BAUMHOLDER, Germany —
The Armed Forces would be nothing without its personnel. Soldiers make the Army what it is, but what would a Soldier be without their equipment?
Supply sergeants from 16th Sustainment Brigade, or Knights’ Brigade, and 18th Military Police Brigade attended the first ever Supply Academy at the Digital Learning Facility. The weeklong course hosted by the Knight’s Brigade Property Book Office took place February 25 to March 1 and gave the attendants an opportunity to expand their knowledge of the supply world.
“The purpose of this training [was] to improve units’ ability to support their commanders’ intent by maximizing logistical workflow and communication,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Craige Sears, Knights’ Brigade Property Book Officer.
Sears worked as both the lead planner and instructor for the Supply Academy. The course presented an overview of the fundamentals of supply operations for the 50 officers, non-commissioned officers, and junior enlisted Soldiers in attendance. The curriculum gave the attendants an opportunity to experience hands on training to improve their understanding of a supply sergeants role and responsibility, while also highlighting the importance of building relations with other supply sergeants within the brigade.
“I attended the course to perfect my craft as a unit supply specialist, become knowledgeable as supply sergeant, and network with other [supply specialists],” said Staff Sgt. James Harris III, Supply Sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 16th Special Troops Battalion. Harris attended the course as a student, but also led a lesson on how to operate logistic automation systems. Harris believed his class was beneficial to all the supply specialists of the Knights’ Brigade because it showed how to operate specific supply systems that are used on a frequent basis.
The lessons discussing property accountability operations and the Command Supply Discipline Program (CSDP) gave better insight on how to complete necessary tasks without issues. Within a week’s time the Supply Academy covered a number of topics from Unit Status Reporting (USR), the Army Record Information Management System (ARIMS), Global Combat Support System (GCSS), and Financial Liability Investigation of Property Loss (FLIPL). These systems play a major role in mission readiness, ensuring that unit’s have the equipment they need, and finances are being used properly. Some of those in attendance were not actual unit supply specialists and had little experience acting as supply sergeants.
“I learned different methods on how to navigate through GCSS-Army and the importance of equipment readiness,” said Spc. Isabel Adame, unit supply specialist of the United States Activity Army Correctional-Europe. “I strongly believe that the class was very useful. I gained a lot of information that I didn’t have.” On the final day of the course Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Graham, senior enlisted advisor of the Knights’ Brigade, addressed the Supply Academy attendants. He assured them that their role and responsibilities within the brigade were a vital component of the unit’s success. “Two of the most important [roles] in the brigade are supply and maintenance,” said Graham.
He went on to tell the Soldiers about his time as a Soldier in the maintenance field and how important it was to uphold good relations with supply Soldiers. Without resources, and the upkeep of those resources, units would be unable to complete their missions and Graham made it clear he sees the value in what supply sergeants do.
“Supply sergeants have a vital role in supporting and meeting the Chief of Staff, Army, Gen. Milley’s, initiative on building and sustaining readiness,” said Sears. “Property accountability is what we do, it’s our job. However, we can’t lose sight of the personnel behind the equipment as we are in a people business organization and we must always remember that.”