2019-01-11 / News Update

Local Sailor selected to WO1, Navy’s first since 1975

Petty Officer 1st Class David Hennessy
Navy Information Operations Command Georgia Public Affairs


Navy Information Operations Command Georgia Commanding Officer Captain William Kramer (left) promotes Nicholas Drenning to the rank of petty officer first class during a ceremony held Dec. 11. Petty Officer 1st Class David Hennessy / Navy Information Operations Command Georgia Public Affairs Navy Information Operations Command Georgia Commanding Officer Captain William Kramer (left) promotes Nicholas Drenning to the rank of petty officer first class during a ceremony held Dec. 11. Petty Officer 1st Class David Hennessy / Navy Information Operations Command Georgia Public Affairs A Sailor assigned to Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Georgia was selected Dec. 7 as one of the Navy’s first warrant officer-1s since the rank was discontinued in 1975.

Petty Officer 1st Class Nicholas T. Drenning was among five other petty officers chosen to wear the reestablished rank.

The Navy began accepting applications in June 2018 from cryptologic technicians networks (CTNs) in the paygrades of E-5 and E-6 who met naval enlisted classification and time in service requirements.

The warrant officer-1 rank was reinstated in order to retain cyber talent and fill leadership roles.

On Dec. 7, a Navy Personnel Command (NAVADMIN) message announced three Fiscal Year (FY) 19 and three FY-20 warrant officer 1 selectees, including the selection of Drenning.

Drenning applied and was selected to the program as a petty officer second class.

In December of 2018, with advancement quotas at less than 10 percent, he was promoted to E-6, or petty officer first class.

“After taking the enlisted advancement exam multiple times, I wanted to prove it to myself and the warrant officer selection board that they chose the right candidate,” he said.

During the warrant officer selection process, there were 33 Sailors Navy-wide who were eligible for the program and 16 applications accepted.

Drenning applied for the program in order to remain on a technical career path and to shape the Navy’s cyber forces.

He said a “strong technical background and dedication to training others” directly contributed to his selection.

About being the first warrant officer since 1975, Drenning said, “I am excited to set a new precedent and, along with that, building the heritage and traditions that make the Navy unique.”

Drenning looks forward to working with the other warrant officer selectees who were announced in December, many of whom he has worked with previously in Maryland and Georgia.

Drenning currently has nine years of enlisted service and is slated to be appointed to warrant officer-1 in September.

Eligibility for the rank chief warrant officer-2 will be available after three years of service in the grade of warrant officer-1.

“Part of shaping our community is going to be building effective relationships with junior-enlisted, the chief’s mess and fellow officers,” he said. “My personal focus will be fulfilling the intent of the program, which stresses technical expertise.”

Upon appointment, Drenning looks forward to filling different cyber work roles and mission sets, which will serve him to better shape policy and build community in his role.

“Within our community, there have been disconnects between decision makers, leadership and those on the ground level” he said, adding, “I look forward to bridging those gaps and making our force more effective.”

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