Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Air Supply

SSG Johnson
When I decided to come back into the Army the beginning of 2009, part of the process was sitting in the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) to select the Military Occupancy Skill (MOS), or job, I would be trained in and do once I, hopefully, passed the physical and other exams.

For some reason, people who are 'prior service' - those who have previously served in any of the Armed Forces - are offered fewer job selections than a 'first-timer'. Maybe the Army figures if someone is crazy enough to want to come back into the service, even after knowing what is like to be in the military, that person will take whatever job is offered.

Whatever the reason, when I sat down with the career counselor at the MEPS, I was offered about seven different MOS' of which only one or two were truly realistic. I mean, c'mon, an overweight 43-year old guy being a
19D Combat Cavalry Scout?  Not saying I couldn't have done it, but I probably would have needed a 68W by my side to keep me alive through the training.

Anyway, one of the MOS' offered to me was
92Y Unit Supply Specialist. Since my civilian background was heavily involved in logistics, I seriously considered being a Yankee (how the related MOS I did choose, 92A Automated Logistics Specialist , refers to 92Ys - everyone else just calls them Supply).  But in its own way, Supply can be just as challenging as any combat role.

Supply reports directly to the unit Commander and First Sergeant so they get plenty of face-time with the boss, which, as you know, can be good and/or bad.

Everything from paperclips to bullets, uniforms to MREs, desks to HUMVs, computers to weapons are requested, tracked and issued through Supply - the service Supply provides is like air, you don't realize how much you appreciate it until there isn't enough, or even worse, none.

Another thing about Supply is for all of the tremendous responsibilities they have and how critical they are to the success of a unit's mission, it is not uncommon at all for there to be only one Supply Noncommisioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) and maybe one or two Supply Clerks. It is no understatement to say Supply is one of the hardest working sections in a unit.

For instance, here in Bagram, our unit has one Supply Clerk and one Supply NCOIC; Staff Sergeant Johnson. SSG Johnson has been serving in the military since 1988 - 19 of those years Active duty - and has been deployed four times. Along with his one Supply Clerk - Specialist Johnson (no relation, as far as I know - and too shy for a picture) - SSG Johnson ensures our unit's personnel have a great air supply.


@ Operation Buckeye; Boy Scout Troop 428 in Powell, Ohio: Thank you for the great box of treats, sweets and toothpaste for teeth!  I kept the package of beef jerky for myself, gave the fruit gummis to someone in my platoon who loves them, and the rest of the box went to the Soldiers who spend all day outdoors on guard duty.  @ Connor S. of Operation Buckeye - a snail mail is on its way to you.

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