When the Navy announced it was changing sailors’ utility uniforms in 2016, a planning team from the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Clothing and Textiles supply chain geared up a plan for sustainment.
“We worked ‘hand in glove,’ collaborating throughout the process to get the right requirements,” said Tom Zassick, a C&T recruit planning branch chief for accessories, heraldic and ecclesiastical items.
Zassick is one of 10 members of a planning team that earned the DLA Troop Support Team of the Year Award for 2017 for their efforts to introduce the Type III Navy Working Uniform. The team of planning experts worked together and with other offices throughout the supply chain, including contracting and technical teams, to meet the Navy’s accelerated roll-out timeline, Zassick said.
Initial planning started with an analysis of the number of uniforms the Navy used at recruit training centers compared to the future requirements, according to the award write-up. More than 400 clothing items were then transitioned to accommodate the plethora of sizes, for parkas, t-shirts, caps, trousers and blouses.
Getting the sizing range right is important so DLA meets its mission to provide recruits the right item the first time they go through an issue line at recruit training centers, Cheryl Reynolds, recruit planning division chief said.
“It’s really important from a planning perspective to analyze any requirement a service submits,” Reynolds said. “We’re the experts, and often times the services don’t think about things we know about based on experience with prior roll-outs of other uniforms.”
Materiel planners placed delivery orders to support the first wave of the roll-out to Navy Exchange Command in June 2017 and recruits at Naval Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois in October 2017. Over 8,000 recruits received the new uniform in 2017 and C&T provided approximately $16 million worth of Type III NWU uniforms by the end of the year, according to the award write-up.
The Type III NWU planning team conducted weekly internal meetings to make sure key targets were met leading up to the new recruits introduction phase, Reynolds said. These meetings allowed the team to share updates on individual daily operations, including tracking contract awards and RTC supply levels.
“All the responsible parties collaborated to bring a fully successful roll-out,” Zassick said.
C&T is also close to reaching its projected 2018 goal to provide $53 million worth of type III NWU items, providing about $50 million so far with two months left in the fiscal year, said Maryann Naimoli, recruit planning branch chief for field clothing. The full 24-month introduction cycle will complete in October 2019.
Type III Navy Working Uniform Planning Team Members
Odarka Charambura, demand planner
Brett Sever, materiel planner
Tim Darby, materiel planner
Randle LeSure, organizational clothing and individual equipment branch chief
Miguel Torres, organizational clothing and individual equipment branch chief
Cheryl Reynolds, recruit planning division chief
Marybeth Naimoli, recruit planning branch chief
Herminio Ferrer, materiel planner
Tom Zassick, recruit planning branch chief