Army to open applications for new recruiting warrant officer field

by Tommy Grant

As part of its plan to transform how it woos prospective soldiers, the Army formally announced a new “talent acquisition technician” warrant officer career field Friday, according to policy documents posted on the Army Recruiting Command website. Applications open Wednesday, Jan. 3, and the deadline for the first cohort is Feb. 2.

The Army is holding three selection boards in early 2024 that will tap up to 225 soldiers to build the new recruiting military occupational specialty — designated as 420T talent acquisition technicians.

The new warrant officers, once minted, will specialize in “[recruiting] strategy, team development, talent retention, workforce planning, marketing, labor market analysis, recruiting lifecycle management, and data analytics,” the documents said. “This occupation will serve at multiple echelons as a leader, advisor, trainer, and technical expert throughout the Army’s Recruiting Enterprise.”

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth told Army Times in October that these warrant officers and volunteers for a yet-to-be-established enlisted 42T recruiting occupational specialty will allow the service to eventually phase out the involuntary recruiting tours that have long scattered fledgling staff sergeants across America.

According to a personnel policy message, the selectees “will attend in-person assessment and selection” at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The service will hold three selection courses, each capped at 75 attendees.

In addition to passing the in-person selection, successful applicants must have at least a 110 general technical line score on the ASVAB, pass a specialized recruiting background check, and meet medical and administrative requirements to become a warrant officer (if not one already). They must also hold at least a secret security clearance, and non-warrants also must complete the Warrant Officer Candidate School after selection.

The first wave of hopeful 420T warrant officers will come from current mid-career warrant officers of other fields, according to the Recruiting Command application website. Those who have served in recruiting roles — whether before or after they became warrant officers — will receive preference, according to the personnel message. Warrant officers with a degree in marketing, psychology, human resources, or a data analytics field will also receive preference.

The second cohort is open to permanently-assigned active component recruiting noncommissioned officers who hold the current 79R recruiting occupational specialty. Eligible recruiters must be between the rank of staff sergeant and master sergeant. The service only wants those who have led a recruiting station and have an associate’s degree (or 60 semester hours of college). The application deadline for the second cohort is March 4.

Noncommissioned officers of any career field across the Army’s active component may apply for the third cohort, for which applications are due April 1. They too must have completed at least 60 semester hours of college or an associate’s degree. Soldiers between the ranks of sergeant and master sergeant are eligible, according to the personnel policy message, but the application website states that applicants must have completed the Advanced Leader Course.

After selection, the first cohort of recruiting warrant officers will complete training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina (where the Adjutant General Corps’ human resources schoolhouse is located), and Fort Knox, Kentucky, before spending time at an as-of-yet undetermined “third training location associated with future training with industry/academia partnerships.” Army officials previously told Army Times that they believed aligning the new recruiting career fields with the service’s human resources talent family would allow the recruiting training pipeline to tap into existing talent acquisition training and work experiences in the civilian human resources sector.

Although the personnel message indicated the Army plans to allow soldiers from the Army’s reserve components (including the Inactive Ready Reserve) to apply for the 420T field in the future, it’s unclear when that will occur — service officials did not immediately respond to questions from Army Times about the program’s timeline. It’s also unclear when the Army will roll out the field’s enlisted occupational specialty.

Davis Winkie covers the Army for Military Times. He studied history at Vanderbilt and UNC-Chapel Hill, and served five years in the Army Guard. His investigations earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2023 Sunshine Award and consecutive Military Reporters and Editors honors, among others. Davis was also a 2022 Livingston Awards finalist.

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