Building Effective Leaders Through Literature

By Lt. Stephen Astafan, Public Affairs, Navy Supply Corps School

The Navy Supply Corps School (NSCS) in Newport, Rhode Island, has been producing the world’s top logisticians since its plank owner class of 2011. However, the history of the school reaches far beyond the last eight years and one thing has remained constant in spite of location changes: the production of well-rounded staff officers. Although the specific responsibility of Supply Corps officers is to be ethical mission enablers through “beans, bullets, and bandages” the modern officer is charged with much more.

To echo the words of John Paul Jones, “It is by no means enough that an officer of the Navy should be a capable mariner [or logistician] but also a great deal more.”

In the pursuit of John Paul Jones’ immortal “Qualifications of a Naval Officer,” we strive to provide our students the opportunity to be officers who embody “liberal education, refined manners and punctilious courtesy, and the nicest
sense of personal honor.”

We do this through a robust Leadership and Management Course. Unlike other courses taught at NSCS, students are not only tested on their supply acumen, but their ability to communicate and lead effectively.

Each class is given the opportunity to read any book regarding naval leadership or heritage of the students’ choosing. Since officers must be able to think creatively and communicate efficiently, students submit papers on the books they select because, after all, leaders are readers.

The following submission was the highlight of this assignment, illustrating the enormous value that hard work, academic rigor, and strong communication brings to the fleet.

Spring 2019