The Army has issued a directive that could add two years to the time required for aviator warrant officers to be promoted to chief warrant officer 2.

The directive, AD 2021-31, was approved Sept. 10 and takes effect Oct. 1.

The move is aimed at giving “aviation warrant officers more time for professional development at junior ranks,” according to an Army release.

Warrant officers are automatically promoted after two years serving as warrants, according to Army Regulation 600-8-29.

But many aviation branch warrant officers are promoted to CWO2 within a few months of arriving at their units because of the lengthy time spent in flight school, according to the release.

The directive means there’s no more automatic two-year promotion. The two-year clock will start when the warrant officer completes flight school and Warrant Officer Basic Course.

The move will give them, “more time to learn and grow,” according to the release.

The directive is specific to aviation warrant officers and does not apply to other branches, according to the release.

Warrant officers of all kinds have been a hot commodity recently. The Army National Guard and Army Reserve were developing a policy this summer to bring back retired active duty warrant officers.

The plan would allow those retired warrant officers to continue to draw their pensions while serving, and getting paid, in the Guard or Reserve, Army Times reported.

Officials told Army Times in July that an estimated 600 warrant officers were slated to retire in the next 12 months. At the time, the Army Reserve was about 1,000 warrant officers short of its needs.

The Guard had 2,333 warrant officer vacancies out of 10,234 authorized slots, officials said.

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.

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