Posted on Jun 20, 2018
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It's a ways down the road, but I am interested in eventually becoming a 351M HUMINT Technician.

What kind of experience is optimal for an E-5/E-6 to have when submitting a packet for WOCS? I've read the pre-requisites, so I know you need at least 4 years experience, and a minimum of 2 assignments, but what does that REALLY mean? Also, those are minimums, what is optimal?

What are qualities that leaders look for in Warrants beyond that of "a willingness to learn" and technical expertise? Are there qualities in a person that makes them more or less suitable for being a Warrant rather than remaining enlisted in the same field?
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CW4 Counterintelligence Technician
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The number one thing I look for is "Are they technically proficient" immediately followed by "Are they mature and well rounded." New policies allowing E5's with as little as two yrs time in MOS has seriously damaged the WO Corps. We have lost that respect we used to have. There are exceptions as with anything else but this terrible decision to "make them technically proficient while on the job" was the most damaging change ever made to WO accessions. After those two issues the next important thing is "Can they communicate effectively verbally and in writing?" If not I will not sign their letter of recommendation. I have had to tell people no and that's hard but it has to be done. The general policy of approving everyone who meets minimum qualifications is BAD. Shame on the WO's and commands who adhere to this.
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CW4 Counterintelligence Technician
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Allow me to add - I'm on my phone while writing this so it's hard to convey everything I have to say on this topic. Other very important qualities are leadership - leading from the front, the ability to tactfully speak your mind to an O7 (or higher), and to always find a way.
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I appreciate the advice Chief. Do you have any tips on improving ones writing abilities, in military format and otherwise?
Also, I would assume working closely with your unit’s WO’s would be one of the best ways to learn. Is shadowing or “apprenticing” commonly done?
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CW4 Counterintelligence Technician
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SPC (Join to see) - Shadowing may be done once you're a WOC. An NCO is either ready or not to submit a packet. A commander and a senior WO needs to submit a letter of recommendation, the most attention is paid to the Snr WO letter. If you need help with writing you can take a remedial writing class at your local community college - either high school or college level. They can assess you writing level too. Unfortunately the same thing has happened in the WO corps as the regular officers - even people with BA's an masters degrees can't write a report to save their life. It's usually just grammar problems because we have spell check now. Not saying you need a BA, just using it as an example. And don't become a "wordsmith" that uses 50 cent words to impress everyone - if the audience can't understand it, it's useless. Bottom line: If you can't write no one will pay attention to what you write and someone will need to fix it, plus it will damage your credibility. You want to be a 351M (I'm a 351L), you MUST be able write your reports well and both of us are in jobs that require a LOT of written reports. In CI, we will test someone's writing skills before we accept them, I'm not sure what 351M candidates do.
I've been that CICA trying to figure out what the hell someone means in an IIR and it becomes a waste of time trying to interpret it. So then I have to contact the person that wrote it and the report bounces back and forth a couple times. If the information is time sensitive then it really becomes a problem.
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CW4 Counterintelligence Technician
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SPC (Join to see) - One last thing on writing: Be clear and concise. If you get too wordy (especially in emails) people will lose interest (unless it's an important intel report or something that requires a lot of writing). Emphasis on clear.
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CW2 Ci Team Leader
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Excel. At everything. Once you get to the NCO ranks, strive to seek out greater challenges for whatever assignment you are in. Always operate above your pay grade, and know regulations and authorities that come with your job. That'll set you up for dropping the packet.

Once you become a WO, be the technical expert, but understand that there are things you still need to learn, and be willing to admit that. Team building and mission focus are traits that should become second nature to you.

Pretty sure that'll get you started. Good luck!
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SGT Retired
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SPC (Join to see) - don’t necessarily view team build as a task, like mandatory fun events. Like Mr. Parker write, it should hopefully become a second nature trait.

Team building should be occurring constantly. Anything that brings your team, squad, platoon, section, etc. together as a more cohesive, effective unit is team building.

Team dynamics at every echelon are different, so what may have worked on a daily basis in my squad won’t necessarily work in your squad. You can’t just crack open the ‘how to team lead’ manual as a one size fits all. A good leader will be able to identify what brings his joes together as a unit, and he’ll be able to incorporate whatever that is into most daily routines.

And if your group is solid as a team, when the commander does decide it’s time for mandatory fun, that’ll actually make that “team building” exercise easy to get through.

Good luck on your journey.
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What I mentioned above was primarily referring to the mandatory team building training or mandatory fun. I understand that every group of people will be different, and every work environment will be different.
However, he is a 351L which has a very similar skill-set to what I'm eventually aiming to be, as CI and HUMINT are like 2 sides of the same coin, so I thought I might try to pick his brain on things he may have done in the past.
Thanks for your input!
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CW2 Ci Team Leader
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The response above is pretty much on point. I'm not talking team building as in take the soldiers bowling during lunch or have a mandatory fun day. I mean to engage each person assigned to you, and make them feel like they are part of the mission, from conceptualization to completion. If you invest in your team, they will come to take ownership of the mission and you will become more of an adviser, providing technical input, than a leader who is calling the shots, making those decisions, and pushing down tasks.

Granted, there are some situations in which the mission is laid out before you by the command. However, there are times as a WO (hopefully many, once you get to there) that you are given the commanders INTENT, vice given a set of tasks to complete. In those instances, you should focus on that intent, apply your particular skill set to it, weight it against legality and doctrine, then you and the NCOs on the team will build it from there. Where team building happens is when those lower enlisted cats are included in that process.
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SGT Retired
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SPC (Join to see) - I understand that. I’ve been in the intel game for a minute or three. If you’re looking for mandatory fun events that are particularly fun for us 35 series folks as opposed to other MOSs, I’d say the first thing you need to realize as a young 35M is that intel joes are people, just like cooks, mechanics, SF, pilots, etc. it was my experience that there isn’t a special trick to motivating a certain MOS.

There isn’t a big red curtain waiting to pulled back and a world of 35M/L secrets exposed. ‘Ah, yes..THAT’s the mandatory fun we’ve been waiting for.’ If it hasn’t worked for you in the past, just put that in your toolbox as you move forward under the ‘doesnt work’ category.

Again, team building happens every day. When you get into leadership positions, pull from your past. Refer back to the ‘doesnt work’ folder. When asked to come up with ideas for ‘team building’ events, you’ll know how your team or squad operates. What motivates them. What they respond to. And then come up with a plan.

Mr. Parker, me, or every RP member can throw out ideas like ‘off post PT’, or ‘funny hat friday’ or Whatever. However, Mr. Parker is definitely on point. By constantly building cohesion with your soldiers, it’ll make the times when given a the commanders intent to ‘team build’ easier. And when that time comes, itll best be crafted by the unique situation of your particular unit.

Again, good luck in your journey.
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WO1 Humint Technician
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Sorry for the late response WO1 David Lindstrom , I'm still getting settled in to Texas here. SPC (Join to see) , I take it you are at language school? That's good. Are you an IET Soldier still? Here is the recruiting page for 351M (my MOS). Keep an eye out on the page, because requirements have changed over the years, so by the time you hit the time to apply something could change and you don't want to be blindsided.

http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/warrant/prerequ/WO351M.shtml

One thing you didn't mention is the Source Operations Course (or DATC). This is something that didn't used to be required but is, now. It's a fairly difficult course now and fairly all-encompassing, and probably going to be tough to get right away. Do you know what your first unit is? Some units have an easier time getting slots than others for this course.

My suggestion would be to absorb everything you can find in FM 2-22.3 as well as the related classified manuals, since techs are expected to be experts in their field. This will not only help you be successful at SOC when you eventually go, but will demonstrate proficiency to your superiors and your senior warrant who will be writing your letter (eventually).

Additionally, what CW2 (Join to see) said. Not only is it important to be a good leader because that's what the Army and WO Cohort expects...but you will never get the positive NCOERs, classes, etc if you aren't a good leader and excel. Also, PT is really important from an NCO standpoint. Generally you are treated better, but from a SOC perspective - if your PT score is borderline or below average, as a leader, I would be afraid to send you to a long TDY where there is no organized PT because you are really busy at the school. I remember when I went I dropped from a 295 to 277 APFT score. If you were a 240, you could end up failing at the end. So you need to show dedication to PT because the Army expects that, but also to demonstrate to your leaders that you can be trusted to do PT on your own while TDY.

I only added a bit to others' responses...don't take my response as ignoring theirs - add my response to theirs, if that makes sense.
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WO1 Humint Technician
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SPC (Join to see) - Keep your head up, and excel and basic Army tasks as much as possible. That will get you more opportunities. Some people may not agree with the way the Army works, but the fact is that people in better shape etc get more schools.
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CW2 Ci Team Leader
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WO1 (Join to see) Ah okay. I did my time at Hood as a Scout. Not in a real hurry to go back. Haha
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WO1 Humint Technician
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CW2 (Join to see) - haha...I feel you. But we asked for it here. Jamie and I are going to decide if we eventually want to retire here and buy a house. For now, we are just renting.
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CW2 Ci Team Leader
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Nice! We're considering the same thing here in El Paso, but kinda want to do a Europe stint first. We'll see how it works out.
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