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News | Aug. 10, 2016

Supply Corps Officers hold annual Professional Development Syposium

By Petty Officer 1st Class Arnulfo Obando, Jr.

The Mid-Atlantic Norfolk Region (RCC MA-NRK) Professional Development (PRODEV) Symposium took place August 6-7 at Defense Logistics Agency Headquarters, Fort Belvoir, Va., with more than 100 Navy Supply Corps (SC) officers in attendance. 

Hosted and sponsored by Navy Rear Adm. "Allie" Coetzee, Chief of Staff Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics, the weekend event was to help familiarize and equip Junior Officers with career and leadership tools required to provide continued logistic support to the Navy and joint warfighter. 

"The purpose is to provide meaningful training at the junior officer level to assist with career development and management, guidance on SC career paths known as "swim lanes", receive small group mentorship from senior officers, and provide an overview related to the in-assignment processing status, the new Reserve Component retirement system, and the management of enlisted personnel," said Navy Capt. Jackie McClelland, RCC MA-NRK Senior Reserve Leader.

Vice Adm. Robin Braun, Chief of Navy Reserve, was the keynote speaker during Saturday's afternoon session. She stressed the importance of the Supply Corps to the overall Navy mission. 

There was also an opportunity where junior officers could ask questions of the SC flag leadership. The panel was comprised of Rear Adm. Ron MacLaren, Director, Joint Reserve Force, Rear Adm. "Allie" Coetzee, Rear Adm. "Chip" Chase Jr., Reserve Director, Logistics Programs and Business Operations, Office of Chief of Naval Operations, and Rear Adm. (Select) Alan Reyes, Deputy Chief of Staff, Reserve Operations, NAVSUP Global Logistics Support. 

"It is unprecedented to have that much experience in the room available to Junior Officers. It's a testament to how much they care," said Lt. Cmdr. Walter Blackwell, Training and Readiness Officer, DLA Joint Reserve Force. 

Junior Officers are considered those in the ranks between Ensign and Lieutenant Commander. Through this event, they had the opportunity to receive mentorship from senior officers as career guidance. "It was also an opportunity to enhance networking and bolster camaraderie among the Region's SC officers," said McClelland.

All ranks of officers were in attendance and were able to network and exchange strategies and leadership styles they will be able to apply in their careers. 

"I feel more engrained in the Supply Corps community and received more mentorship and direct feedback about my career aspirations," said Lt. Lafeyel Marshall, one of the officers in attendance. 

Others stated they were impressed by the senior officer level of support as well as the quality of topics and briefs, especially the senior enlisted leader point of view, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Judge Advocate General, and career milestones. 

"It was a complete success!" said McClelland. There are currently 44 Navy reserve officers assigned to DLA of which four are currently deployed in support of DLA operations in CENTCOM Area of Responsibility.