BY LT. ERIN TORTORA, SC, USN, NAVY SUPPLY CORPS SCHOOL
Navy Supply Corps School (NSCS) Commanding Officer Capt. Kristen E. Fabry graduated and certified 47 students “Ready for Sea” at a ceremony held at the schoolhouse Sept. 4. Fourteen 86th Company Basic Qualification Course - Naval Reserve (BQC-NR) graduates joined 33 graduates of Supply Officer BQC 3rd Battalion Echo Company.
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Commanding Officer Capt. Kristen Fabry and Executive Officer Cmdr. Trent Kalp certified 47 students of the Basic Qualification Course 3rd Battalion and 86th Company “Ready for Sea” in a ceremony at Wheeler Center on Sept. 4. –Photo by Lt. Erin Tortora, SC, USN.
Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Weapon Systems Support (WSS) Rear Adm. Paul J. Verrastro was in attendance as the guest speaker. Through his 29 years of service, Rear Adm. Verrastro has served as a Supply Corps Officer Detailer, Navy Personnel Command, Washington, DC; program manager for Fleet Requirements, Naval Regional Contracting Center, Naples, Italy; director, F/A-18 Integrated Weapons Support Team, Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; deputy for Supply Policy, Training and Assessments, Commander, Naval Air Forces, San Diego, California; country program director, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Arlington, Virginia; director, Aviation Operations at NAVSUP WSS, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Commanding Officer, NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Rear Adm. Verrastro’s sea duty assignments include tours on USS New Jersey (BB 62), Supply Officer, USS Chandler (DDG 996) and Supply Officer, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). In 2005, he was the recipient of the USS John C. Stennis, “Straight Furrow” Leadership Award. His current command, NAVSUP WSS, a single virtual organization with two primary sites in Philadelphia and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, provides program and supply support for naval aircraft, ships, and submarines worldwide. He previously served as the director of Logistics Programs and Business Operations Division in the Office of Chief of Naval Operations (N41). His vast experience and passion for the Navy Supply Corps made him the top choice as guest speaker for this graduation.
BQC is an in-depth 22-week curriculum encompassing the major areas of an afloat supply department to include supply management, food service management, retail operations, disbursing management, Navy Cash®, personnel administration and leadership. The BQC prepares Supply Officers for their first operational tour by providing students with the personal and professional foundations for success. Company Commander Lt. j.g. Conor Wilkes and Assistant Company Commander Lt. j.g. Michael Price led 3rd Battalion during the five months of instruction. BQC-NR is a 15-month, comprehensive course of instruction, which provides Reserve Direct Commissioning Program officers and Supply Corps limited duty officers with the fundamental, technical and managerial knowledge necessary to function effectively as Supply Corps officers within the Navy Reserve.
NSCS expects 3rd Battalion and 86th Company graduates will offer their future commanding officers increasing flexibility and enhance Supply Corps officers’ reputation for being naval officers first, and accountable officers always, by bringing their group total of 105 years of experience back to the Fleet. This diverse group of students included 19 prior enlisted Sailors, graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy, and redesignated officers from the aviation community.
Since their arrival at NSCS, students in 3rd Battalion Echo Company balanced superior academic performance with community service in and around Newport. Logging a combined 655 off-duty volunteer hours, they organized a blood drive for the Rhode Island Blood Center at NSCS, supported the American Red Cross, Battleship Cove, the Robert Potter League for Animals Shelter, Melville Elementary, cleanup of Newport Beaches, along with many other events and organizations. Academically, Echo Company held a class average of 93.9 percent and 86th Company maintained a 91.37 percent class average.
An awards brunch was provided for the top graduates where students who achieve the highest grade in each curriculum were recognized, along with leadership and professionalism awards. Lt. j.g. Nora Momani, who will be reporting to the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in San Diego, is the BQC 3rd Battalion Honor Graduate with an overall grade point average of 98.44 percent. She is awarded an Officer’s Sword by National Industries for the Blind Assistant Vice President for Services Mr. John Qua for her superb academic performance. Lt. j.g. Kailish Purohit, BQC-NR 86th Company Honor Graduate, maintained an overall grade point average of 96.29 percent. He will report to U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Maritime Operations Center Chicago in Highland Park, Illinois. Ensign Deirdre Leary was voted by instructors to receive the Military Officers of America Association Professionalism Award. Echo Company Assistant Commander Lt. j.g. Andrew Price was voted by his classmates to receive the BQC 3rd Battalion Navy Supply Corps Foundation Leadership Award and Ensign Antonio Com received the award for the 86th Company. Ensign Richard Descano is the recipient of the Navy League Volunteerism Award, for the over 500 off-duty hours he volunteered for the non-profit organization “Wear Blue: Run to Remember.”
The students of 3rd Battalion recognized members of the staff who contributed to the preparation of their professional success. Special recognition was given to Chief Ship’s Serviceman (SHC) LeDezman Johnson, who was voted by his students as Instructor of the Battalion for his dedication to the students of 3rd Battalion, Echo Company.