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01 - Part 01, Introduction & Background
The rank of warrant officer has a rather interesting history which is not well known, even amongst those who hold that rank.

01 - Part 02, WOs in the Royal Navy
Warrant officers date from the beginnings of the Royal Navy and these specialists retained their distinctive rank and status until 1949, when the rank of warrant officer was abolished.

Part 03, WOs in the Royal Marines
In December 1881, the London Gazette (1881, p.6466) announced the introduction of warrant rank into the Royal Marines (RM). The reasoning behind this change was to extend to the Royal Marines the same advantages which had recently been conferred upon the non-commissioned officers of the Army; therefore the analogous ranks were promoted to warrant officers (Hansard, 1881).

Part 04, WOs in the British Army
In the early Eighteenth century, the highest non-commissioned rank (NCO) in the British Army was that of Serjeant-Major and Quarter Mafter Serjeant (War Office, 1807). These ranks were Sergeants who wore 4 chevrons (stripes) point downwards above the elbow and in some cases (mostly Guards Units) was surmounted by a Royal Coat of Arms.

Part 05, WOs in the Royal Air Force
Upon its formation in 1918, the Royal Air Force (RAF) adopted the rank titles and badges for Other Ranks from the British Army, specifically the Royal Flying Corps (RFC). The RFC ranks of warrant officer class I and warrant officer class II were directly adopted, with the rank insignia of the Royal Coat of Arms and crown respectively.

Part 06, UK vs US WO System
Both warrant officer and Sergeant Major are ranks within the US Army military rank system. This in contrast to the British Army, in which warrant officer is a rank and Sergeant Major (in modern terms) is an appointment for a warrant officer.
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