Navy Supply Corps (United States)

Navy Supply Corps (United States)
U.S Navy Supply Corps
US Navy Supply Corps Oak Leaf.jpg
Supply Corps staff officer insignia
Active 23 February 1795 - present
Country United States of America
Allegiance United States U.S.A.
Branch U.S. Navy (Active & Reserve Component)
Type Staff Corps
Role Sustain U.S. Navy and U.S. Military Operations worldwide
Size ~3565 Supply Officers
Nickname SUPPOs, Chops, Pork Chops
Motto "Ready for Sea"
"Ready, Resourceful, Responsive"
Anniversaries 23 February
Engagements Every U.S. engagement since the 1798 Quasi-War
RADM Mark F. Heinrich, SC, USN
Chief of Supply Corps

The Supply Corps of the United States Navy traces its beginnings to February 23, 1795 when the nation's first Purveyor of Public Supplies, Tench Francis, Jr., was appointed by President George Washington. The Supply Corps is one of the oldest staff corps in the U.S. Navy. Supply Corps officers are concerned with supply, logistics, combat support, readiness, contracting and fiscal issues. The official motto of the Supply Corps is "Ready for Sea" - reflecting the Supply Corps' longstanding role in sustaining warfighting.

Commissioned officers in the Supply Corps are schooled and experienced in a variety of disciplines such as supply management and expeditionary logistics, inventory control, disbursement, financial management, contracting, information systems, operations analysis, material and operational logistics, fuels management, food service and physical distribution.

Supply Corps officers can be members of a ship or shore activity's supply department or can be billeted into supply units/commands - such as the Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG), Fleet Industrial Supply Centers (FISCs) or Navy Special Warfare (SPECWAR) Logistics Groups which support the United States Navy SEALs. While Supply Corps officers are not eligible for command at sea, which is the province of certain unrestricted line officers, they can command supply units. A Supply Corps officer is always the Commanding Officer of a Naval Cargo Handling Battalion - groups charged with stevedoring and logistics whose constituent companies are led by both Supply Corps and Civil Engineer Corps officers. Supply Corps officers also serve in forward deployed land-based units - such as the Seabees - working alongside Civil Engineer Corps officers and in a joint capacity with Marine Corps.


Navy Supply Corps School


New Supply Corps junior officers attend the Navy Supply Corps School (NSCS) in Newport, RI.[citation needed]

NSCS was first opened as the Navy Supply Corps School of Application in 1921, located at the Navy Department in Washington, D.C. After just three years the school was closed, and for the next ten years supply officers learned their profession on the job, at sea from senior supply officers and through formal, but independent coursework.

A more formal arrangement was achieved when the Naval Finance and Supply School was opened at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in September 1934, for instruction of regular Navy Supply Corps officers. The training of reserve officers did not become available until 1940, when the Supply Corps Naval Reserve Officers School was established in Washington, D.C. After ten months the two schools were merged, creating the Navy Supply Corps School, located at the Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

During U.S. involvement in World War II, 13,000 officers graduated from NSCS at Harvard. In 1944, the Naval Supply Operational Training Center was established at the Naval Supply Depot in Bayonne, New Jersey. It was redesignated the Navy Supply Corps School in 1946, but within a few years it outgrew its facilities. Through the efforts of two Georgia politicians, U.S. Senator Richard B. Russell Jr. and U.S. Representative Carl Vinson, the school was moved to Athens, Georgia in 1954.

The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure round determined that NSCS will be relocated to Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island in 2011.

Professional qualifications

Supply Corps officers can earn one or more of four community warfare insignias:

Officers must complete a personal qualification standard (PQS) program, demonstrate an extensive practical and applied knowledge of the specialty, and successfully stand before an oral examination board of senior officers to earn each warfare pin.[citation needed]

Earning a warfare qualification is often a prerequisite for promotion to senior officer ranks of Commander (O-5) and higher. A Supply Corps officer's future career promotion and assignment prospects can be negatively impacted if he/she served at an operational unit or on board a ship, but failed to earn a warfare pin.

Current Navy policy dictates that Supply Officers complete two operational tours and obtain a warfare pin for consideration for Lieutenant Commander (O-4) boards.

Additional information

Supply Corps officers are sometimes called "SUPPO," although this term is the billet of Supply Officer which is the supply department head and senior Supply Corps officer of a command. Other nicknames include "Pork Chop" (due to the shape of the Supply Corps staff insignia). Aboard submarines, the Supply Officer is called "Chop". While "Supply Officer" is a specific billet which an officer may fill, there are also many other positions open to Supply Corps officers as this is an inherently multi-disciplinary career field. These include: ASUPPO, or Assistant Supply Officer; FSO, or Food Service Officer; Sales Officer; DISBO, or Disbursing Officer. At larger commands, sometimes Hazardous Materials Officer, Postal Officer, and Wardroom Officer are primary billets for Supply Corps officers vice being collateral duties at smaller commands.

Enlisted ratings that comprise the Navy supply community are: SHs (Ship's Servicemen), who assist Supply Officers in managing shipboard retail and service activities; LSs ([[Logistic Specialists), who assist Supply Officers in managing inventories of parts, supplies and mail; PSs (Personnel Specialists, a recent merger of the former Disbursing Clerk (DK) and Personnelman (PN) ratings), who assist with the disbursement of funds; CSs (Culinary Specialists, formerly known as Mess Management Specialists (MSs)), who manage and execute all food service operations. In October, 2009, Active Duty Storekeepers and Postal Clerks will be merged to be Logistics Specialists (LS).

The Navy Supply Corps Museum is located at the Supply Corps School in the historic Carnegie Library Building in Athens, Georgia.

Navy Supply Corps leadership

The following have headed the Supply Corps Officer and Enlisted Community:

  • Rear Admiral Mike Lyden 2008-2011
  • Rear Admiral Mark Heinrich 2011-current


Three stars (Vice-Admiral) is the highest rank a Supply Corps officer in the U.S. Navy can attain. There have been 18 Supply Corps Officers advanced to that rank: William J. Carter, E. G. Morsell, Edwin Dorsey Foster, Charles W. Fox, Murrey L. Royar, A. A. Antrim, Stephen R. Edson, Robert F. Batchelder, Joseph M. Lyle, Kenneth R. Wheeler, George E. Moore II, Vincent A. Lascara, Eugene A. Grinstead, Little Eddie Straw, Keith W. Lippert, Justin D. McCarthy, Alan S. Thompson and Mark Harnitchek.

Notable U.S. Navy Supply Corps officers

Supply Corps coat of arms

References and external links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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