FORT PICKETT, Va. –
The Virginia National Guard's Warrant Officer Candidate School welcomed five new graduates at a ceremony May 14, 2022, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. Warrant Officer Candidate School Class 22-001, hosted by 3rd Battalion, 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute, also included four warrant officer candidates from the North Carolina Army National Guard. One Virginia Guard graduate was unable to participate in the ceremony.
The newest Virginia National Guard warrant officers are William P. Corcoran, Daniel Escalera, Samuel Fenelus, Steven N. Fuquay, Dennis J. Kellam and Christopher S. Martrano.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Brian L. Brooks, the senior warrant officer for the Army National Guard G4, was the guest speaker.
“It’s an honor and absolute pleasure to stand before you today,” he recalled. “Twenty-five years ago today, I was a candidate. Not one day has ever went by that I ever regretted becoming a warrant officer.”
“Your appointment today does not come as a reward for anything,” he told the new warrants. “It is something you have earned. Your process started long before six months ago. It started back when you were a junior enlisted person, building that experience. This is just the beginning of your next step. There are many more steps to go.”
Brooks reminded them that each of them is filling a critical vacancy in their state.
“The Army National Guard needs your skill set,” he said. “You are the Army’s technical leaders.”
Brooks also recognized the family and friends in attendance and reminded them that these new warrants can’t make it without their support.
“Whether you’re a friend, or a mom or dad, a spouse or a child,” he said. “This is a team effort. Thank you for your support because I guarantee they would not be where they are today without your support.”
Fenelus presented Brooks with a class shirt as a token of appreciation for his appearance at the ceremony.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Joseph W. Puckett, Command Chief Warrant Officer for the Virginia Army National Guard, then recognized Kellam for achieving the commandant’s list during the course.
Puckett also recognized Lauren Martin as the instructor of the year, and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Shawn Crookshanks as the TAC officer of the year.
Family members and friends were then invited to participate in a pinning ceremony for the new warrants before remarks from Lt. Col. Eric Quinn, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute.
“The WOCS program is a very tough, rigorous program and you should be very proud of their accomplishments,” Quinn told the friends and family members on hand. “They took on the challenge of becoming a leader and I look forward to seeing them in the future in the Virginia Army National Guard.”
Following his remarks Quinn led the new warrant officers in the oath of office.