Arlington native trains to become Navy supply officer

Ensign Juwan Burney is training to become a Navy supply officer. He said he learned a lot from a strong leader back home in Arlington. “My baseball coach in my hometown taught me toughness and a strong work ethic,” said Burney. Photo by Dusty Good.

NEWPORT, R.I. – Ensign Juwan Burney applied the lessons learned from back home in Arlington, Tenn.

“My baseball coach in my hometown taught me toughness and a strong work ethic,” said Burney.

Those lessons turned into an opportunity to learn leadership and the most innovative tactics of naval supply in the world at Navy Supply Corps School (NSCS), located in Newport, R.I.

“I was strongly influenced to become a supply officer by a long list of family friends and family members,” said Burney. “Being a supply officer will have plenty of rewards in the long run, and that was the main reason I wanted to do this.”

Burney is a 2018 Delta State University graduate.

Considered to be one of the Navy’s greatest assets, the supply officers must first train and be mentored at supply school.

Prior to any type of extraordinary achievement, the students must first pass a rigorous course structure in order to become a Navy supply officer.

The mission of supply school is to provide students with the personal and professional foundations for success. This mission lends itself to the vision of the school which is to ensure all supply corps officer graduates are prepared to provide global logistics support to Navy and joint warfare.

Once these service members finish training, they are deployed around the world putting their skill set to work.

“Our mantra here at NSCS is ‘Ready for Sea,’” said Capt. Nick Rapley, commanding officer, Navy Supply Corps School. “Our graduates leave this institution prepared to support the warfighter on land, at sea, in the air, and in the cyber realm. It is my honor to serve these men and women by providing them with the resources to learn their trade and perform in the fleet. Only a select few will have the privilege of serving as Navy supply corps officers. Logistics support is a critical part of mission success.”

There are many sacrifices and goals one must achieve to be selected as a supply officer and Burney is most proud that he made it through officer candidate school.

“Graduating from OCS was the hardest challenge I have ever had in front of me, and getting through it taught me a lot,” said Burney.

The future of naval warfare is rapidly changing, so the course and materials at supply school are constantly evolving to create the most dynamic, lethal, safe and professional war-fighting team for the Navy our nation needs.

“NSCS’ flagship curriculum, the Basic Qualification Course (BQC), is modeled to prepare new supply officers for their first operation tours in the fleet,” said Lt. Adam C. Johnson, public affairs officer for the school. “Other courses like the Supply Officer Department Head Course, Joint Aviation Supply Maintenance Material Management, and the Introduction to Expeditionary Logistics Course are designed to refine intermediate and advanced level skill sets of both officer and enlisted operators.”

Just as Americans go grocery shopping and conduct car and home repairs, supply officers in the Navy ensure sailors have the tools and equipment they need to deter any threat and maintain war-fighting readiness and threat deterrence in an era of great power competition.

Burney is continuing a family tradition of military service.

“My mom is a retired Navy logistics specialist, and my brother is currently an information systems technician in the Navy,” said Burney. “They have helped me with the process of joining, which was always a top priority of mine. I hope to pass on the legacy to my children as well, if I am fortunate enough to have children in the future.”

As Burney and other officers continue to train, they take pride in what it means to serve their country in the United States Navy.

“It means a lot to serve in the Navy,” said Burney. “I’m proud to be a part of the world’s greatest Navy. I look forward to traveling the world and learning about different cultures. I don’t ever want to take our life here in America for granted.”

ALVIN PLEXICO is with the Navy Office of Community Outreach.