one of trust and honor but was not considered a commission to command.
b. After that first appointment, the US Navy continued to appoint warrant officers to fill a wide variety of
positions, such as ship's carpenter, ship's chaplain, and ship's surgeon.
Today, the US Navy appoints warrant officers in technical fields comparable to those in the US Army.
2. THE PREDECESSOR TO THE ARMY WARRANT OFFICER
a. The Act of August 1916 authorized the positions of Army field clerk (formerly headquarters clerk) and
Quartermaster Corps field clerk (formerly pay clerk). Personnel filling these positions were not considered commissioned
officers; in fact, civilians initially filled these positions. However, the Judge Advocate General later determined that these
people did have a military status. The problem then became one of determining at what rank these positions should be
filled. This problem was not completely solved until 1920.
b. Although these individuals filled slots deemed non-essential military positions, they were not authorized any
retirement pay. Their minimum pay was set at
,200 annually, with allowances equal to those of commissioned officers
if they were serving overseas. Time in service for these individuals did not vary their pay. In some instances, it was
simply a case of longevity. For example, by 1922 some of the men were between the ages of 64 and 74 and had 23 to 52
years of service.
3. ORIGIN OF THE RANK AND GRADE OF WARRANT OFFICER
The Congress first authorized the rank and grade of warrant officer through the Act of July 1918. This act created
the Army Mine Planter Service within the Coast Artillery Corps. A total of 40 warrant officers were authorized to serve as
masters, mates, chief engineers, and assistant engineers on each mine-planting vessel. Although only one grade of
warrant officer was authorized by Congress, three grades were created because of the varying levels of pay authorized
for masters, first mates, second mates, and corresponding levels of marine engineer personnel. Unlike the clerks
mentioned in paragraph 2 above, these warrant officers' pay varied by the grade and position held, whether engineer or
mine planter. They were also included in the military retirement plan. The figure at the top of the next page depicts the
rank insignia of these first warrant officers.