History of the Navy Supply Corps School

Note: Compiled from Navy Supply Corps School annual command histories and command operations reports.

Methods of training U.S. Navy supply officers have varied greatly over the years. The school is currently located in Newport, Rhode Island, a state rich in naval heritage -- and has provided a permanent institution created for the sole purpose of providing students with the “personal and professional foundation for success.”

The origins of NSCS date to 1905 at the Navy Department in Washington, D.C., where the Naval Pay Officers School was established with Rear Adm. Samuel McGowan as the officer in charge. The school’s purpose was to instruct officers in the areas of supplies and accounts but closed after three months.
 
Following the closure, the majority of vacancies in the Supply Corps prior to 1917 were filled by college graduates and younger business men who, after being authorized by the Secretary of the Navy to compete for appointment, were required to pass a rigid mental and physical entrance examination. The mental examination covered nearly ten days and 17 different tests for several mathematical and English subjects, physics, chemistry, business methods, general information, and foreign language. Upon being commissioned with the rank of ensign, the new officers were sent to a service school in Washington for several months. The curriculum covered Navy regulations, naval courts and boards, naval procedure, customs and etiquette and practical work in Supply Corps duties afloat. The textbook of instruction during this time period was the Manual of the Supply Corps. It was a compilation of monthly entries from the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts (BuSandA) that covered any changes in procedures in supply, accounting, commissary and disbursing matters.
 
Upon graduating, the new Supply Corps officers were sent to small cruisers, gunboats and other craft of similar size. Supply and accounting work ashore covering such a large field was omitted from the curriculum. The junior officers, after completion of their first operational tour, which was normally three years, would then be assigned as assistants to major Navy yards and stations. Certain select officers attended a two-year course at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and others were sent to a yearlong course at the Subsistence School in Chicago, conducted by the Quartermaster’s Corps of the U.S. Army.
 

After 1917, all appointments to the Supply Corps were limited to persons already in naval service, specifically, Naval Academy graduates, pay clerks and chief pay clerks. Midshipmen were commissioned Supply Corps officers, whereas the pay clerks had to compete through examination covering both professional and academic areas.
 
With no formal school, only a two-month course was available that moved to different locations around Washington, D.C. The practice was to order officers to sea duty as assistants to supply officers’ already on battleships, destroyer tenders and repair ships. This allowed the newly commissioned supply officers the opportunity to study the general supply section, the commissary section and the disbursing section of the Supply Department Afloat. The notion that persisted was the only training necessary for a supply officer was essentially that which was required to make a good storekeeper. In short, documentation and routine office work. It was not until1918 when the Officers Material School for Supply Corps was established at Princeton University to accommodate the increased number of officers being qualified for assignments with the fleet during the war. At the end of World War I, the school was closed as a surplus of officers was available to the fleet.
 

The school reopened July 16, 1921, when the first official Navy Supply Corps School of Application was established in Washington, D.C., by acting Rear Adm. David Potter . Potter was serving as the Interim Chief of (BuSandA) and understood the continued need for qualified Supply Corps officers in the fleet. Rear Adm. J.S. Carpenter was assigned as officer in charge. During this time, officers of the Corps were also under instruction attending night courses at the Schools of Finance, Commerce and Accounts at New York University and at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as Georgetown University School of Law and the Pace Institute in Washington, D.C. The Navy Supply Corps School of Application taught a four-month program that replaced the Pay Officers School curriculum.
 
The areas of study focused on banking, accounting, finance, ocean and rail transportation, commercial law, shipping documents, economics and the business cycle. Budget constraints closed the school in 1924, favoring the old method of sending newly commissioned officers to the fleet to gain their experience through on-the-job training and via naval correspondence. During the School of Application operation, it graduated 193 officers. Supply officer training was tracked and managed by Navy Supply Corps Correspondence School in Washington, D.C., until 1942 when it was discontinued for the duration of the war. The courses of instruction through correspondence were for officers of the Supply Corps, Naval Reserve Force, as well as the regular Navy. Officers taking the course were divided into three groups: those taking it as “appropriate duty” in lieu of actual active training duty at a station or aboard a vessel; those taking the course voluntarily to maintain their efficiency; and those taking it with the idea of preparing themselves for examination for general service in the Volunteer Reserve.
In 1934, the findings of the Reorganization and Amalgamation Board as approved by the Secretary of the Navy provided that the authorized peacetime strength of the Supply Corps be reduced from 600 to 440 and that this recommended reduction be accomplished by normal attrition and by filling only one vacancy in three until the new authorized peacetime strength was reached. Line officers with two years of sea duty would be selected annually for postgraduate instruction in the technical duties of the Supply Corps in sufficient numbers to provide qualified line officers for the junior technical duties and a sufficient source from which to select officers for transfer to fill vacancies. Pursuant to this, Capt. David Potter established the Navy Finance and Supply School at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 1, 1934. The 11-month course accommodated regular Navy officers and in 1940 an extra summer session was added for ROTC graduates. The curriculum included:
 
Administrative duties (260 hours of instruction)
 
  • Government, Department, and Bureau Organization
  • Military and International Law
  • Accounting
  • Manufacturing
  • Mess Management
  • Finance
  • Navy Purchasing System
  • Navy Supply System
Business management (207 hours of instruction)
 
  • Economics
  • Commercial Law
  • Government Contracts
  • Practical Operations
Practical applications (421 hours of instruction)
 
  • Navy Yard Organization
  • Factory Inspections
  • Supply Problems
  • Transportation
  • Shipbuilding
The total time allotted for instruction came to 888 classroom hours. Philadelphia was selected as the new location of the school for several reasons. The area was large enough to accommodate the school, students had the advantage of practical service operations located close to a large industrial center, and the faculty could build contacts with local institutions. Guest lecturers ranged from railroad officials, bankers, college professors, to industrial executives, oil-and-steel, and hotel managers. The first blazon was adopted to represent the Supply Corps school’s service to the fleet. The school graduated 339 officers and operated at this location until 1941.
 
A plan of calling Reserve officers of the Supply Corps to active duty for the purpose of instruction in Supply Corps duties was inaugurated in July 1940 with Cmdr. E.A. Eddiegordeas officer in charge. The reason for establishing a program for the naval Reserve force was to meet the rapidly increasing demands for officer personnel. Three Supply Corps Naval Reserve Officer Schools were established for officers who volunteered for active duty with the understanding that they would be continued on active duty after satisfactory completion of the course, if needed. Locations at Georgetown University, Washington Naval Hospital and National University were based on the level of training at each facility. At Georgetown University a four-month course was provided to Reserve officers who had not received any formal supply officer training. The naval hospital location provided a five-month course for more advanced training of the Reserve supply officer. National University offered a five-month course designed as a refresher course for reservists preparing for active-duty assignments. The schools operated until July 1941 when they merged with the Navy Finance and Supply School. During the year of operation at the three sites, the Reserve Officers Schools graduated 152 Supply Corps officers. Foreseeing the potential need to prepare for a world war that was on the horizon, BuSandA closed both the active and Reserve schools and moved all training for Supply Corps officers to Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration in Boston, Massachusetts.
 

On Sept. 24, 1941, the facility formally opened for new students and was renamed the Navy Supply Corps School (NSCS), which is still used to identify the “cradle of the corps” today. Promoted to captain, Eddiegorde was reassigned to the new location at Harvard as the officer in charge.
 
The first class of 392 ensigns, designated as SC-V(P) or probationary officers of the Volunteer Reserve, were enrolled for the first session on June 16, 1941, before the official opening of the school to active-duty officers in September. The normal course length at Harvard was four months for training new Supply Corps officers. This was reduced from the eleven-month course conducted prior to the move for the regular naval officers. Two basic training periods and four follow-on terms totaled 139 semester hours. The areas of instruction covered general services, special operations, industrial accounting, special accounting, war adjustments, contracting, and surplus disposal indoctrination. This constituted sound business indoctrination, and provided a sufficient background to the technicalities of the Supply Corps profession.

In 1942, the first use of overlapping classes accommodated the increased numbers of newly commissioned supply officers due to the war. Also in 1942, some students graduated after only nine weeks of instruction and sent directly to the fleet, based on civilian experience that transcended into critically required billet assignments. In January 1943, two courses were established. The first allowed for former enlisted men to integrate with regular classes and the second was a two-month course for men commissioned in the SC-V(S) program, or officers of the Volunteer Reserve appointed for special service in the Supply Corps. The SC-V(S) course was established to prepare officers with proven business experience and standing to receive instruction in Navy methods and laws governing them for special duty ashore. Later in 1943, the course was increased to six and then eight weeks in length. This class moved to the Babson Institute located in Babson Park, Massachusetts, in April 1943 and operated until 1944. Upon closing Babson the course reverted back to two months at Harvard and was officially cancelled on Aug. 1, 1945, as the war was ending.
 
The NSCS Babson Branch graduated 2,023 Supply Corps officers.
 
Also in January 1943, the first Navy Supply Corps School for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) was established at Radcliff College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with 150 officers attending. The two-month course of instruction for the WAVES included classes at the NSCS Radcliff Branch and Harvard where the female officers were instructed in disbursing and supply procedures comparable to those of the NSCS at Harvard with the exception of Supply Afloat. The Radcliff Branch closed July 11, 1945, after graduating 850 female Supply Corps officers.
 
In February 1943, the Navy Supply Corps Midshipmen School was established at Harvard. It was a one-year course for NROTC students designed to provide officers who had been educated to do real planning and with previous experience in accounting. The program gave students 19 weeks of instruction in Navy supply and disbursing with two four-month sessions which served as credit for the two-year Harvard Graduate School of Business degree. On Oct. 1, 1943, a course similar to the Radcliff model for the WAVES was established at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where 200 midshipmen from the V-7 and V-12 programs attended a four-month accounting course. Lasting only a year, the NSCS Wellesley Branch closed on Sept. 13, 1944, after graduating 762 supply officers.
 
The War Adjustment School provided a refresher course for students returning from battlefronts to instruct them on plant clearance and surplus disposal issues.
 
During operations at Harvard, NSCS graduated nearly 13,000 supply officers during World War II.
 

Navy Supply Corps School Bayonne 1949As the war was still at its height in March 1944, several supply courses were moved from Harvard to Bayonne, New Jersey. The Basic Qualification Course (BQC) did not officially move to the Naval Supply Operational Training Center in Bayonne, until after the war on July 1, 1946, with the basic course set for five months. Capt. H. Halpern was given command of the NSCS Bayonne. For the first time since before World War II, a “long course” was taught for newly commissioned Supply Corps officers. In addition to the basic Supply subjects at the school, courses of general value to the Supply Corps such as logistics, public speaking, personnel administration, the Navy Supply Plan, and Navy regulations were instructed, as well as the newest course in the Navy for radiological safety. NSCS Bayonne graduated 3,507 officers before relocating to a more permanent home at the old Coordinated College campus in Athens, Georgia.
 

Navy Supply Corps School Athens Plank-owners 1954The Supply class which began study at Bayonne in November 1953 was transferred to Athens, where. NSCS Athens became a stand-alone command on 58 acres adjacent to the University of Georgia. The site had been used as a school since the 1860’s, first for the University of Georgia’s University High School, nicknamed Rock College for the native rock which was found on the location and used in construction of the first building on-site. It was a Confederate military school and, at the end of the Civil War, a federal garrison. In 1866, the site housed a school for disabled young Confederate veterans, which existed with state support for two years. It was then used as a state normal school from 1891 until the 1950’s, when it was taken over by NSCS. Classes reconvened Jan. 7, 1954, and NSCS was officially commissioned eight days later on Jan. 15, 1954. Capt. Robert M. Bowstrom became the first commanding officer of NSCS Athens, having moved with the school from Bayonne.
 
As the Navy underwent its greatest transition from steam to nuclear power, from shells to missiles, from powder to nuclear weapons, and from subsonic to supersonic aircraft, so too did the schoolhouse need to change with the type of curriculum being taught to the newly commissioned Supply Corps officers. NSCS Athens adopted the Navy Supply Corps coat of arms used by the Navy Finance and Supply School during the 1930 and created a new emblem to represent the motto “Ready for Sea.” In patriotic red, white and blue, as well as conventional gold, silver, green and black, the colorful coat of arms salutes the officers and enlisted personnel of the Supply Corps who are serving their country ashore and afloat in all parts of the world. On the shield is the white and black ermine of honor above the high seas of navy blue. The crest atop the shield displays crossed gold-handled silver swords of naval officers braced against alternating blue and white sword knots. It is surmounted by a matching blue escallop shell, a symbol of feeding the fleet. Supporting the shield and its crest are a sea lion on the starboard side and a griffin on the port side. With the head of a lion and the tail of a fish, the sea lion represents reward for bold action in service at sea. The imaginary half-eagle and half-lion griffin is a symbol of the Navy Supply Corps steadfastness, courage, and vigilance.

In Athens, the BQC was extended to 26 weeks. Case study analysis was developed and used extensively to pursue the overall course goal of teaching the efficient management of men, money and materials while providing fleet support. For much of the course, officers under instruction assumed the identity of a supply officer serving on a notional destroyer, USS Duarte (DD901. The scenarios were conceived on the recommendation of Cmdr. Clem Dailey, the training officer at Athens, who directed instructors - Lieutenants Rixey, Chip Higgins, and Fred Woodworth - to create a case study course in personnel administration. Rixey chose the names of the Sailors who would be used to form the basis for the case studies. Rixey’s old assistant supply officer, William “Wild Bill” Ellis, became the “SUPPO” of USS Duarte which was named after one of the most difficult Sailors in the supply department aboard USS Platte (AO 24), Ship’s Serviceman 2nd Class Duarte. Capt. Dodson, who was in command of the Platte during Rixey’s department head tour, was named commanding officer (CO) of USS Duarte, and Cmdr. Ed Flores, who was the executive officer (XO), filled the same billet on the Duarte. Rixey assigned other Platte crew members duty aboard USS Duarte, as well as fellow officers at the Supply Corps School.
 
In the case studies, student officers assumed the identity of Ensign William B. Ellis, as SUPPO of USS Duarte. Throughout BQC, the officers attempted to solve Ellis’ supply problems, often involving one or more of the 28 members of the crew. Pictures of the crew in all four divisions of supply (stock control, food service, retail operations and disbursing) adorn the walls today in the training hall at NSCS in Newport.
 
In all, Rixey wrote 15 case studies which have evolved through the years, and are still being used to teach the core curriculum at the school to this day. In addition to the practice sets covering USS Duarte, instruction was also taught in areas of first-echelon inventory management, stock control and financial management; institutional-type food service operations and management; operation of a variety-type retail store with complementary service activities such as barber shop, laundry, vending machines and the like; shipboard disbursing and fiscal practices; and automatic data processing, including computer basics, fundamental programming and data systems management.
 
Beside the BQC, four types of special courses were taught in the early days at NSCS Athens: two three-week automatic data processing courses (UNIVAC 1500); four two-week warrant officer indoctrination courses; three two-week refresher courses for Reserve officers on inactive duty; and two six-week foreign officer supply courses. In 1963, to add more realism to the curriculum, mock-ups were incorporated into the training through construction of a fully operational ship’s laundry and store, a typical destroyer repair parts storeroom, and a supply and disbursing office. For real-life experience, students under instruction took part in the command’s disbursing operations and executed pay periods to the staff and enlisted personnel stationed at the schoolhouse. The hands-on with paydays did not last long as electronic payment methods became more common.

In 1968, the BQC in Athens was administered to Supply Corps officers and supply clerks (warrant officers) within three time frames:
  • A 26-week course of instruction with 650 hours of coursework administered under normal peacetime conditions.
  • A 16-week course of instruction with about 500 hours of coursework, established as the planned training during a mobilization period for newly commissioned male Supply Corps officers and supply clerks, and Reserve Supply Corps officers with no previous active duty.
  • A 10-week course of instruction with 350 hours of coursework, established as the planned training during a mobilization period for newly commissioned female Supply Corps officers.
 
The instructors at NSCS Athens were chosen among the most outstanding young officers of the Supply Corps and added the priceless ingredient of up-to-date operational experience to their students’ learning environment. All facets of the course included strong emphasis on practical leadership, strict adherence to the highest ethical standards, and the positive contribution the Supply Corps officer should bring to a ship’s morale. NSCS Athens incorporated this aspect in the approach to learning. The premise was that the burden of learning was placed on the students, and that course realism provided was the best mode of instruction. This still remains an important factor in the education of students at NSCS today.
 
The aim of the BQC program for the Supply Corps was still focused in qualifying the student to perform independently as the head of the supply department (supply and disbursing officer) of a small ship of the U.S. Navy. Through the course, it was emphasized that officers of the Supply Corps are first and foremost professional naval officers and second, trained supply and fiscal specialists. One-fifth of the course was devoted to preparing students for leadership and personnel management responsibility afloat. During the first months of the 26-week program, many students put in six to eight hours of preparation per night for their classes. After the billet list was presented, their efforts were channeled to more specific applications of study in areas especially needed for their anticipated assignment. Upon graduation from NSCS, about 90 percent were ordered to sea or Vietnam without further professional training or experience. Of this group, about 40 percent were ordered to independent duty afloat where they became the sole Supply Corps officer aboard. The remaining 60 percent were ordered to dependent duty as assistant to the supply officer in one of the technical specialties, such as disbursing, food service, retail operations, automatic data processing, and stores.
 
Since the opening of the school in 1954, the facilities and buildings at the location were improved or replaced to enhance the training environment for the students. By the 1970s, the “University of the Supply Corps”, as it was dubbed by the students at that time, was composed of an administration building, buildings for classrooms, auditorium, gymnasium, library, dispensary, dental clinic, Navy Exchange, commissary, officer and enlisted clubs, gas station, chapel, heating plant, public works building, two officer quarters, a bachelor enlisted quarters, various married officer and enlisted quarters, swimming pool, sports fields, tennis courts and an academic facility. The school had close to 97 civilian graded and non-appropriated fund employees, 57 staff officers, and 98 enlisted staff. NSCS was graduating about 600 officers from the BQC each year, with inputs approximately every two months, and an average of about 300 students onboard.

As NSCS grew, so too did the curriculum including new courses to better meet the changing mission and needs of the Navy. The schoolhouse divided the courses of instruction into two categories: (1) the BQC and (2) specialized “short” courses.
 
The following short courses provided specialized technical instruction to be used by personnel performing material support functions, both afloat and ashore. The two-week Automated Supply and Accounting Systems Afloat course was aimed at training the officer in managing a mechanized supply system afloat that concentrated on system logic and input/output data rather than computer operations. The two-week Joint Aviation Supply and Maintenance Material Management (JASMMM) course prepared officers for assignments to naval air squadrons. The three-week U.S. Marine Corps Aviation Supply Training course, similar to JASMMM, prepared Marine Corps logisticians for assignment on ships. A one-week Supply Distribution Systems Ashore (SDSA) course concentrated on warehouse management and distribution networks ashore.
 
The BQC program underwent a curriculum restructuring. The introduction of practical laboratories served a diagnostic/remedial purpose to help better identify and provide solutions for any individual academic problems. All courses in the BQC were revised to accommodate these labs changing time periods from 75 minutes to 50 minutes per class.
 
Organizational structure did not change much during the first 20 years at Athens, but some of the department titles did. The training department changed to the academic department, the administrative department was now called the logistic support department, and the course training offices were changed to reflect duty afloat by being called divisions rather than departments. Since NSCS Athens was considered a standalone facility and not a tenant command as with previous school locations, a variety of extracurricular activities were organized by the students and staff to promote the full experience of attending a service school. Such organizations included the Glee Club, Supply Line newsletter, radio station, Entertainment Club, Oak Leaf yearbook, Junior Executives, Toastmasters, and Athletic Council.
 
By 1972, Athens had graduated close to 10,000 Supply Corps officers with very few women. For the first time in the Navy, Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, then the Chief of Naval Operations, opened the door for women to serve aboard commissioned U.S. Navy ships. Ensign Rosemary Elaine Nelson became the first female student to graduate with orders to USS Sanctuary (AH-17) as the assistant supply officer. In 1975, Lt. Nelson returned as the first female instructor at NSCS.

At the end of the 1970s three more short courses were added to the existing nine-course curriculum. The Navy Exchange and the Commissary Store Management course both provided the management fundamentals for operating a resale activity to prospective Navy Exchange officers, officers in charge of commissary stores and branch store managers. To supplement NSCS instructors, a variety of staff specialists from the Navy Resale Systems Office participated as guest lecturers. The third new short course, Uniform Automated Data Processing Systems-Stock Points (UADPS-SP), was a three-week course that provided for the first time training in the fundamentals of the Navy’s automated inventory management system used by ashore stock points.
 
As NSCS continued to train Supply Corps officers into the 1980s, the BQC remained the primary curriculum for instruction at Athens. A variety of advanced skill progression and refresher training courses were taught, as well as a 15-week qualification course for Marine aviation supply officers. To support these courses the academic department operated an instructional television center, duplicating center, graphics studio, publication issue center, photographic laboratory, and a word processing branch. As more courses adopted the use of computers and electronic devices to enhance training, this had a direct effect on the manning at NSCS as the school entered its third decade in Athens. Manpower levels decreased considerably in the enlisted ranks from those required in the late 1960s. The 1981 command history recorded the manning as 47 staff officers, 34 staff enlisted, 86 appropriated and non-appropriated funds civilians.
 
Two significant events happened at NSCS Athens in the early 1980s.
 
First, to be recognized officially as operating at the level of similar higher educational institutions, NSCS applied for accreditation through the Commission on Occupational Education Institutions of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Following an extensive self-study and an evaluation by a visiting team of educators, the school was accepted as having met the standards required for accreditation. The award for accreditation was for five years with reaffirmation at the end of each period. Achieving accredited status signified that the school met the highest of educational standards in all aspects of school operation.
 
Second, the adaptation of the BQC to meet the needs of newly commissioned Navy Reserve Supply Corps officers was completed. Attending the first on-campus phase during the summer of 1981 were 29 Reserve officers. The format of the BQC(R) program combined two-week periods of on-campus instruction with interim periods of self-paced study. Proctored examinations during the self-paced portions were taken at the officers’ Reserve centers. Following the initial trial period of starting the qualification process self-paced, the program was changed to include three periods of active duty for training at NSCS instead of two. The first BQC-NR graduating class had 7 officers in 1982.

In the late 1980s changes were made to the BQC and the short courses. A new one-week Leadership and Management Education and Training (LMET) course was implemented into the BQC to prepare supply ensigns for their initial tour as a division officer. The two-week Career Supply Management (CSM) course was being looked at for after a drop in enrollment levels due to a 58 percent force wide reduction in Supply Corps officers during 1987 following the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986.
 
The 1990s saw continued improvement toward academics at NSCS, with ongoing routine course updates, reviews and curriculum maintenance actions across the board. The BQC discipline of food service incorporated the food service management (FSM) automated training into the course, including the FSM records keeping system practice set. This was also added to the training for the Supply Officers Department Head Course (SODHC) and Senior SODHC course. Retail operations improved the retail operations management (ROM) computer training that was adopted into the BQC during the latter part of the 1980s. The ROM system was included to provide more hands- on training for those who might serve as the sales officer afloat. Disbursing implemented new topics and role-play scenarios into the mock-up for relevant familiarization with the ATM and payday procedures. The supply management (SM) portion of BQC saw an increase from 20 to 30 hours in hands-on with the SNAP II system. The addition led to an improved understanding and applicability of the system as a division officer afloat. Also, as part of the SM curriculum improvement, hazardous materials/ hazardous waste, financial management, and depot level repairable control were included.
 
In 1995, NSCS Athens celebrated the 200th birthday of the Navy Supply Corps throughout the year, including a formal ball in February. During a five-day reunion of over 700 Supply Corps officers, retired Rear Adm. Jim Miller honored World War II veterans during a ceremony. The reunion also included a reenactment of the history of the Supply Corps. Throughout the world the Supply Corps community celebrated this milestone, with the most prominent being held on Feb. 23, 1995. On the bicentennial day, Rear Adm. Robert M. Moore, commander of Naval Supply Systems Command and Chief of Supply Corps, and Capt. Paul Ochenkowski, president of the Navy Supply Corps Association, were on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, which honored the Supply Corps at the “Big Board” with a message commemorating the NSCS bicentennial.
 
In 1995, training at NSCS continued at a steady pace in the number of hours instructed and the number of students attending courses. The academic department in Athens provided over 500,000 hours of training to over 2,300 students in 28 course areas. Two new courses were introduced at NSCS Athens. The Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Ships Assignment Orientation course was developed and implemented for newly qualified Supply Corps officer assigned duty aboard an MCM. The six-week course was taught during the assignment orientation phase of the BQC, providing an in-depth study of food receipt, financial accountability, contracting, and inventory management. The second was the two-week Introduction to Expeditionary Logistics (IEL) course, consisting of lectures and presentations by subject matter experts, including the course curriculum manager, on the joint planning process, the joint and naval logistics chain of command, and specific issues and concerns regarding the deployed environment. The course provided newly assigned supply officers and senior enlisted with the basic understanding of logistical challenges and daily operations in an expeditionary environment. The “issues and concerns” segment included discussions about ordnance, fuel, personnel and cargo management, expeditionary contracting, and host-nation support.

1996 saw the BQC divisions fall under a single division head, which improved the overall training effectiveness of the program. Along with this change in organization, each division conducted computer software upgrades and updates to curriculum materials. Disbursing management incorporated the use of ATMs into the course, along with installing a NCR System 3300 into the mock-up for hands-on training. Food service (FS) developed curriculum specifically for wardroom officers and private mess managers through food service management (FSM) computer workbooks. Retail operations management added lab time for students to inspect barbershop operations at the Navy Exchange Barbershop onboard NSCS Athens. Supply management updated the use of the SNAP system with hands-on experience with the software.
 
Later in the year, the department head course set up the Revised Alternate Dataflow (RAD) system package for configuration management which provided students with an interactive database for training. The topics covered:
  • SNAP II Supply Management (119 hours of instruction)
  • Leadership and Management (34 hours of instruction)
  • Food Service Management (30 hours of instruction)
  • Special Presentation - Guest Speakers (17 hours of instruction)
  • Hazardous Materials Management (16 hours of instruction)
  • Retail Operations Management (6 hours of instruction)
  • Disbursing Management (5 hours of instruction)
  • Administration (5 hours of instruction)
Total time allotted for instruction came to 232 hours. In addition, the leadership continuums section with 30 hours of instruction was implemented into the course, expanding it from six to seven weeks.
 
By the end of the 1990s the number of personnel assigned to NSCS Athens increased, returning to the manning levels of the late 1950’s. Assigned were 51 staff officers, 68 staff enlisted, 141 appropriated and non-appropriated civilians, and 16 contractors with an average student throughput of 250. NSCS provided over 550,000 hours of training to 5,020 students in 33 course areas. New developments in the BQC curriculum included a retail operations management (ROM) course practice set and training guide which gave a realistic approach to procedures in retail operations and a visual concept in the use of ROM software. Supply Management initiated SKED and SKEDPORT software awareness as an application to plan Material Maintenance Management (3M) checks afloat. A new method for delivering a course involved reformatting student guides into power-point slides. A quality course reference was produced maximizing training time and eliminating note-taking requirements. Also, curriculum updates could be done with more ease, and the preparation time needed by the instructor was reduced. Supply Corps heritage was curtailed as a part of the instruction to focus more on the technical aspect of logistics.

Other courses being taught at NSCS Athens included:
  • Supply Indoctrination for Line Officers (SILO)
  • Transportation Management Training Division
  • Transportation of Hazardous Materials Certification
  • Transportation of Hazardous Materials Recertification
  • Transportation of Hazardous Materials for Supervisors
  • Military Standard Transportation and Movement Procedures (MILSTAMP)
  • Warehouse Operations Management
  • Introduction to Transportation Management
  • Defense Transportation Logistics Management
  • Uniform Automated Data Processing Systems for Stock Points (UADPS-2)
  • Fleet Industrial Supply Center and Industrial Activity Management (FIAM)
  • Shipboard Uniform Automated Data Processing System-Real Time (SUADPS-RT)
  • Supply Middle Management Afloat Refresher Training (SMMART)/Large Afloat Division Officer Refresher Course
 
NSCS Athens ventured into the new millennium with a 27 percent increase in students trained per instructor through the use of new technology, which included the installation of four Advanced Automated Electronic Classrooms (A-AECs). This capability allowed for 5,125 students to be trained g over 275 convenes, totaling 659,072 hours of instruction in 2000. An introduction to One-touch Supply and Logistics toolbox was added to enhance the training experience in the BQC course. Two years after the training guides were updated using PowerPoint, the BQC labs and practice sets were converted into slide shows which tested knowledge of the materials through strategically placed quizzes.
 
In 2002, the BQC eliminated the Information Technology baseline course. The cross-training of instructors was implemented to level-load instructing requirements. The first cross-trained instructors were in food service and supply management. To enhance the food service curriculum, the “Food Show” provided students with an opportunity to sample various items available for order through government vendors from fried shrimp to juices and milk. Approved vendors who provided goods and services to shipboard and shore-based galleys attended the show to present popular and new items from their companies to their future customers. One of the most popular attractions during the event was the infamous “Chicken Show,” where a skilled chef showed how to debone a whole chicken.

The end of this era began when all hard copy publications were converted to soft copy. It was only a matter of time until these soft copy publications would be converted into electronic files, giving the students the capability of finding the information more quickly, eliminating countless man -hours spent on publication changes, issuing and receiving publications, and warehousing and inventorying publications.
 
During 2003, NSCS Athens saw a significant increase of over 1,000 students in the Reserve programs. The majority of students attending were immediately deploying with units supporting the conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The BQC-NR program graduated 34 officers as members of 53rd and 54th Companies . Since the implementation of the BQC-NR in 1981, over 800 Reserve Supply Corps officers completed the course and were deemed "ready for sea."
 
For the BQC, a major change occurred with the establishment of the “Officer Like Quality (OLQ)” oral boards. The oral examination provided a more thorough look at the student as a whole to make a more informed decision regarding the rating assignment of each student. The 20 to 30 minute board examined the student’s decision-making abilities when faced with real life, ethical and leadership dilemmas. In conjunction with the OLQ oral boards, the BQC added a rating assignment board. Following the OLQ boards, all instructors and chairpersons involved met to assign the students an appropriate OLQ rating: I (independent), PA (principal assistant), AA (accountable assistant), or NRFS (not ready for sea). The board reviewed each student’s academic progress, collateral duties and command involvement. Adding the student’s performance during the oral examinations, the board made a final determination of the OLQ rating assignment for consideration in follow-on orders to the fleet.
 
By 2004, the BQC placed an increased emphasis on the use of senior enlisted instructors in the more technical curriculums, such as retail operations and duty supply. Morning and afternoon classes were split up to assist instructors in accommodating exam grading, collateral duties, and the flexibility for use in other courses such as SODHC and SILO. Both supply and food service management were moved to the beginning of the course so it would be completed before orders reading. Leadership management incorporated Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) to provide additional instruction outside the classroom in the areas of joint operational logistics and joint professional education. The schoolhouse also added a new short course, the Logistic Toolbox (LOGTOOLS) instructed by the Defense Logistics Agency.
 
In September 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission selected NSCS Athens as one of the bases to permanently close its doors and be relocated to a new home in Newport, Rhode Island, by January 2011. After more than 50 years of instruction, graduating 22,455 Supply Corps officers, NSCS Athens held its final graduation on Oct. 29, 2010 with Ensign Tyler Zamudio of Class 10004 as the last Supply Corps officer to graduate. The Athens site was turned over to the University of Georgia (UGA) and is now the new UGA Health Sciences Campus.
 

On Jan. 24, 2011, NSCS officially opened adjacent to the Naval War College on Coasters Harbor Island in Newport, Rhode Island. Capt. James Davis transferred from Athens as the commanding officer. The new 58,000 square foot facility was named the Wheeler Center in honor of Vice Chief of Navy Material Kenneth Wheeler, the 31st chief of the Navy Supply Corps, who was held as a prisoner of war by the Japanese during World War II. The new facility has 11 state of the art classrooms, one large multipurpose room, a Navy Cash lab, and various shipboard mock-ups which include a galley, storerooms, ships store, barbershop, laundry room, and hazardous materials lab for training. As a tenant command aboard Naval Station Newport, the manning required for operating the new facility was reduced to 22 officers, four enlisted, and 18 civilians. As for the BQC, the four areas of supply management, food service, retail operations and disbursing remain the primary focus for the students. On average, the number of students who attended the schoolhouse between 2011 and 2016, ranged from 250 to 500, with the majority attending BQC. The new location in Rhode Island provided opportunities for collaboration with other tenant commands, such as the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center (NLEC), the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy (SEA) and the Naval War College (NWC). Prospective commanding officers and executive officers from NLEC regularly visited the mock-up facilities to learn about safety and sanitation requirements. BQC students enjoy the “Meet the Chief” perspective from SEA, where newly commissioned supply officers hold discussions on expectations of the Chiefs Mess and the wardroom with senior enlisted personnel from all ratings. Special lectures at NWC offer additional educational benefits to the students through ethics conferences and current event topics.
 
Along with the move from Athens, the Master Training Specialist (MTS) program was re-established to provide an enhanced platform by which NSCS instructors could improve their delivery and curriculum development. By 2015, NSCS Newport had awarded the MTS to 28 military and civilian instructors including other tenant commands enrolled in the program.
 
In 2011, the fleet familiarization trip continued to provide BQC students with the opportunity to tour operational units both ashore and afloat, thus introducing them to a professional and operational environment in which they soon will be serving. Visiting a fleet concentration area, such as Norfolk or San Diego, gives students an understanding of the various platforms in which they may serve and are able to discuss expectations of a newly assigned supply officer with senior supply officers, type command (TYCOM) personnel, and fleet inspection teams. Operational budget constraints over the years has scaled the fleet familiarization trip down to a “Fleet Day” program delivered by the instructors at the schoolhouse in Newport. During Fleet Day, BQC students receive briefs from supply officers who have served on various platforms in the fleet. Through PowerPoint presentations, the students have the opportunity to ask questions about life aboard different ships and specific duties a newly assigned supply officer may encounter while serving at the operational command. The operational units discussed during the one-day presentation includes submarines, destroyers, minesweepers, carriers, frigates, cruisers and expeditionary-type commands.
 
On June 6, 2014, Capt. Kristen Fabry became the first female Supply Corps officer to take command of NSCS.
 
Capt. Joseph “Doug” Noble became the commanding officer of NSCS on July 15, 2016.
 
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