After 16 to 20 years of service, Aerographer’s Mates are likely to have earned the Qualification of Master Forecaster and achieved the rank of a Chief Aerographer’s Mate (average time to promotion 15.7 years) or Senior Chief Aerographer’s Mate (20.1 years). By this time, they will be on their fifth tour of duty. As Chief Warrant Officers (CWOs), they have been selected for advancement because of their superior performance and aerographic expertise; they must have at least 12 years of service to be able to apply for this rate (but not more than 24). The Sea/Shore Flow for Chief and Senior Chief Aerographer’s Mates is 36 months.
Interestingly, while CWOs are noncommissioned officers, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that in practical terms—and aside from U.S. Navy technicalities—there is no difference between a “commission” and a “warrant.” In the 1883 case of Brown v. United States, in which the Navy had construed a Congressional act involving officers to be applied to Warrant Officers, the Court wrote that “There is no difference, in form, between a commission and a warrant as used in the Navy, except that one recites that the appointment is made ‘by and with the advice and consent of the Senate,’ and the other does not. Both are signed by the President."
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