BY FOOD SERVICE TEAM
NAVY SUPPLY CORPS SCHOOL
Changes to fleet policy and procedures are a commonplace in today’s dynamic Navy. Whether new requirements emerge or innovation occurs, publications are revised and instructions change. When changes do occur, the staff at the Navy Supply Corps School (NSCS) is presented with an opportunity to execute the timely and accurate modification of course material to support the fleet. These course changes are necessary to ensure students are exposed to schoolhouse training which is a precise reflection of fleet practices.
Fleet Food Service operations recently completed major revisions to the Food Service Management (FSM) publication (NAVSUP P-486). As the fleet incorporated these changes to manage afloat and ashore general messes, NSCS flexed to ensure this core curriculum aligned to updates for training future afloat division officers and department heads.
The schoolhouse staple curriculum is the Basic Qualification Course (BQC), an in-depth 22-week experience encompassing the major areas of an afloat supply department to include food service, supply management, retail operations, disbursing management, Navy Cash®, personnel administration, and leadership. The BQC prepares Supply Corps officers for their first operational tours in which the officers will lead or assist in the management of their command’s food service operation. Their ability to navigate and adhere to the NAVSUP P-486 and other operational directives is imperative for their success.
So what changes are we talking about? The Navy’s changes to the NAVSUP P-486 include updates to procurement procedures of subsistence overseas and ashore, clarifying procedures for local purchases, emergency procurement, and the removal of DD Form 1155s. Significant review and closeout updates have also been implemented to reflect automated changes within FSM; Financial Improvement Audit Readiness (FIAR) integration; and Fleet Audit Compliance Enhancement Tool (FACET) and receipts digital cataloging. Our curriculum has been aligned with the Tri-Service Food Code, NAVMED P-5010-1, and includes more hands-on experience with FSM and time within the command’s mock-up galley.
As a part of the curriculum maintenance process, NSCS has reached out to fleet stakeholders for feedback and to assist in developing an intricate plan for modifying all course materials. In this process, NSCS collaborated with the Center for Service Support (CSS), the curriculum control model manager, who ultimately approves and enforces all course changes. It is important to leverage the needs and desires of the fleet to ensure that the material in our curriculum is aligned with the duties and tasks of fleet food service officers. A solid NSCS-fleet stakeholder synergy is vital to ensure any curriculum update reflects the needs and capabilities of our fighting force and supporting logistics information technology and accountability systems. Upon NAVSUP revision of the P-486 last fall, it was imperative for NSCS to quickly grasp the publication changes and comprehend the rollout process to the fleet. For example, to teach students, screenshots were made of FSM changes within the revised NAVSUP P-486. These shots were included in the updated FSM student training guide booklet that was provided by the Navy Food Management Team (NFMT) to the schoolhouse. Furthermore, NAVSUP Business Systems Center provided a FSM training server, enabling students to log in and interact within FSM. With small alterations such as these, the Food Service curriculum is significantly more consistent with fleet requirements.
We weren’t done. The NSCS Food Service team, with fleet feedback, implemented a full review of all training material, training lectures, instructor lesson plans, practical exercises, and exams. The curriculum content was edited, evaluated/reviewed and tested for accuracy to pass on to CSS for approval and implementation. All steps were worked simultaneously with assembly line precision, allowing NSCS to publish lessons as they were edited to yield the most relevant and current training as quickly as possible. This curriculum modernization also opened other opportunities to enhance and be creative with the Food Service curriculum. As part of NSCS’ command goals, Commanding Officer Capt. Doug Noble has called for and implemented increased experiential hands-on learning opportunities for students. To meet the goal, NSCS has added Naval Air Station galley visits with emphasis on sanitation and mock-up galley walk- throughs focused on equipment familiarization. Additionally, a new mock-up storeroom practical exercise was also incorporated, increasing hands-on experience with FSM and injecting fleet subject matter expertise into discussions and presentations.
It is important to note that NSCS received, incorporated into curriculum, and began teaching these revisions to future fleet division officers faster than ever before. Major curriculum updates normally require interim changes upon publication and policy modification until a formally scheduled or directed review of the curriculum could be coordinated via the Naval Education and Training Command. The Food Service curriculum change is only one example of how NSCS maintains pace with the fleet. As fleet requirements evolve and impact all schoolhouse curricula, NSCS will continue to ensure future Supply Corps officers are knowledgeable and prepared to lead their Sailors – “Ready for Sea!”