Supply chain management jobs that power America’s Navy Purchasing, Supply & Logistics

Making sure a fleet of aircraft has the fuel it needs. Keeping stock of .50 caliber rounds. Getting vaccines to a mobile clinic operating in a third-world nation.

Imagine being in a position where the success and safety of a mission depend on you. For an organization charged with protecting the nation and helping the world, it’s critical that the supplies, materials and equipment they need are ready at a moment’s notice. That, in essence, is the mission of the men and women of the Purchasing & Supply community with America’s Navy.

Job Description

America’s Navy is a mobile military force consisting of ships, submarines, aircraft and equipment – all continually on the move. To keep the Fleet ready and able to travel the world safely and efficiently, your strategic planning and strong organizational skills are essential. If you have exceptional math and organizational skills, you can put them to work tracking and ordering the materials and equipment needed to help each mission run successfully and safely. Mission-critical materials and equipment depend on you as you carry out the movement of Sailors, equipment, supplies, and machinery.

Officer positions in the Supply Corps are available to college graduates, and Enlisted positions in Purchasing & Supply are available to those without a degree.

Specific Responsibilities

As a Supply Corps Officer, you are a business manager. You perform executive-level duties in inventory control, financial management, physical distribution systems, petroleum management, personnel transportation, and other related areas. You might:

  • Analyze the demand for supplies and forecast future needs
  • Manage the inspection, shipping, handling, and packaging of supplies and equipment
  • Direct personnel who receive inventory and issue supplies and equipment
  • Evaluate bids and proposals submitted by potential suppliers
  • Study ways to use space and distribute supplies efficiently
  • Determine the fastest, most economic way to transport cargo or personnel
  • Oversee the handling of special items, such as medicine and explosives

Enlisted Sailors in the Purchasing & Supply field may:

  • Keep fiscal records of a facility
  • Order, store, check and issue Naval aircraft and aeronautical equipment and accessories, including flight gear
  • Prepare inventory reports and correspondence
  • Keep official publications up-to-date
  • Maintain financial logs and records
  • Operate computer systems that provide logistic support information for submarine supplies and accounting functions
  • Organize and operate Navy post offices, ashore and afloat

Work Environment

As an Officer, your office may be the deck of an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea or the flight line of an air cargo terminal in Japan.

“After I graduated from high school, I went to the United States Naval Academy, where I graduated in 1997. A family member in the Army influenced my interest in the military,” relates LTJG Lagena Kerri Gray, Supply Corps Officer from Herndon Virginia. “But what attracted me to the Navy was the chance to travel and the types of jobs that were offered. One thing I really love about the Navy is the opportunity to try out different jobs. You can rotate jobs to decide which one suits you best. I also got a broad business perspective as a Navy business manager. The responsibility isn’t overwhelming to me but it’s definitely a challenge. In the civilian sector, I would not have been given this much financial responsibility, especially at such a young age.”

As an Enlisted Sailor, you might find yourself inspecting and organizing a destroyer’s postal center or ship’s store to maximize productivity and the delivery of letters or supplies. Or you could evaluate different bids and proposals for flight equipment to outfit your squadron’s pilots and aircrew personnel.

Whether your skills and training lie within the accounting, postal, or retail management areas, the knowledge and experiences you’ll receive in the Navy Purchasing & Supply field will last a lifetime.

Training and Advancement

To become a Supply Corps Officer, you will first attend Officer Candidate School (OCS), a 12-week Navy orientation school in Newport, Rhode Island. Upon completion you'll move on to Navy Supply School in Newport, Rhode Island, for a 27-week Basic Qualification Course. This course emphasizes problem solving in real shipboard situations and provides training in inventory management, food and retail operations, leadership, and management. Prospective Officers may also receive specialized training in transportation management, freight classifications, methods of working with civilian and other service carriers, and special handling of medicine and explosives.

Enlisted Sailors receive on-the-job training and formal Navy schooling, during which you might learn postal procedures needed to run the post office on a ship or submarine or at a land-based facility. Or you may learn the accounting principles needed to maintain a multimillion-dollar government budget.

During later stages of career development, advanced technical and operational training is also available.

Education Opportunities

Much of the training you’ll receive in the Purchasing & Supply field can be counted toward credit hours for a bachelor’s or associate degree. You might also have the opportunity for continued education through various college programs and/or tuition assistance.

After the Navy

“Coming out of high school, I would have never imagined that I would have a choice of so many different career paths,” says Sheila Spann, Petty Officer 2nd Class of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. “And now, because of my training and daily operations as a Storekeeper in the Navy, I’m qualified for not one, but a number of jobs in the business world.”

Officers acquire skills essential to businesses and industries in every sector and emerge prepared for management positions in hospitals, schools, government agencies, airlines, shipping firms and any number of other private sector positions.

Enlisted Sailors receive training that may prepare them for a future career as a(n):

  • Stock control supervisor
  • Cargo agent
  • Budget accountant
  • Retail store manager
  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounting clerk
  • Purchasing agent
  • Stock/shipping clerk
  • Postal clerk

Consider Your Service Options.

There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America's Navy. Besides full-time opportunities in Active Duty, part-time Reserve positions are also available in this career area.