WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale warned on Tuesday that the second round of sequestration would mean that the Pentagon needs to get lean, and he's found that cutting the "antique" Warrant Officer Corps would save millions in defense dollars.
“Instead of hurting all of our citizen soldiers who are doing actual work, why not just trim the fat by cutting thousands of useless warrant officers?” said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. "And I literally mean fat. This study I have here shows more than 65 percent of warrants are overweight and none of the others can score above 50 percent on their PT tests."
Representative Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, agreed enthusiastically with the Secretary’s suggestion.
“When I talk to my constituents currently serving in the Armed Forces, the one repeated trope that I hear is how much they completely hate the warrant officers they’re saddled with," McKeon told Duffel Blog. "Either they’re constantly taking flight time, or hoarding information to make themselves seem more important, or just getting drunk and vanishing for days at a time since there’s no one to maintain accountability for them."
"I simply don't understand the purpose of these warrant officers,” said Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.). “They hang around the company with their hands in their pockets. And God help you if the commander tells them to do something. They’ll just look around, make excuses why they can't sign the hand receipt and then blame whatever goes wrong on the nearest lieutenant.”
The House Armed Services Committee voted unanimously to completely eliminate the position of warrant officer from the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, and sent the measure to the full House for a vote on Friday.
At press time, The Fraternal Order of Warrant Officers announced a plan for a mass protest formation outside the Capital Building this morning, but none of them showed up.