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Life of Supply Officer

Sayre

Registered User
What's been stated so far is correct. Supply Corps officers are not eligible for command at sea. To be eligible you must be an officer of the line. The specifics of this are all outlined in the Navy Regs.

Staff Corps officers ashore may only take command within their respecitive designator.

For a good overview of the long term career path, take a look at "It's Your Career." This can be found in pdf form on the Supply Corps officer homepage on NKO.
 

maxnharry

New Member
I am a Supply Corps Commander who attrited out of VT-86 in 1992. While I certainly miss flying, SC has worked out pretty well for me. I have had three sea tours, four shore tours, a fully funded graduate education and now run two multi-billion dollar acquisition programs. As I contemplate the end of my time with the Navy in the next 5 years, I think I may be in better shape for follow-on employment had I stayed with aviation.

The biggest difference is in the O-2 to O-4 years. Once you get to O-5, jobs for aviators start to look an awful like Supply Corps jobs.
 

ASHWND

(BDCP) Supply Corps OC
I believe that as a supply corps officer you are not able to command combat troops. But you can still be a commanding officer within the supply corps community (this was mentioned before). So I know that if there are no unrestricted line officers around, but an enlisted sailor (chief of course) in the Surface Warfare community will assume command. But there would never be a NA or SWO that would be a CO of a Supply unit, they wouldn't know what to do. CO's of Ships are like the CEO, the Supply Officers are like the CFO or Executive Vice-presidents. The CEO can not function without his VP's and CFO.
 

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
None
Contributor
So I know that if there are no unrestricted line officers around, but an enlisted sailor (chief of course) in the Surface Warfare community will assume command.
While a URL Ensign will take command before a SC Capt, an officer is still and officer and any officer will take command before an enlisted Sailor.
 

maxnharry

New Member
I believe that as a supply corps officer you are not able to command combat troops. But you can still be a commanding officer within the supply corps community (this was mentioned before). So I know that if there are no unrestricted line officers around, but an enlisted sailor (chief of course) in the Surface Warfare community will assume command. But there would never be a NA or SWO that would be a CO of a Supply unit, they wouldn't know what to do. CO's of Ships are like the CEO, the Supply Officers are like the CFO or Executive Vice-presidents. The CEO can not function without his VP's and CFO.
You are correct - by law Staff Corps officers cannot command combat units. We can only command ashore supply units. If command is important to you, then you shouldn't go Supply.

That said who is in charge in an emergency, it would not be an enlisted sailor in command over even someone as lowly as a Supply Corps Officer. It would come down to which officer was senior and seen as able to command.

As a LT, I was selected by the CO of an FFG (I was the ship's Supply Officer) to be his XO during the XO's absence of one month and as a LCDR, was CDO of LHD. In both cases, I would have left the bus driving to the if we had to get underway.
 

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
None
Contributor
That said who is in charge in an emergency, it would not be an enlisted sailor in command over even someone as lowly as a Supply Corps Officer. It would come down to which officer was senior and seen as able to command.
True, but if there was a URL officer onboard, he would be in command regardless of the rank of any staff officer onboard.
As a LT, I was selected by the CO of an FFG (I was the ship's Supply Officer) to be his XO during the XO's absence of one month and as a LCDR, was CDO of LHD. In both cases, I would have left the bus driving to the if we had to get underway.
If as acting XO or as CDO you made the decision to get underway, acting command of the vessel would immediately revert to the highest ranking URL officer onboard. Unless there were no URL officers onboard, it would not have been your choice to leave the driving to someone else. It would have been required by regs.

CDO is also normally designated as a CDO Inport or CDO Underway. I've never seen a CDO Underway that was not URL.

On TR we did have a SC CDR as CDO Inport while we were at anchor and I was the designated standby OOD Underway. When the QMs called both the CDO and me about us dragging the anchor, I immediately became the MHFIC and it became MY decision to get underway or go steam to the anchor (I did the latter). At that time, the CDO reported to me and I remained in charge until the senior URL officer onboard was located and assumed acting command (which was a required ship's log entry).
 

maxnharry

New Member
True, but if there was a URL officer onboard, he would be in command regardless of the rank of any staff officer onboard.
If as acting XO or as CDO you made the decision to get underway, acting command of the vessel would immediately revert to the highest ranking URL officer onboard. Unless there were no URL officers onboard, it would not have been your choice to leave the driving to someone else. It would have been required by regs.

CDO is also normally designated as a CDO Inport or CDO Underway. I've never seen a CDO Underway that was not URL.

On TR we did have a SC CDR as CDO Inport while we were at anchor and I was the designated standby OOD Underway. When the QMs called both the CDO and me about us dragging the anchor, I immediately became the MHFIC and it became MY decision to get underway or go steam to the anchor (I did the latter). At that time, the CDO reported to me and I remained in charge until the senior URL officer onboard was located and assumed acting command (which was a required ship's log entry).
Overall I agree with your comments and most importantly for the OP, if you are interested in command afloat, don't go Supply, you won't be in command and yes, regulations are clear that the senior URL officer will be in command.

As for CDO underway, that must be a CV thing, as I have only seen CDO inport who would then relinquish authority to the OOD (underway) once the ship was underway.
 

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
None
Contributor
When I was on the TR and my bro was on JFK, both carriers had CDO underway for the very rare occassion they needed to launch or land planes and the CO was unavailable to be on the bridge. On TR they were the ship's XO and the Navigator. They basically were super OODs with the added power of the green deck.
 

maxnharry

New Member
Long Term career wise Supply is not a bad way to go. The selection rates for O-4 and O-5 are very good. The bottleneck starts to hit at O-6. The highest ranking Supply Officer i've seen has been a 3 star. As for Command, you can only be the CO of certain shore installations or activities. I was on the OOD inport watchbill and some of the O-4's would stand CDO inport. We (the Supply Officers) didnt stand any watches underway, at least on the LINCOLN. I've heard this can be different on smaller ships due to manning, but on the CVN there were a large number of Line O's (SWO's, Pilot, NFO's, GA's etc) that needed the quals and bridge time.
Selection to O-6 is 50%. There are two places you could possibly be a 3 star. OPNAV N4 or DLA. N4 rotates between Navy communities and DLA the services.
 

JJH

New Member
Thank you all for your explanations. My OCS application is being reviewed this month for reconsideration so I'm playing the waiting game again.
 
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