BY LT. LISA HARDMAN, SC, USN, SUPPO
USS OHIO (SSGN 726)
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Lt. Lisa Hardman
Have you ever considered a job where your impact and influence are felt immediately by the fleet? Upon completion of a successful operational tour, you have the opportunity to compete and screen to become an instructor at the Navy Supply Corps School (NSCS). It is an honor to be hand-selected to demonstrate your job proficiency for other officers through instruction and leadership. As an instructor, you will share your knowledge and experiences with the newest generation of Supply Corps officers. The best way to master a topic is to teach and learn it well enough to introduce concepts to folks who have never been exposed to what it is we do as professionals. Instructing forces you to become an expert. Students challenge instructors to dig deeper and learn the subject matter thoroughly. A great instructor knows the most recent instruction and the phone number of the subject matter experts in the fleet driving the change. NSCS drives networking out of nesscescity. We, as a staff at NSCS, want to be as up-to-date and as sharp as possible.
At NSCS, active duty instructors are the critical link between the pulse of the fleet and the civilian instructors, serving as subject matter experts to ensure continuity of instruction. NSCS provides an opportunity for instructors, especially those coming from one or two-man operations, to get their first competitive FITREP. What better place to do that than at a command here each of your fellow Supply Corps officers were screened after they went through a rigorous application process? Your fitness report is also submitted by supply senior leadership who have also been hand-selected as schoolhouse administrators. Also, you have a wealth of career advice and mentoring abundantly available to you. At the schoolhouse, you have a valuable opportunity to network with a variety of guest speakers, such as Chief of Supply Corps (past and present), leaders from Defense Logistics Agency, Naval Supply Systems Command, Naval Air Systems Command, U.S. Navy type commands, and other major commands, along with civilian industry leaders.
Senior Supply Corps officers come to NSCS to attend advanced courses. During their rotation, they pass along to staff and students their successes and failures to enhance student learning and create the connection between curriculum and fleet expectations. Opportunities abound to expand our professional development through detailer and internship recruiter visits throughout the year, as well.
Your thumbprint as an instructor is felt instantly in the fleet. Instructors must stress upon the students the importance of setting the standard. Hopefully, students are inspired to raise the bar. Teaching our Supply Corps officers to interpret and apply guidance, such as publications and instructions, is a rewarding challenge.
Once you have mastered the art of effective instruction, you have the challenge of boarding for master training specialist. Creating new ways to present training objectives is key for instructors, as you must gauge if the students are grasping the concepts and material. You must also determine whether the students understand what you are conveying to successfully meet the challenges of their upcoming assignments. In addition, you provide students the tools to stand solid with publications in hand and the knowledge of how to effectively utilize the supply officer network if faced with ethical dilemmas. It is gratifying when previous students share their successful Supply Management Certification and Field Examination Group Inspection scores.
NSCS maintains a work environment that promotes opportunity to focus on family, friends, and other interests, while enhancing the staff’s professional development. Being in a schoolhouse environment allows for a structured, predictable and consistent schedule. With the command enjoying every weekend and holiday off, you will have more than enough time to pursue additional hobbies and personal interests. The schoolhouse staff uses weekend opportunities to volunteer with students to make a difference in the local community. The flexible schedule also makes it easy to spend time off the podium working on fitness goals or pursuing outside education. Our duty schedule is equally as predictable and relatively painless.
Geographically, the Newport area is phenomenal. Our location allows staff to take advantage of the U.S. Naval War College, which includes the Fleet Seminar Program, as staff members work toward completing the Joint Professional Military Education Program. This program is a critical milestone for career progression. Life as an instructor truly allows you to achieve the much talked about work/life balance. You can discover beautiful Rhode Island, which is an exciting destination for leisure opportunites of every description. Since Newport is located in the heart of New England, Rhode Island offers urban tempo, rural tranquility, and 400 miles of winding coastline. Although Newport is rich in culture, it is also within driving distance of Boston and New York City.
We are the tip of the spear as our entire community trains from this single point. NSCS continually receives feedback on the validity of the material taught and the impact of new programs and our community. The mission of the NSCS is to provide students with the personal and professional foundations of success. It is an exciting time to be rocking the cradle of the Supply Corps. Serving as an instructor can be deeply rewarding as we help students enhance their personal and professional abilities to truly be “Ready for Sea”.