BY LT. ERIN TORTORA, SC, USN NAVY SUPPLY CORPS SCHOOL
This year, during the annual Blue Angels Air Show tour, Lt. Greg Bollinger took advantage of the opportunity to speak with the students in their initial training at Navy Supply Corps School. Commanding Officer Capt. Kristen Fabry welcomed Lt. Bollinger to the Basic Qualification Course (BQC) to share his take on both the rewards and challenges of life as the Blue Angels SUPPO.
Staff and students listened intently as Lt. Bollinger spoke about his inspiration for applying for the position. It was the opportunity to represent the Navy and Marine Corps to the American public that intrigued him. Each day, the 130 Sailors and Marines he works with continue to inspire the culture of excellence with the Blue Angels, which allows them to “positively impact future generations” and, as Bollinger added, he is “very passionate about that.” He described the interaction with people all over the country, and his desire to “inspire our nation to pursue their dreams and to always strive for excellence”.
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Lt. Bollinger presented Commanding Officer Capt. Kristen Fabry and
Executive Officer Cmdr. Trent Kalp, a former Blue Angels SUPPO, with
an autographed photo for the Navy Supply Corps School from the Blue
As the Supply Officer, the mission of his department is to ensure maintenance has the parts, equipment, and resources to keep the aircraft flying; “You can’t fly without supply,” he noted. His role doesn’t stop at parts, though. Bollinger also manages responsibilities as Legal Officer and as one of the Support Officers, which includes acting as Safety Officer during flight demonstrations.
Being part of one of the nation’s most recognizable and favorite organizations doesn’t come without challenges. When the Blue Angels come to town, fans and supporters often present unsolicited gifts or “good deals” based on their official positions as a nice gesture. Bollinger described the extensive review process which occurs after each show and event they attend. He leverages his network of legal support to ensure they are accepting and processing gifts in accordance with legal and ethical requirements. He stressed that the training he has received with the Blue Angels is relevant for every supply officer, regardless of billet: “The first step is recognizing an ethical issue. Next, be transparent and consult with legal experts. Finally, pay attention to the answer and act on the information received.”
His advice is synonymous with the culture that NSCS is creating for its junior supply officers during their five months at BQC. For example, the Leadership & Management lesson on ethics includes a Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) being present to clarify key points, answer questions, and most importantly, demonstrate the tremendous value of a solid SUPPO-JAG partnership. NSCS is making great strides to reinforce the idea of building a successful career based on ethically sound decision making from the start. Through various guest speakers, lectures, and presentations, both military and civilian, we are leading by example, utilizing all resources and providing a worldclass education for these young supply officers.
Lt. Bollinger presented an inspiring opportunity to students who may not otherwise have known of the position. Being selected as Blue Angels Supply Officer is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is not a part of the traditional career path, but it is an excellent opportunity for growth as both a Naval Officer and Supply Officer. Many in our community do not know about the position. With a rock solid foundation at BQC, our junior supply officers have an exciting career ahead of them with countless opportunities available to them such as
maybe someday, being the Supply Officer for the Blue Angels.