Navy Supply Corps School Hosts Third Annual Board of Visitors

BY LT. BLAKE FOUNTAIN, Public Affairs, Navy Supply Corps School

Navy supply community stakeholders attending BoV in Newport, Rhode Island. –photo by Lt. Blake Fountain

As spring turns to summer and tourists descend upon Newport, Rhode Island in droves, fleet stakeholders report to Navy Supply Corps School (NSCS) for a very different purpose. June brought the third annual Board of Visitors (BoV) to NSCS, a four-day event comprised of over 60 Supply Corps officers, senior enlisted, and community stakeholders to collaborate on curricula updates, relevant community initiatives, and best practices throughout the Center for Service Support domain. The culmination of months of hard work and preparation, consisting of 10 fleet advisory group drumbeats, the BoV provides a unique forum to discuss current trends across fleets, type commanders, and other participating agencies.

The exhaustive agenda included an initial two days of working group meetings with the advisory group action officers, senior enlisted, and senior civilians, to validate course training material and propose action items for curricula enhancement. The Principles Group, comprised of 13 senior supply officers and civilians, convened the final two days to review and approve course content, training initiatives, and recommended actions to enhance the training continuum.

The following courses and topics were reviewed throughout the meetings:

■ Basic Qualification Course (BQC)

■ Supply Officer Department Head Course (SODHC)

■ Senior Supply Officer Department Head Course (SR SODHC)

■ Introduction to Expeditionary Logistics (IEL)

■ Logistics Specialist (LS), Culinary Specialist (CS), and Retail Service Specialist RS (formerly Ship’s Serviceman (SH)) “A” School training

■ Staff Officer O-4 Course

■ Ready, Relevant Learning

■ Financial Audit

■ Modernized Training Delivery

■ Supply Management Certification(SMC)/Supply Management Inspection (SMI) trend analysis

Since its inception in 2017, the BoV has steadily increased and expanded to its largest participation and current format under the leadership of Lt. Cmdr. Jon Schumann, NSCS academic director. One key aspect of NSCS’ vision is to optimize the speed of relevance to fleet stakeholders through improved partnerships, communication, and collaboration. The  entirety of the BoV process epitomizes this vision. NSCS achieves this through five lines of effort (LOE), and BoV emphasizes two of these key LOEs: Brilliance at the Basics, and Strengthening and Expanding Strategic Partnerships and Collaboration. In today’s era of great power competition, it is not enough to rest on our laurels. Every day we strive for continuous process improvement, to develop leaders who are disciplined, ethical, and resourceful mission enablers.

Two rare student leadership engagement opportunities offered during BoV are the senior enlisted and senior supply officer roundtables. Experienced and insightful senior enlisted leaders from the RS, CS, and LS ratings shared hard-learned leadership lessons and best practices based on current fleet trends with staff and students.

Key takeaways from the discussion included:

■ Be engaged; never stop asking questions, but know where to look for the answers.

■ Be the example; you represent your division.

■ Build your resiliency.

■ Communication is the easiest thing to do, but the hardest thing to understand and master.

The senior supply officer roundtable provided a forum for staff and students to ask 12 senior supply officers hard-hitting questions. This offered participants an amazing opportunity to receive insight from senior leaders who represent a collective 300 years of fleet experience.

Highlights of the roundtable included:

■ Warfighting readiness is our profit; our job is to generate and sustain warfighter readiness.

■ Don’t compromise your character; tell your boss what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.

■ People don’t care how much you know until they know that you care.

Discussions throughout the week resulted in 30 “action items” meant to ensure deliberate and enduring enhancements to the curricula. Although BoV has concluded and nothing can replace the invaluable benefit of face-to-face interaction, the strategic communication and collaboration does not end here. NSCS will leverage these relationships to ensure we continue to produce the world’s most trusted and capable fleet ready warfighters and mission enablers.