Warrant Officer’s Promotion Honors USS ARIZONA Marine’s Sacrifices

Story & Photos by Lance Cpl. J. Ethan Hoaldridge

U.S. MARINE CORPS FORCES, PACIFIC, CAMP H. M. SMITH, Hawaii (Feb. 1, 2006) -- Surrounded by friends, coworkers and with his wife on the cell phone from North Carolina, Todd D. Nicodemus was promoted from Gunnery Sergeant to Warrant Officer during a ceremony at the USS Arizona Marine Corps Remembrance at Pearl Harbor, Feb. 1.

Nicodemus chose the location of the ceremony in honor of the 73 Marines that gave their lives and the 15 who fought and survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

“It is truly an honor to be promoted at the USS Arizona Marine Corps Remembrance, which represents true heroes,” said Nicodemus. “Until recently, there was no monument or anything that made those 88 Marines and their sacrifices stand out, ” he continued. “Marines always standout.”

Before pinning the red and gold bars on Nicodemus’ collar, Brig. Gen. Steven A. Hummer, commanding general of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and Col. William S. Febuary, Nicodemus’ commanding officer, were both able to offer words of support and wisdom.

“It is an honor for me to promote him, ” Febuary said, after giving a *brief history of the Warrant Officer and how they tie our Corps’ officers and enlisted together.

Many of the junior Marines, while congratulating Nicodemus, rendered a salute to him for the first time. “Warrant Officer Nicodemus set an example for his Marines. His relaxed attitude and the trust he had in his Marines made us want to work harder, ” said Cpl. Gregg Ashton, a communications NCO. Now that Nicodemus has ended his enlisted career of almost 15 years, he looks forward to the road ahead.

Nicodemus will meet up with his wife Amy and two kids, Hunter and Megan, in North Carolina to start his new journey with 8th Communications Battalion, at Camp John A. Lejeune, as a network management officer.

“I’m proud to put on the rank of Warrant Officer. It will be a totally different animal, and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

*A warrant officer (WO) is a member of a military organization holding one of a specific group of ranks. In most countries they are effectively senior non-commissioned officers, although technically in a class of their own between NCOs and commissioned officers. In the military of the United States, however, officers at the Chief Warrant Officer level are in fact commissioned officers and are afforded the same privileges and courtesies, such as terms of address and salutes, as other commissioned officers.

The warrant officer corps began in the 13th century in the nascent English Royal Navy. At that time, nobles assumed command of the new Navy, adopting the Army ranks of lieutenant and captain. These officers often had no knowledge of life on board a ship—let alone how to navigate such a vessel—and relied on the expertise and cooperation of a senior sailor who tended to the technical aspects of running the ship. As cannon came into use, the officers also required gunnery experts.

These sailors became indispensable to less-experienced officers and were rewarded with a royal warrant. This warrant was a special designation, designed to set them apart from other sailors, yet not violate the strict class system that was prevalent during the time.