially the lower enlisted. They don’t necessarily have the financial means to do all that we can do, so the USO is helping them do all that. … [We] can do a little bit to help the USO, to help them.”

Overall, the association was formed in November 1974 as a nonprofit association in Virginia. The association helps foster a spirit of patriotism and devotion to duty among members, commensurate with the high ideals of the Army and their positions therein. They also disseminate professional information among warrant officers, promote the technical and social welfare of their members, and promote a spirit of true camaraderie among members, according to the USAWOA website.

“The Warrant Officers Association provides a place for warrant officers of all levels to come together to find mentors and exchange information and experiences,” said Salvatore.

Many military and civilian service organizations are primarily staffed by volunteers.

“It is important for the association to volunteer their time to help out the community as a whole,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Darlene Pittman, the executive officer of G1 Plans with the 103rd ESC, and a Des Moines, Iowa, native.

“JBB needs lots of volunteers all over,” she said. “This is just a little piece of what is out here to be done for the area to make it beautiful, to make it where you can come and enjoy yourself and relax.”

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