State command chief warrant officer fully immersing himself in new role
Story by Spc. Jessica Silhavy, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
COLUMBUS, Ohio (06/29/22)
Now in his position as the state command chief warrant officer for several months, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Richard Kerwood is focused on his goal of helping to improve the lives and careers of the Ohio Army National Guard Warrant Officer Cohort, as well as recruiting new candidates into the ranks.
Kerwood succeeded Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jay K. Stuckman, who retired after leading the OHARNG Warrant Officer Cohort for nearly a decade. Kerwood said it is a challenging duty, but one that he is excited about for the opportunity to help develop and guide the state’s warrant officers over the next few years.
“I split my day between the routine operational things, and brainstorming ways to increase the warrant officer quality of life and career, as well as innovative ways to grow our ranks with qualified and quality people,” Kerwood said.
In his role as the fifth state command chief warrant officer, Kerwood is tasked with providing direction, guidance, resources, assistance and supervision of the OHARNG Warrant Officer Cohort, overseeing warrant officer leader development and mentorship, and providing essential advice to the assistant adjutant general for Army on warrant officer issues.
He also has tasks such as representing the warrant officer cohort at formalized, ceremonial events and attending senior-level briefings. He also chairs the OHARNG’s Warrant Officer Senior Advisory Council, and he often reviews and writes letters of recommendation for warrant officer predetermination packets needed for a Soldier to become a warrant officer.
If I can use my rank or authority to assist a warrant officer that needs it — like reducing work, stress or anxiety — I’m all about it, and will do that all day long
“If I can use my rank or authority to assist a warrant officer that needs it — like reducing work, stress or anxiety — I’m all about it, and will do that all day long,” Kerwood said. “Being able to make a difference in the lives of my fellow warrant officers and the Soldiers of the OHARNG is what makes me happiest.”
Kerwood recently pinned on his chief warrant officer five rank during a May promotion ceremony at the Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler Jr. Armory in Columbus, amid a drill floor populated by his family members, friends and fellow Guard members.
A Zanesville, Ohio native who currently resides in Marysville, Ohio, Kerwood joined the OHARNG in 1988, and has served continuously for more than 30 years. He initially enlisted as a private in the 997th Ordnance Company, 2nd Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, located in McConnelsville, Ohio. In 1995, he became a warrant officer within the same battalion.
During his career, Kerwood has served in several units, in capacities that have focused heavily on computer repair, electronics repair and other technological fields. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and the Overseas Service Ribbon.