authored by Nicholas Nemeth and Joshua Rasor    

    All Hands was an official monthly magazine that ran from 1922 to 2011. It was written by Navy for Navy. It had different names but was ultimately named All Hands in 1945. The magazine was terminated in 2011 but brought back as a web-based publication in 2013. There are over 150 issues. We have read all of them and pulled out any reference to Warrant Officers. This article chronologically documents each mention of Warrant Officers (WOs) and Chief Warrant Officers (CWOs). Let’s get started on Part III, the 50s!


February, 1950

Warrants distributed into four pay grades. This article explains Alnav 97 (NDB, 15 Oct 1949), this created the WO through CWO4 ranks.

March, 1950

Chief Warrant Officer Hospital Corps, Robert A. Findley, kills a jaguar from the hood of his Jeep in the Panama Canal Zone. Two Chief Warrant Officer Boatswains awarded Letters of Commendation for improving fueling at sea.

June, 1950

Advancement of warrants to higher warrant pay grades is under study.

August, 1950

Implementation of the W-3 and W-4 paygrades is still under discussion.
October, 1950

BuPers explained the methods used to assign CWOs and WOs to the four warrant pay grades. Commissioned warrants with less than six years commissioned service were assigned W-2. Those with more than six but less than 12 were given W-3. Those with 12 or more were assigned W-4. In a addition, a board was convened to promote those warrants serving in ensign-and-above billets to their next warrant pay grade. In addition, for the first time since World War II, promotions to warrant are open.

November, 1950

Shoulder marks first came into use in 1899; it was not until 1922 that warrant officers received their present one-quarter inch broken stripe. Officers’ sleeve stripes to denote rank were first authorized in 1862 for commissioned officers. The commissioned warrant received his sleeve stripe in 1899, when the broken stripe now in use was specified.

July, 1951

Regulations approved for the promotion of warrant officers to commissioned warrant officer grade and for advancement to the higher CWO pay grades.

August, 1951

A total of 555 commissioned warrants advanced to W-3 and W-4.

December, 1951

A story was written about a currently serving Chief Warrant Officer with 34 years of naval service and 21,000 flying hours. His flying hours are the highest of any navy pilot at this time.

January, 1952

CPO that serve 10 years as LDO but fail to select for O-4 can revert to Commissioned Warrant Officer and continue serving. 600 Commissioned Warrants assigned to W-3 and W-4.

February, 1952

Chief Machinist, Virgil N. Wing, awarded Bronze Star for heroic achievement as salvage officer attached to USS BAYFIELD during the evacuation of the last company of the covering force of the seventh Regiment, Third Infantry Division, at Hungnam, Korea, on 24 Dec 1950.

March, 1952

CWOs and WOs are always called “Mister.” They are never addressed as “Chief ____.” They are introduced to military personnel as “Mister” and to civilian personnel as “Warrant Officer____.”

May, 1952

In Letters to the Editors, Warrant Officer specific questions were asked and answered. Specifically: reversion, sea/shore rotation, warrants on submarines, and billeting.

July, 1952

Chief Boatswain, Rufus F. Nance, awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. Chief Gunner, Robert M. Carter, awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Chief Boatswain, Chester L. Harvey, awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Chief Machinist, William Klatt, awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Chief Gunner, Joseph E. Moriarty, awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

August, 1952

Uniform change effective in July to garrison caps. Warrants now wear the miniature cap device on the left side and collar-size grade on the right. Warrant Officer Machinist, John C. Bacon, awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Chief Warrant Officer Gunner, Roy F. Daiken & Robert G. Peterson, awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Chief Warrant Officer Boatswain, James C. Smith, awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Warrant Officer Boatswain, Louis J. Wiczai, awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

October, 1952

All Warrant Officers and Chief Warrant Officers will now wear collar devices in gold color. Prior, WOs wore gold and CWOs wore silver devices.

November, 1952

Chief Warrant Officer Boatswain, George R. Jackson, awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

December, 1952

Warrant Officer Boatswain, Lyle W. Livingston, awarded Navy and Marine Corps Medal. Warrant Officer Gunner, Willis W. Lindstrom, awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Chief Warrant Officer Boatswain, Theodore E. Nagy, awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Chief Warrant Officer Gunner, Charles R. Stender, awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

January, 1953

Chief Warrant Officer Boatswain, Warren Wm. Stoke, awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. Chief Warrant Officer Machinist, Joseph C. Bollheimer, awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

February, 1953

Warrant Officer Gunner, Lester B. Tucker, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

September, 1953

In “Letters to the Editor,” it is pointed out that CWO stands for “Commissioned Warrant Officer” and not “Chief Warrant Officer.”
December, 1953

“A Long and Happy Navy Tale of WOs.” A four page story is written about the history and importance of Warrant Officers.
March, 1954

Warrant Officer Program scheduled for revision. 14 categories eliminated and one-Mine Warfare Technician-added. Another innovation under the new program will be appointment to Warrant Officer and advancement to W-2/3/4 will be only through means of a competitive examination. Other smaller changes were made.

October, 1954

New insignia and marking go into effect on 1 November for Four Warrant Officer Ranks. This is a result from the creation of new Warrant Officer Ranks (W3/W4). Warrant Officer Gunner, Joseph D. Ramsey, awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for being instrumental in saving the lives of several men on board the USS Leyte (CVS 32) during explosions and fire at the Naval Shipyard, Boston, Mass., on 16OCT53.

December, 1954

Recent legislation updated the correct way to refer to Warrant Officers. W-1 carries the title “Warrant Officer.” The high three grades, W-2, W-3 and W-4, carry the titles “Chief Warrant Officer.” Previously, CWOs were referred to as “Commissioned Warrant Officers.”

February, 1955

Chief Warrant Officer Pinion was captain of the pistol team form the Navy’s Atlantic Air Force, as it won the Atlantic Fleet and 1954 All-Navy pistol championships.

April, 1955

Chief Warrant Officer Boatswain, Patrick J. Burne, awarded the Legion of Merit for conduct in performance of his duties during the period 01JAN18 to 01JAN54.

May, 1955

Warrant Officer Boatswain, Arthur H. Sweet, awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” for meritorious achievement in Korea.

July, 1955

Chief Warrant Officer Carpenter, James. W. Hurd, and Chief Warrant Officer Electrician, Harley Johnson, awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. Chief Warrant Officer Boatswain, Marlon Breeding, awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” for heroic achievement in Korea on 24DEC50.
October, 1956

BuPers Notice 1210 officially established how Warrant Officers are addressed. ”Descriptive grade titles,” such as Boatswain, W-1, will be used in written material in which ranks are usually spelled out, and “short titles,” such as BOSN, W-1, will be used in dispatches and other communication in which officer ranks are normally abbreviated. For instance, in an official letter the salutation might be: UWORDTECH, W-2, N.J. Nemeth, USN.

November, 1956

New Manual Of Qualifications for Warrant Officers will be distributed in January. The new manual contains qualification requirements for each warrant officer category and designator and provides basic and comprehensive warrant officer occupational information.

January, 1957

A picture of a Warrant Office has finally made it to the cover page! Page 12 starts a two- page article entitled, “Warrant Officer Manual,” discussed the role of the Warrant Officer. Overall, it’s a good read. Here are a couple paragraphs that explain the difference between a Warrant Officer and a CPO or LDO:

May, 1957

Warrant Officer Program requirements are detailed in the “How to Earn a Commission” article.

October, 1957

BuPers Inst. 1416.6 outlines the new requirements for those selected into and advance through the Warrant Officer ranks. This update aligns Warrant Officers with the advancement program already in effect for other officers.

May, 1958

Warrant Officer, Horace P. Garrett, becomes Datu Mahabassar, a high Moslem rank only two grades below the rank of Sultan, by his “Blood Brother,” a Moslem leader whom he had not seen for more than 17 years, when he made a return visit to the Sulu Archipelago in the Philippine Islands.

September, 1958

Chief Warrant Officer (CEC), Victor Young, awarded the Legion of Merit. As Base Operations Officer at Little America Station during Operation Deep Freeze 1, Antarctica, from 10JAN56 to 28FEB57 during which time he conducted reconnaissance of the base site, laid out a safe route of access over the hazardous sea ice and crevasses of Ross Ice Shelf, and directly supervised construction of the base in adverse weather and under pressure of ship offloading.

May, 1959

A nurse with the armed forces in World War I salvaged the papers of Asa Curtis, who fought in the USS Constitution during the War of 1812 and died as the Senior Gunner of the Navy in 1858. Among the items salvaged were his original Warrant signed by President James Monroe in 1825.

August, 1959

“Now It’s Official—Warrant Officer Program Will Be Phased Out.”  With the creation of Limited Duty Officers and Master Chiefs, the Navy concluded that the end of the Warrant Officer Program was inevitable and made it official in August of 1959. One third of Warrant Officer billets would go to Master Chiefs and the remaining two thirds would go to Line/Limited Duty Officers.

September, 1959

Chief Warrant Officer, Joseph M. Lipchinsky, awarded Navy and Marine Corps Medal for attempting to save the life of a 13-year-old boy out of a frozen pond.

October, 1959

Chief Warrant Officer, James D. Maloney, awarded Navy and Marine Corps Medal for directing successful firefighting efforts after a fighter-type aircraft crashed in several other planes on USS ESSEX.