Commentary by Capt. Martha Nigrelle

It takes a lot to reach the top in any career field, and that was no different for Texas Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer William Langford.

After 37 years of service, Langford was promoted to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 5, the highest rank in the Warrant Officer Corps, in a ceremony at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, Dec. 5, 2015.

After 37 years of service, Langford was promoted to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 5, the highest rank in the Warrant Officer Corps, in a ceremony at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, Dec. 5, 2015“There are only 300 CW5’s in the Army National Guard and most of them are in Aviation,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Earnest Metcalf, Command Chief Warrant Officer, noting the significance of the achievement.

“A non aviation warrant officer making CW5 is kind of monumental,” said Maj. Robert Cederstrom, Joint Forces Headquarters Detachment commander

There are 350,000 soldiers currently serving in the Army National Guard making chief warrant officer 5’s, .08% of the force, and the majority of those slots are reserved for pilots.

“Warrant Officers are technical advisors to all of the commands,” said Metcalf. “We’re systems folks, we operate Army systems.”

Langford, a personnel warrant officer, is no stranger to the Army administrative systems.

As the chief warrant officer and executive officer for the Joint Force Headquarters, Langford’s main focus is on the readiness of the more than 400 soldiers assigned to the unit said Metcalf. Ensuring the readiness of the force is necessary

A job many in the unit know Langford is persistent on.

“Everyone knows Mr. Langford,” said Cederstrom. “The majority of the force has felt the presence of Mr. Langford or his emails.”

For the newly pinned Chief Warrant Officer 5, the promotion was significant.

“This is very humbling,” said Langford. “I’m very honored.”

As much as he was honored, Langford said it wasn’t about him – everything he did was about the soldiers.

“All I’m trying to do is help you.”