Looking Back at the Legacy of NAVSUP’s Senior Enlisted Leadership

By CMDCM(SW/AW) Thaddeus T. Wright

On November 2, 2016, I reported to NAVSUP headquarters and was greeted by my sponsor CSCM(SS/SW) Cameron Kelsey. As he walked me around the building, we came to what I initially described as “The Hall of Leaders.” In this passageway, there are photos of the former Chief of the Supply Corps officers dating back to 1842, as well as all of the command master chiefs (CMCs) who served for the Chiefs of Supply Corps.

I stood in front of both photo boards in awe and had no idea that we had this rich history on display, highlighting both sides of officer and enlisted leadership. I took this opportunity to review each photo of the master chiefs to see if I recognized any of these past leaders. There were many master chiefs that I did not know, but there were a few I remembered coming up through the ranks.

I want to take this opportunity to list the prior force and CMCs for everyone’s awareness. Below are the names of senior enlisted leaders who have served the Chiefs of Supply Corps starting in 1968. They played a tremendous role in shaping and molding the supply community and the NAVSUP Enterprise into what it is today.

FORCM Charles Hardy, February 1968 to February 1971
Source rating Storekeeper (SK)

FORCM John McIntosh, February 1971 to July 1973
Source rating Storekeeper (SK)

FORCM Raymond Schreppel, June 1973 to September 1976
Source rating Storekeeper (SK)

FORCM Michael Mavroudis, October 1976 to April 1978
Source rating Storekeeper (SK)

FORCM David Koelsch, March 1978 to April 1981
Source rating Storekeeper (SK)

FORCM(SS) Thomas Connor, February 1981 to March 1984
Source rating Storekeeper (SK)

FORCM Larry Carey, February 1984 to September 1987
Source rating Storekeeper (SK)

FORCM(SS) Rusty Malbon, January 1988 to June 1991
Source rating Storekeeper (SK)

CMDCM(SW) Brent Cawley, June 1991 to April 1994
Source rating Storekeeper (SK)

CMDCM(SW/AW) Thomas Rittle, April 1994 to September 1997
Source rating Postal Clerk (PC)

CMDCM(AW) Ted Kyle, September 1997 to September 2000
Source rating Aviation Storekeeper (AK)

CNOCM(SW) Jim Smith, September 2000 to July 2003
Source rating Mess Management Specialist (MS)

CNOCM(SW/AW) Dan Warner, July 2003 to May 2007 – Source rating Storekeeper (SK)

Meeting CNOCM(SW/AW) Warner in person was my first interaction with the Chief of Supply Corps’ CMC. He visited the Norfolk waterfront when I was stationed on the USS Normandy (CG 60) in 2002, but I really had the opportunity to see him in action when I was stationed at Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic in 2006.

In 2006, Warner pulsed the entire fleet regarding supply ratings, initiatives, and scheduled/potential mergers per the merger in 2002 of the aviation storekeeper (AK) rating and the storekeeper rating (SK). There was a lot of synergy in the supply enlisted community during his tenure because fleet feedback was being sought in response to the Chief of Naval Operations’ vision.

It was Warner who offered me mentorship and encouragement. This made me feel included, and reassured me that people like myself (a mess management specialist/culinary specialists) were valued and appreciated in the supply community.

CMDCM(SW) Jim Collins, May 2007 to October 2010 – Source rating Postal Clerk/Logistics Specialist (PC/LS)

CMDCM(SW) Collins continued to drive forward efforts of reform and innovation, executing the fusion of two supply enlisted ratings – SK and postal clerk (PC) in 2009, to make up today’s logistics specialists (LS).

Collins continued to search for fleet feedback through our valued supply enlisted roadshows and our ongoing efforts from the Senior Enlisted Board of Advisors. Collins provided guidance during tough times of gapped leading chief petty officer manning, Type Command Top 6 roll downs, and aggressive individual augmented taskings across the supply community.

The Navy started introducing new platforms like the amphibious transport dock (LPD 17) San Antonio class, as well as the USS Freedom (LCS 1) and USS Independence (LCS 2) littoral combat ships (LCS) class. With these new platforms in the
fleet, we took a moment to look at new ideas in terms of how we provided goods and services. One of the things that Collins did as a leader was challenge the supply chief petty officer mess to become a CMC; a challenge that I would later take to heart.

CMDCM(SW/AW) Sidney Dawson Jr., October 2010 to April 2014 – Source rating Logistics Specialist (LS)

CMDCM(SW/AW) Dawson took over the CMC seat and continued to pave the way forward, implementing the new LS rating throughout the fleet. He continued the supply enlisted roadshows and directly supported the newly formed Senior Leadership Advisory Council, which had a crucial role in gauging the supply community’s concerns on the state of the fleet and future initiatives. Dawson was met with several fiscal challenges, budget constraints and conflicts due to furloughs, inability to travel to see the fleet, and tremendous strain felt throughout the enterprise due to the fiscal challenges.

One key thing I learned from Dawson was to be a living example of work/life balance in all that we do and strive for in life. Dawson was later assigned to the Senior Enlisted Academy as the deputy director.

CMDCM(SW/IW) Donald Myrick, April 2014 to November 2016 – Source rating Ship’s Servicemen (SH)

CMDCM(SW/IW) Myrick became CMC as the Navy was coming out of tough budget constraints. Furloughs were lifted and travel across fleet concentration areas was authorized. He immediately learned the NAVSUP Enterprise and started to conduct our valuable supply enlisted roadshows across the globe. During his tour, a number of rating initiatives took place from Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education (MPT&E) in which all supply enlisted ratings were under review.

Myrick was a member of the Chief of Supply Corps inaugural committee. He traveled to the Navy Supply Corps School quarterly to conduct fireside chat sessions regarding ethical expectation and leadership with students of the basic qualification course (BQC) prior to their initial operational tours.. In addition, Myrick was hand-picked by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Financial Management & Comptroller and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) to lead a working group in the review of pay, personnel and allowances for the entire Department of the Navy.

Myrick would later be selected as the executive assistant to MCPON 14 and is currently CMC for the Naval Inspector General. As I moved into the office, I was fortunate to have come across some of the old memos and newsletters from FORCM(SS) Malbon and other leaders who have sat in the seat. Their words and reflection on leadership are still relevant today. Not only do I reference them from time to time, but I will start sharing their words of wisdom with the team here and in my other communications to further awareness and understanding of leadership characteristics. It is truly an honor to serve in this capacity and I want to continue to advocate for those I serve, pay my respect for the great leaders that came before me, and leave footprints for those who follow. The quote below is from FORCM(SS) Malbon regarding leadership:

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“If leadership is done right, and your
personnel are taken care of and trained to a
sharp edge, then job completion becomes a
moot point. It will take care of itself. If you
do not provide strong leadership and
supervision, take good care of your personnel,
or properly train them, job completion will
be impossible to obtain. Our young Sailors
certainly deserve better than that.”
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Note 1: FORCM (Force Master Chief) – Though not recognized between 1968 to 1991 each Master Chief Petty Officer of the Supply Community communicated and conducted business as a Force Master Chief (with title) for all supply enlisted issues in addition to their duties with the NAVSUP Enterprise.

Note 2: CNOCM (CNO – Directed Command Master Chiefs) were assigned to CMCs, whose Commanders directly reported to the Chief of Naval Operations.

Fall 2018