BY BARBARA BURCH, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER JACKSONVILLE
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Reserve Supply Corps Officers at PRODEVDAY with Rear Admiral Huegel and Rear Admiral McNeal in the center of the photo. – Photo by Barbara Burch.
On a beautiful Saturday in Northeast Florida, more than 50 Reserve supply officers from throughout the Southeast Region Jacksonville gathered at Naval Air Station Jacksonville to participate in Professional Development Day (PRODEVDAY) 2015.
This event provided junior Reserve Supply Corps officers the opportunity to share information, network with senior leadership and peers, and most importantly, ask questions. The full schedule included professional development, mentoring, and advice on adapting to career challenges.
Kicking off the event was Capt. Pete Lawless, commanding officer, Naval Reserve Fleet Logistics Center Jacksonville, Fla. Lawless welcomed everyone and thanked the Senior Reserve Liaison (SRL) Team, Navy Region Southeast Jacksonville Reserve Component Command, for hosting PRODEVDAY 2015.
Lawless discussed the uniqueness of being a Reserve officer, working civilian jobs outside of the military and the challenge of putting on the uniform when called. "Look at the numbers who served in Iraq," stated Lawless, "more than 40 percent were Reserve forces and that's huge. Reserves have a big impact on how the military carries out its duties." Lawless pointed out that this particular PRODEVDAY was a unique opportunity because there were two Reserve flag level supply officers in attendance: Rear Adm. Valerie
Huegel, commander, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group, and Rear Adm. James McNeal, commander, Naval Supply Systems Command Global Logistics Support. Both were on hand to answer questions and provide their insight on being a Reserve officer in the Supply Corps. Huegel praised the participants on their attendance. "It's a great opportunity to network; this is a real give-and-take event." She encouraged everyone to "not be bashful, ask questions; because you are the future." Huegel briefly gave an oversight of her take on ethics; "we all have integrity, but as Reserves, we don't do this job day in and day out, so we need to be sure we learn the rules to make correct, ethical decisions." Huegel discussed the Navy Reserve's Vision for 2025, whose strategic imperatives are to keep pace with the Navy's future capabilities, maintain a ready Force for tomorrow, actively employ each Sailor's unique capabilities, deliver technologically advanced solutions, and develop transformational leaders.
As McNeal took the floor; he concurred with Huegel's remarks that ethics were a daily process of ensuring each decision was in line with policy.
"As Reservists, we have jobs that we do outside of our time in uniform," stated McNeal. "We can help each other when we encounter gray areas and must make decisions in high stress situations. Do not hesitate to ask each other for help."
McNeal went on to discuss the role of the Supply officer; to be the business manager of the Navy. Reserve supply officers need to be ready to support the Navy, not when it's convenient for the individual, but when they are needed.
"Understand your focus should be on serving your customer and your customer is the command you support" challenged McNeal. "Use the civilian skills you have to be assets to the Navy. Be ready to go when you're needed and keep doing what you are doing."
PRODEVDAY 2015 wrapped up with one-on-one-mentoring sessions. Mentors provided career advice in a personal setting which resulted in improved understanding of the relationship between civilian skills, Reserve operational support, and how Reserve officers can use both to successfully meet the challenges of the 21st century Navy.