BY LT. ROSEMARY SEMONSKI, SC, USNR, DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY LAND AND MARITIME
On a hot Friday afternoon, Navy Supply Corps Reservists began arriving at Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Land and Maritime for what would be an energizing weekend event. The Navy’s newly formed Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes Region held its first Professional Development Day (PRODEVDAY)* for Supply Community members. The ball started rolling Friday evening with a special presentation of the Office of Personnel Road Show, hosted by Capt. Tim Daniels and Cmdr. Kurt Williams. The presentation was well received by attendees and helped set the stage for the following day’s events – a program of presentations and activities designed to engage and inform participants.
On Saturday morning, more than 50 Supply Corps officers filed into the building 20 auditorium. Rear Adm. Deborah P. Haven, Commander, Defense Contract Management Agency International, presided over the event as Flag Sponsor. She set the expectations for the day with her opening remarks, outlining the agenda and making ready for the first guest speaker Vice Adm. Robin R. Braun, Chief of Navy Reserve, Commander, Navy Reserve Force.
Braun began her presentation by highlighting the Navy Reserve century of service and thanking those who had honorably served the force. Throughout her presentation, Braun cited the strategic vision of the Navy Reserve, stating there was a commitment “to develop leaders for the future”. Regarding the growing role of technological innovation in Department of Defense workspaces, she explained the importance of “knowing what we need to be aware of and streamlining” the processes to do so. Her objectives centered on increased efficiency in the Navy Reserve, continued leadership training, and the improved management of talent.
The admiral was followed by a video address from the Chief of Supply Corps Rear Adm. Jonathan A. Yuen. The Chief expressed his commitment toward professionalism, leadership, and ethics within the Supply Corps, reminding all that they were the business end of the force and as such, needed to set the example.
The next few hours exposed the audience to news and developments in the region, the intricacies and importance of record keeping along with the direct impact it can have on a career, and the essential art of leadership as practiced through the triad of command and underscored by the working relationship between Chiefs and Officers.
After lunch, Haven resumed the program by setting the scene for a fictitious, yet all too plausible scenario involving ethics for Reservists on active duty. It involved a short enactment by members of the planning committee centered on a fictional annual training trip to the Pacific Rim. This presentation was followed by another – a mock selection board. The audience was given the background and workings of the selection board process. Players recreated the selection board ‘tank’ process, demonstrating how a record was briefed and scored during slating.
The final presentation of the day included Haven and the region’s senior Supply Corps leadership discussing and taking questions regarding the employment and mobilization opportunities open to the region’s junior officers.
Haven closed the program by expressing her appreciation for a most “informative and collaborative event.”
However, the day was not over. After the program’s conclusion, formal mentoring sessions began. This was a three-tiered activity with Haven making time to meet separately with all Supply Corps students in attendance, followed by a meeting with all Captains present. Concurrent to these meetings, one-on-one mentoring sessions were held between senior and junior officers.
The event concluded the next day with a site tour of DLA’s Disposition Services warehouse on Defense Supply Center Columbus. Planning for next year’s event is already underway, location to be determined.
*Professional Development Day, or PRODEVDAY, was an event first conceived and held by members of the now defunct Midwest Navy Region Component Command. A group of enterprising senior officers from the region determined there was great interest within the Navy Reserve Supply community for an occasion to gather and share news, instruction, and career insights. Having no budget to work with, the group nonetheless made arrangements for a complete day of presentations, instruction, and mentoring at no cost to the Navy. The model was quickly adopted by other Navy regions and the PRODEVDAY event is now held across the Navy’s six Reserve regions.