Symposium Focuses on Developing Supply Corps Officers

BY BRIAN J. DAVIS, OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATION,
NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER PUGET SOUND

Navy Supply Corps officers from throughout the Pacific Northwest gathered at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in March for a day of mentoring and professional development at the 2017 Northwest Junior Officer Training Symposium (JOTS).

2017 Northwest JOTS in Bangor, Washington

 

This year’s JOTS was hosted by NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Puget Sound. The annual event explores career development and professional challenges and is a venue for junior officers to interact with senior officers, operational leadership, and peers. This year’s seminar focused on such topics as available career tracks within the Supply Corps; options for operational service; retirement; promotion boards; administrative skills; and what is expected of a Supply Corps officer at sea. The purpose of JOTS is to allow officers to take some time out and take a closer look at their Navy career.

“Service members often get so focused on the short term that they lose sight of the big picture,” said Lt. Cmdr. Robert Allen, NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound acting executive officer and organizer for the event. “The career symposiums are held annually to give supply officers a chance to pause from their operational commitments and focus on their careers.”

This year 48 active and Reserve officers attended the symposium from several regional shore and sea commands. Along with the junior officers, senior officers were also on hand, sharing their own personal experiences through formal briefs and establishing professional connections with their Supply Corps colleagues.

“The symposium provided the right mix of information download and peer networking, and it was very well received,” said Allen.

The event’s guest speaker was Commander, Submarine Group NINE Rear Adm. John Tammen. During his brief, Tammen discussed the Chief of Naval Operations’ latest themes and initiatives to carry the Navy into the future, and touched on how important it is in today’s operational environment for a Supply Corps officer to step up and get involved with more than logistics, especially at sea.

JOTS attendees took a break to hold a brief ceremony in observance of the 222nd anniversary of the U.S. Navy Supply Corps. From left to right: Capt. Charles Parker, NAVSUP GLS deputy chief of staff for Reserve Affairs; Rear Adm. John Tammen, commander, Submarine Group 9; Capt. Philippe Grandjean, commanding officer, NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound; and Ens. Joel Tidd, USS Nimitz (CVN 68). –photos by Brian Davis, NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound Office of Corporate Communication

“Submarine forces absolutely use a SUPPO for more than logistics,” said Tammen. “Watch and warfare qualifications give officers more confidence and a clearer understanding of what the commanding officer wants from them.”

Coincidentally, officer detailers from Navy Personnel Command visited the region a few days prior to JOTS. Officers had the opportunity to attend the OP Roadshow, as well as meet their detailers in person one-on-one in some cases for the first time in their careers. With the detailer visit happening earlier in the week, many of the JOTS attendees were able to spend time both talking with professional career planners as well as getting personal perspectives from more senior officers who had experienced different types of duty.

“The point of this symposium is to give us ideas for the future. There are many routes a Supply Corps officer can take to have a successful career,” said Lt. j.g. Heather Ireland, a Supply Corps officer currently serving at the NAS Whidbey Island Aviation Supply Department. “It’s beneficial to connect with leadership to learn what I can do and what I should do… It gives us options for the future.”

“It’s important that junior officers have the knowledge they need to make solid career decisions,” said Capt. Philippe Grandjean, NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound commanding officer. “As senior leaders, it’s our responsibility to provide the mentorship they need to be successful. Through JOTS we are building the future of the Navy and the Supply Corps.”

July/August 2017