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All you want to know about being a "chop" (Ask your STuPId Supply questions here)

RUFiO181

Making Recruiting Great Again
Hey everyone,

I’m in the process of creating and submitted my package to apply for the Supply Corps. I think I have a pretty good shot, based on some of the statistics I’ve seen as well as some of the threads on this forum (3.7 undergrad in psych, 3.6 MBA, 58 OAR and appraisals from three O-6s). I’ve been lurking for a decent amount of time now trying to find as much info as I can about becoming a Supply Corps Officer, but I was left with a few questions to which I couldn’t seem to find answers. Any assistance with those answers would be greatly appreciated.

1. I saw someone ask about what would be the best ship career-wise for an initial OP tour out of OSCS. The answers seemed mixed, with some saying a carrier or LHD/LHA because of the comparatively large Supply Corps departments (more experience/mentorship and an O-5 or O-6 SuppO) and the ability to get two warfare qual. pins in one tour. Others said a sub or MCM ship because of the independent duty experience. I don’t mind either situation, but which do you all think would look better in the long run?

2. Which type of job would look best on the first OP tour? I’ve seen that most people are either sales, disbursing, or food service; are there more prestigious jobs than this out there, and if so, what are they? I don’t mind doing jobs like these, of course, but again, I want to go with what would be best career-wise (the current plan is to stay in for at least a full 20 years, assuming I make it in at all).

3. After the first OP tour, I’d like to go for an internship, and the ones that looked most interesting were in OPLOG-Planning, OPLOG-NSW, and Business Financial Management. Are any of these more enjoyable than the others? Do any have better career prospects? I was also looking into competing for a Flag Aide spot or trying to teach at NSCS, if it makes any difference.

4. For the second OP tour, I’m thinking it would be best to use what I’ve learned through the internship experience. How possible do you all think that would be given the internships in which I’m interested? Do you have a better suggestion of where to try for, either for a more enjoyable tour or a better career move?

Essentially I want to work my butt off to get as many qualifications and as much experience as I can to better my chances of at least making Commander. I’m probably greatly overthinking this right now, but all the career playbooks they put out say to plan at least three tours ahead, so I’m trying to loosely plan at least until PG School.

Thank you!
Why didn't you ask any of these questions during your three interviews? A big chunk of a professional interview is to field career-specific questions about the Supply Corps community.

I've seen some interviewers give not-so-favorable remarks on the interview sheet because the applicant didn't bother asking questions even though it was encouraged. They took the interview as if the applicant just wants to "boost" his chances of getting selected and not truly experience an opportunity to talk to someone in the community for 15-20+ years.
 
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NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
Hey everyone,

I’m in the process of creating and submitted my package to apply for the Supply Corps. I think I have a pretty good shot, based on some of the statistics I’ve seen as well as some of the threads on this forum (3.7 undergrad in psych, 3.6 MBA, 58 OAR and appraisals from three O-6s). I’ve been lurking for a decent amount of time now trying to find as much info as I can about becoming a Supply Corps Officer, but I was left with a few questions to which I couldn’t seem to find answers. Any assistance with those answers would be greatly appreciated.

1. I saw someone ask about what would be the best ship career-wise for an initial OP tour out of OSCS. The answers seemed mixed, with some saying a carrier or LHD/LHA because of the comparatively large Supply Corps departments (more experience/mentorship and an O-5 or O-6 SuppO) and the ability to get two warfare qual. pins in one tour. Others said a sub or MCM ship because of the independent duty experience. I don’t mind either situation, but which do you all think would look better in the long run?

2. Which type of job would look best on the first OP tour? I’ve seen that most people are either sales, disbursing, or food service; are there more prestigious jobs than this out there, and if so, what are they? I don’t mind doing jobs like these, of course, but again, I want to go with what would be best career-wise (the current plan is to stay in for at least a full 20 years, assuming I make it in at all).

3. After the first OP tour, I’d like to go for an internship, and the ones that looked most interesting were in OPLOG-Planning, OPLOG-NSW, and Business Financial Management. Are any of these more enjoyable than the others? Do any have better career prospects? I was also looking into competing for a Flag Aide spot or trying to teach at NSCS, if it makes any difference.

4. For the second OP tour, I’m thinking it would be best to use what I’ve learned through the internship experience. How possible do you all think that would be given the internships in which I’m interested? Do you have a better suggestion of where to try for, either for a more enjoyable tour or a better career move?

Essentially I want to work my butt off to get as many qualifications and as much experience as I can to better my chances of at least making Commander. I’m probably greatly overthinking this right now, but all the career playbooks they put out say to plan at least three tours ahead, so I’m trying to loosely plan at least until PG School.

Thank you!
Step 1: get selected, Supply is very competitive.
Step 2: everything else.........
 
Why didn't you ask any of these questions during your three interviews? A big chunk of a professional interview is to field career-specific questions about the Supply Corps community.

I've seen some interviewers give not-so-favorable remarks on the interview sheet because the applicant didn't bother asking questions even though it was encouraged. They took the interview as if the applicant just wants to "boost" his chances of getting selected and not truly experience an opportunity to talk to someone in the community for 15-20+ years.
I actually did ask a good few questions; these I came up with afterwards. We have a family friend who's an SC officer who I could certainly ask, but I figured gaining multiple perspectives from here would be valuable. In addition, I definitely would like to get more involved with the community on this site over time and viewed this as a good opportunity to join in.
 

RUFiO181

Making Recruiting Great Again
I actually did ask a good few questions; these I came up with afterwards. We have a family friend who's an SC officer who I could certainly ask, but I figured gaining multiple perspectives from here would be valuable. In addition, I definitely would like to get more involved with the community on this site over time and viewed this as a good opportunity to join in.
@NavyOffRec nailed it. Focus on getting selected and getting through OCS. Once you clear that and start Supply Corps School, you'll have a ton of briefings and info sessions about the various career paths Supply corps officers can pursue.
 
@NavyOffRec nailed it. Focus on getting selected and getting through OCS. Once you clear that and start Supply Corps School, you'll have a ton of briefings and info sessions about the various career paths Supply corps officers can pursue.
Got it. I appreciate the response (from both of you)! I wasn't aware of how much info they would give me regarding that, but I'm looking forward to it, assuming I get in.
 
1. I saw someone ask about what would be the best ship career-wise for an initial OP tour out of OSCS. The answers seemed mixed, with some saying a carrier or LHD/LHA because of the comparatively large Supply Corps departments (more experience/mentorship and an O-5 or O-6 SuppO) and the ability to get two warfare qual. pins in one tour. Others said a sub or MCM ship because of the independent duty experience. I don’t mind either situation, but which do you all think would look better in the long run?
There is no right answer, just depends on what you want out of your Naval experience. Submarines/MCMs allow you to meet your Department Head wicket for O4 boards. It is not a hard requirement but you will be less competitive if you are not on or have completed a DH tour by your O4 board(s). With less operational LHD/DDG/CGs for O3 SUPPO billets these days, those are not only competitive but not guaranteed. Getting it done early can be advantageous. That said, you are on your own on the boat on a sub/MCM and have to sometimes figure things out for yourself. Submarines can be difficult if you don't have a good personality for them. If you're going to get out of the Navy and don't care about O4, maybe do what interests you the most.

2. Which type of job would look best on the first OP tour? I’ve seen that most people are either sales, disbursing, or food service; are there more prestigious jobs than this out there, and if so, what are they? I don’t mind doing jobs like these, of course, but again, I want to go with what would be best career-wise (the current plan is to stay in for at least a full 20 years, assuming I make it in at all).
Submarines and, to some lesser extent, MCMs look very good for your first tour because you will absolutely get S-1 (Logistics) experience, which can be elusive on a DDG/CVN/CG/LHD/LHA/Expeditionary. That said the important point is that you get qualified on your first tour.

3. After the first OP tour, I’d like to go for an internship, and the ones that looked most interesting were in OPLOG-Planning, OPLOG-NSW, and Business Financial Management. Are any of these more enjoyable than the others? Do any have better career prospects? I was also looking into competing for a Flag Aide spot or trying to teach at NSCS, if it makes any difference.
Planning your career is important, and you seem to have done some research. Consider internships that will give you an AQD. Also consider what that AQD might do to a) open doors to AQD-required billets or b) limit options as now you have an AQD that might be in demand or niche and a detailer will shoehorn you that way. Any path you choose is going to have +/- aspects. Internships are competitively selected (+), can get you an AQD (+), but may not be competitive with FITREP rankings if you don't have multiple O3 SC Officers (-) and may not get you the right networking connections that being at a major FLC for your shore duty might (O6 boss, lots of O5/O6s in area to network with, etc).

The most important factor to your success is sustained superior performance. No one cares about your pedigree, just that you work hard and solve problems.

4. For the second OP tour, I’m thinking it would be best to use what I’ve learned through the internship experience. How possible do you all think that would be given the internships in which I’m interested? Do you have a better suggestion of where to try for, either for a more enjoyable tour or a better career move?
This is a little too far ahead at your current point, but your second OP tour is very reliant on what the rest of your career has achieved and what billets are open. Expeditionary has opened up in recent years from what once was a career detractor to being career enhancing all the same as that coveted CVN LT billet.

Essentially I want to work my butt off to get as many qualifications and as much experience as I can to better my chances of at least making Commander. I’m probably greatly overthinking this right now, but all the career playbooks they put out say to plan at least three tours ahead, so I’m trying to loosely plan at least until PG School.
Of all the SC Officers I've met, the guys/gals coming in saying "I'm going to make Commander/Captain/be an Admiral" are the ones most likely to leave after 4-5 years. Focus on one tour at a time of sustained superior performance. Plan your next 1-2 tours accordingly, but not much will save you from bad FITREPs.

Best of luck getting accepted.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
There is no right answer, just depends on what you want out of your Naval experience. Submarines/MCMs allow you to meet your Department Head wicket for O4 boards. It is not a hard requirement but you will be less competitive if you are not on or have completed a DH tour by your O4 board(s). With less operational LHD/DDG/CGs for O3 SUPPO billets these days, those are not only competitive but not guaranteed. Getting it done early can be advantageous. That said, you are on your own on the boat on a sub/MCM and have to sometimes figure things out for yourself. Submarines can be difficult if you don't have a good personality for them. If you're going to get out of the Navy and don't care about O4, maybe do what interests you the most.



Submarines and, to some lesser extent, MCMs look very good for your first tour because you will absolutely get S-1 (Logistics) experience, which can be elusive on a DDG/CVN/CG/LHD/LHA/Expeditionary. That said the important point is that you get qualified on your first tour.



Planning your career is important, and you seem to have done some research. Consider internships that will give you an AQD. Also consider what that AQD might do to a) open doors to AQD-required billets or b) limit options as now you have an AQD that might be in demand or niche and a detailer will shoehorn you that way. Any path you choose is going to have +/- aspects. Internships are competitively selected (+), can get you an AQD (+), but may not be competitive with FITREP rankings if you don't have multiple O3 SC Officers (-) and may not get you the right networking connections that being at a major FLC for your shore duty might (O6 boss, lots of O5/O6s in area to network with, etc).

The most important factor to your success is sustained superior performance. No one cares about your pedigree, just that you work hard and solve problems.



This is a little too far ahead at your current point, but your second OP tour is very reliant on what the rest of your career has achieved and what billets are open. Expeditionary has opened up in recent years from what once was a career detractor to being career enhancing all the same as that coveted CVN LT billet.



Of all the SC Officers I've met, the guys/gals coming in saying "I'm going to make Commander/Captain/be an Admiral" are the ones most likely to leave after 4-5 years. Focus on one tour at a time of sustained superior performance. Plan your next 1-2 tours accordingly, but not much will save you from bad FITREPs.

Best of luck getting accepted.
considering an MCM has only a handful of officers would an MCM even have a Supply officer?
 
wow, that is arduous duty.
I have a buddy on a MCM out in Sasebo right now. Honestly, I'm not too aware about what his day-to-day responsibilities look like. I have it "easy" in the submarine force with high priority status on nearly every requisition I send off the boat. As a low priority vessel, I don't know if his S-1 experience is largely "we'll get you the part sometime this decade" or something easier. Let's not pretend that all my pretty high pri's evade the fact that they didn't build spares for VA class submarines and I'm forced to cannibalize everything under the sun.

The generic response is that he is not fundamentally different than a Sub CHOP in that he will have S-1 and S-2 divisions, albeit smaller in size. They will likely be the XO's gopher for many random tasks. They will also deploy for no more than 21 days at a time and relentlessly tell me how arduous the deployment was comparative to my 6 month deployment, 1 month off, and immediately 2 month surge. I will pretend that we are somehow going to be equal after this tour. But he won't have dolphins and that's what matters.

/soapbox
 

RUFiO181

Making Recruiting Great Again
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