New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

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State Command Chief Warrant Officer

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michele Thomas

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michele Thomas was named the State Command Chief Warrant Officer of the New Jersey Army National Guard on March 1, 2018. She is the first woman to hold this position.

CW5 Thomas enlisted in the Army through the delayed entry program in April 1976 and attended basic training at Fort McClellan, Ala., as part of the Women’s Army Corps, which disbanded in 1978. Her initial assignment was as a food service specialist assigned to the 556th Ambulance Co. at Fort Dix, N.J. She later acquired the human resources military occupational specialty and served in that capacity at Fort Humphries, Korea from 1980 to 1981.

From 1981 to 1986, CW5 Thomas was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where she was the noncommissioned officer in charge of the office that processed discharge actions for Soldiers leaving the Army. CW5 Thomas then acquired an additional military occupational specialty as an early-warning signals intelligence analyst and served in Germany from 1987 to 1991 on an assignment in that capacity.

CW5 Thomas left active duty in 1991 and joined the New Jersey Army National Guard a year later. She served as a military paralegal in a variety of assignments with several units.

CW5 Thomas then attended the Warrant Officer Candidate Course, graduating on Aug. 13, 1998. Her first assignment was to the Inspector General’s Office of the New Jersey Army National Guard. Following that, CW5 Thomas served as the full-time staffing specialist at the National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters.

From 2008 to 2009, CW5 Thomas deployed to Iraq with the Army National Guard’s 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (now the 44th IBCT) and served in Baghdad as a member of the Joint Area Support Group.

Upon returning from Iraq, CW5 Thomas served in a variety of roles in human resources, to include assignment in 2014 as the National Guard education officer. In 2016, she was assigned as the administrative officer of the New Jersey Army National Guard Medical Command, the first Warrant Officer to hold that position.

CW5 Thomas is widowed and has two adult sons, one of whom is a member of the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 108th Wing. She lives in Browns Mills.

(Current as of March 2018)