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THE SUPPLY CORPS The  problem  of  logistics  in  any  future  war, except  limited  conflicts,  would  exceed  anything our  nation  has  so  far  witnessed.  The  extent  of total  conflict  would  probably  be  such  that  we would  have  to  mobilize  all  of  our  economic resources  to  engage  the  enemy  successfully.  While today’s  situation  is  entirely  different  from  that faced by John Paul Jones, the basic logistics are the same as they were in Jones’ time. In arming, supplying,  and  manning  his  ships,  Jones  went through  the  same  processes  of  determination  of requirements, procurement, and distribution that are  used  today.  However,  his  problem  was  not as  extensive,  and  he  probably  didn’t  think  of  it in  such  formal  terms. The determination of requirements is the first step  in  the  formation  of  any  logistics  plan.  It  is a  military  responsibility  and  prerogative  involving strategy  and  tactics.  It  encompasses  determination of requirements for the conduct of global war as well  as  the  determination  of  requirements  for  a small  task  unit  engaged  in  a  minor  operation. The  next  step  is  procurement.  It  is  based  upon the  determination  of  requirements,  the  production sources  available,  and  those  sources  to  be developed.  In  many  respects  it  may  be  thought of  as  the  point  or  zone  of  contact  between  the armed   forces   and   the   civilian   economy.   It   is primarily controlled by the civilian element of the defense  structure.  Thus,  while  elements  of  the Navy  Department  may  undertake  the  actual details of procurement, they do so under policies prescribed by and under the watchful eyes of the Secretary of the Navy and his civilian assistants. Distribution,   the   last   step   of   the   logistics process, starts with accumulation at continental depots  and  ends  with  delivery  to  the  ultimate consumer.  The  responsibility  for  distribution  of goods in the Navy rests on the shoulders of Supply Corps   officers. Officers  of  the  Supply  Corps  are  the  Navy’s business administrators. As such, they direct the Navy’s logistics requirements as set forth by the Chief of Naval Operations. They make sure these requirements  are  provided  efficiently  and  econom- ically  to  ships  and  activities  around  the  world. They manage a supply system that furnishes well over a million items essential to the operations of ships,  missiles,  aircraft,  and  facilities.  In  addi- tion,   Supply   Corps   officers   disburse   pay   and allowances  of  Navy  personnel  and  manage  the operation of food service, ship’s store, and Navy Exchange  facilities. Supply   Corps   officers   serve   in   varying duty  assignments,  ranging  from  supply  officer aboard  a  destroyer  to  Commander  of  the  Naval Supply  Systems  Command.  (The  Commander  of the  Naval  Supply  Systems  Command  is  a  rear admiral who also serves as the Chief of the Supply Corps.) The Naval Supply Systems Command is responsible  for  overall  management  of  the  Supply Corps ashore and afloat. Disbursing and certain other  comptroller  billets  to  which  Supply  Corps officers may be assigned are under the manage- ment  of  the  Navy. Afloat  supply  officers  manage  the  procure- ment, receipt, custody, stowage, and expenditure of material for ship’s use as well as food service and ship’s store operations. They maintain stock records  and  inventory  control  and  supervise payment  of  the  crew.  Ashore  billets  manage requisitioning  and  local  procurement,  contract purchasing, and material inspection and receipt. They are in charge of stock management at field supply   points,    supply   systems   management, stowage  and  materials  handling,  and  financial management. Current  Corps  strength  is  about  4,500  officers, 50 percent of whom serve afloat and overseas. The Naval  Reserve  Officer  Training  Corps  program serves as the main source of Supply Corps officer input.  The  Naval  Academy,  Officer  Candidate School,  the  Limited  Duty  Officer  Program,  and line  officer  transfers  also  supply  the  corps  with officers.  While  not  officially  members  of  the Supply  Corps,  about  300  chief  warrant  officers serve  in  the  technical  specialty  of  supply  clerk. Supply  clerks  are  assigned  to  Supply  Corps  billets both  afloat  and  ashore. Newly  commissioned  Supply  Corps  officers, including  line  transferees  and  newly  appointed chief warrant supply clerks, are sent to the Navy Supply  Corps  School,  Athens,  Georgia.  They receive  26  weeks  of  intensive  training  in  Basic Supply  Management  and  instruction  in  a  wide range  of  sophisticated  management  techniques, including automatic data processing. Upon com- pleting  the  course,  most  corps  officers  receive assignments  to  afloat  billets  followed  by  tours ashore  in  the  continental  United  States  (CONUS) and overseas. By their third tour, typical Supply Corps  officers  are  expected  to  develop  a  func- tional  proficiency  in  one  field.  The  field  may  be clothing and textiles, financial management, fuel distribution, merchandising,   procurement, subsistence  technology,  system  inventory management,  or  transportation  management. 13-4

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