FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. – The Missouri National Guard state command chief warrant officer and warrant officers from around the state participated in a mentorship luncheon with latest class of warrant officer candidates from 2D Battalion, 140th Regiment.

The luncheon brought together Missouri’s senior warrant officers and warrant officer candidates, in an informal environment, to enjoy a meal and to ask questions and gather information specific to their branch and career progression.

Warrant officers, known as the ‘quiet professionals,’ are technical experts in their field, which includes areas including personnel, aviation and logistics.  They hold the ranks between commissioned and non-commissioned officers and serve an important role in that they bring technical skill and tactical master experience in their branch to the force.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michelle Struemph, the Missouri National Guard’s state command chief and principal advisor to the Adjutant General on warrant officer policy, career management and assignments, welcomed the opportunity to share her message to educate and prepare the candidates for future career progression.

“Mentoring is one of the best ways for future warrant officers to learn from warrant officers with years of experience,” said Struemph, who took on the responsibilities of command chief in November 2012. “This luncheon is one of the initial opportunities senior warrant officers have to take future junior warrant officers under their wings, to help mentor them to be successful and to really take charge of their careers.”

In its second year, the luncheon has proven to be very beneficial to the candidates.  And for Struemph and her fellow senior warrant officers it is an opportunity to help shape the future of the warrant officer corps through mentorship.

“I thought it was very fitting to have senior warrant officers representing each of our respective military occupational specialties there to provide professional development tips on everything from the ins-and-outs of completing the final stages of school to career progression in the warrant officer corps,” said Warrant Officer Candidate Jacob Carter.

During the luncheon, senior warrant officers representing various branches across the state brought their technical expertise and experience to the table.

“Bottom line up front, to me it will be the most memorable experience in warrant officer candidate school. I was very appreciative that the senior warrant officers took time out of their busy schedules to have a sit down with us,” said Warrant Officer Candidate Robert Cross.  “I highly enjoyed it and very rarely would you ever have that much technical experience under one roof.  By my rough calculation, there was more than 200 hundred year’s worth of experience. Each and every one of us felt extremely honored to be in their presence.”

Attendees included Lt. Col. James Bunch, the battalion commander; Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michelle Struemph, state command chief, Chief Warrant Officer 5  Robert Murrell III, aviation; Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Williams, aviation maintenance; Chief Warrant Officer 4 Eric J. Galloway, quarter master; Chief Warrant Officer 4 Rodney Hughes, adjutant general’s corps-warrant officer strength manager; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Terry Zlateff, an instructor in charge of training, advising and counseling; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Diana Eberharter, warrant officer candidate course manager and instructor; and Warrant Officer  Scott Mobus, an instructor.