BECOME AN ENLISTED ARMY LOGISTICIAN
That is an attention getting title for a story about Unit Supply Specialist, MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) 92Y. Even the goarmy.com web page BELOW for MOS 92Y sounds kind of mundane.
“CAREERS & JOBS
UNIT SUPPLY SPECIALIST (92Y)
The unit supply specialist is primarily responsible for supervising or performing tasks involving the general upkeep and maintenance of all Army supplies and equipment.
• Receive, inspect, inventory, load/unload, store, issue and deliver supplies and equipment
• Maintain automated supply system for accounting of organizational and installation supplies and equipment
• Issue and receive small arms. Secure and control weapons and ammunition in security areas
• Schedule and perform preventive and organizational maintenance on weapons
• Operate unit level computers
Those who want to serve must first take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a series of tests that helps you better understand your strengths and identify which Army jobs are best for you.
Job training for a unit supply specialist requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and eight weeks of Advanced Individual Training with on-the-job instructions. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field, including practice in handling and storing stock.
Some of the skills you’ll learn are:
• Procedures for shipping, receiving, storing and issuing stock
• Stock control and accounting procedures
• Procedures for handling medical and food supplies
• Movement, storage and maintenance of ammunition
• Interest in mathematics, bookkeeping, accounting, business administration and/or typing
• Ability to keep accurate records
• Enjoy physical work
• Interest in operating forklifts and other warehouse equipment
REQUIRED ASVAB SCORE(S)
Clerical (CL): 90″
The Clerical score is from the word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, arithmetic reasoning, and mathematics knowledge tests. English and math, and 90 is not a very high score, and eight weeks (actually eight weeks and two days, so count on nine weeks) AIT (Advanced Individual Training) is a short AIT. One might think that this would be an easy clerk job, counting wigits. Nothing could be further from reality.
My story titled “Supply” describes the AIT, and my story titled “Enlisted Quartermaster Corps” also talks about MOS 92Y.
This is one of the most important, sensitive, and demanding jobs in the Army. It may not sound like a brainy job, but it is. The AIT covers basic procedures, but a 92Y is a 92Y and can be assigned to an infantry company, or aviation, or signal, or chemical, or medical, or anything, anywhere from a basic training battalion at Fort Leonard Wood to a Special Forces company where ever they may be, to a Garrison company at Fort Meade, Maryland (Washington, DC). Learning to be a supply specialist just starts with AIT. Everything in the Army that doesn’t breath, flows through the supply system. Everything! Socks, boots, hand grenades, tanks, helicopters, rifles, bolts, nuts and bacon. It has to be stored, requested, issued, and returned. The volume and the value of all that “stuff” is mind boggling.
Property accountability is one of the most sensitive subjects in the Army. Funding the military is a big deal and whether the item is a 9 million dollar tank or a 6 million dollar helicopter or a $200 set of tools, it represents money. Every non expendable item “owned” by a company is recorded in that unit’s property book (now automated). Army Company Commanders are personally responsible for everything “owned” by that company. When company commanders change, a complete physical inventory of the items listed in the company property book is conducted jointly by the incoming and outgoing commanders. Everything is accounted for before the incoming commander signs for the company. The person in that company directly responsible for property accountability is the company Supply Sergeant, MOS 92Y, who normally has a private or specialist assistant.
Some senior commanders require that incoming commanders make a pre-inventory visit, with the supply sergeant, that the change of command inventory is not just officer business.
Before anyone gets anything from the company supply room, whether it be a tool or a vehicle, they sign for it, and that transaction is entered into the system in the company property book. The Supply Sergeant and his or her assistant requests what the company needs, receives it, and issues it. When the supply sergeant orders an item, he is spending money.
Unfortunately, handling valuable items sometimes becomes a temptation, but especially now with everything digitally stored, you can’t get away with it. There is a recent story of a former Chief Warrant Officer, Property Book Officer, now serving 25 months in prison for stealing fore than 40 high-tech night vision goggles, valued at over $500,000 from his unit, with plans to sell them to a local military surplus store. He had simply deleted the items from the Property Book, but with GCSS-Army they were still in the system.
In the past five years, the Army has gone from a multitude of supply procedures to the Global Combat Support System – Army (GCSS-Army). It is one program that allows everyone in the system to “see” everything, items and money, from factory to foxhole. To do that, the Army has gone to commercial SAP software. SAP is a huge and, can be, complicated system. There have been instances where large civilian companies, implementing SAP, have had to completely cease operations, during the implementation process, because they didn’t anticipate the time and learning curve necessary to implement SAP. The Army has accomplished this incrementally, over the past five years.
For someone who is looking at the Army as a possible career, this is one of the most fulfilling and respected support jobs. I’ll go through a probable career cycle of an enlisted 92Y soldier. Basic Combat Training is 10 weeks, but with reception and processing, that eats up three months. Basic training is physically hard, but according to most people going through now, it is also fun. That would probably be at Fort Leonard Missouri, or Fort Jackson, South Carolina. AIT at Fort Lee, Virginia will consume 9 weeks. If you take the airborne option, which I highly recommend, because airborne units are more elite and just better, you would go to jump school for three weeks at Fort Benning, Georgia. Then, after about six months since leaving home, you are assigned to a permanent unit. The lowest level to which a newly arriving 92Y is assigned is to a company. Using an airborne infantry unit as an example, the company Supply Sergeant is a staff sergeant with a specialist assistant. New privates are sometimes assigned to a company, where there is a vacancy, with a good Supply Sergeant. According to the official table of organization, the supply assistant is also the company armorer. That is followed in most support units, that don’t frequently use their weapons, but not in combat units, where there is always arms room activity. In most of those units, someone is pulled from the line to be the armorer, so the 92Y can stay in the supply room. That is not a complete desk job, supplies have to picked up, loaded, unloaded, stored, and issued.
Promotion to PFC E-3 (Private First Class) usually comes after a month or two at the permanent unit. The smart 92Y would first concentrate on learning the job, and performing at the best of his or her ability.
Base pay for a PFC, with less than two years service, is $2,042.70. A single soldier living in the barracks (dorm with own room), free meals in the Dining Facility, after all deductions, including (full SGLI Servicemans Group Life Insurance, and 5% Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), take home pay will be about $1,570 per month.
Other positions where the 92Y, may be assigned could be at Battalion Headquarters in the S-4 (Supply/Logistics) staff section. The Battalion S-4 section looks like this;
NCOIC (Non-commissioned Officer in Charge) Sergeant First Class 92Y
Assistant Supply Sergeant Sergeant 92Y
Supply Specialist Specialist 92Y
Supply Specialist Specialist 92Y
A new 92Y could also be assigned to the Brigade Headquarters, S-4 Section, which looks like this;
Assistant S-4 Captain
Property Book Officer CW2 (Chief Warrant Officer)
NCOIC Master Sergeant 92Y
Supply Sergeant Staff Sergeant 92Y
Property Book NCO Sergeant 92Y
Supply Specialist Private First Class 92Y
Supply Specialist Private First Class 92Y
A new private could be assigned to the Brigade Headquarters, and after proving himself or herself to be smart, dedicated, and hard working, be assigned to a company, around the time they would make specialist, which would be about 18 months in the Army. I would definitely try to get the company experience, because that is the end of the supply chain, where supplies are consumed. That is also where everyone wants to be friends with the supply clerk, because you have what they need.
When someone makes Specialist, and they like the Army and are thinking that they might stay, they will start looking at the requirements for promotion to Sergeant. Civilian education is a big deal, in the Army. If they don’t have a bachelor’s degree, they should start aiming for one. Soldiers can “test out”, for free, on 38 different subjects, at the post Education Centers. Just like civilian CLEP (College Level Examination Program). Many online colleges are now offering accelerated bachelor’s programs. Many get through in three years, I did find a few, who claimed they did it in two years. Depends on how much time you can put into it. There are three big items considered in promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant, weapons qualification score, ACFT (Army Combat Fitness Test) score, and civilian education. Attendance at an on-post, four week, Basic Leadership Course (BLC) is required, prior to being promoted to Sergeant E-5. Promotion to Sergeant E-5 is currently running at three years and under, for 92Y’s.
Sergeants must return to Fort Lee for an eight week Advanced Leaders Course (ALC), before being considered for promotion to Staff Sergeant E-6. A Sergeant, over three years, married, living with his or her family in family housing on post, which includes utilities and maintenance, will bring home about $2,470 per month, after deductions. (That’s with the free house).
The soldier may desire to become an officer. The requirements to apply for OCS (Officer Candidate School) are, have a bachelor’s degree (any degree), and not have over six years of service. Three months in OCS and they are commissioned a second lieutenant. That Second Lieutenant’s base pay is $4,136.40 per month.
Another career move, which many make, is to Warrant Officer. The requirements are be a staff sergeant or a sergeant on the staff sergeant promotion list, and worked as a 92Y at least five years of the past eight.
If accepted, they attend a five week Warrant Officer Candidate Course, then an eight week Warrant Officer Basic Course.
Promotion to Staff Sergeant could be anywhere between five and eight years, depends on how hard they work, on things like civilian education, and other schools. Most Company Supply Sergeants are Staff Sergeants, although Sergeants occasionally fill those positions. A Staff Sergeant, with over eight years of service, married, living off post (bought a house with no down payment VA loan), after all deductions, has take home pay of about $4,150 per month (remember free health care). A Warrant Officer makes about $1,000 a month more than a Staff Sergeant.
Staff Sergeants must go back to Fort Lee to attend the 10 week Seniors Leaders Course, before being considered for promotion to Sergeant First Class (SFC) E-7. Promotion to SFC can come anywhere between eight and 10 to 12 years, depending on the individual. The higher the rank, the more important is civilian education.
SFC’s must attend a two week Master Leader Course, before being considered for promotion to Master Sergeant E-8. 92Y E-8’s may be assigned to staff jobs or as First Sergeants of Quartermaster Companies. Promotion to E-8, if it comes, will happen between 15 and 18 years, depending on the individual.
Master/First Sergeants selected for promotion to Sergeant Major E-9, will first attend the 10 month long US Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas. Promotion to Sergeant Major, again – if it comes, will be around the 20 to 22 year mark. Sergeant Major 92Y’s head the G-4 sections in division level (two star command) and above.
A Master Sergeant, retiring after 27 years of service, starts drawing $3,500 a month retirement. A Sergeant Major, retiring after 30 years of service, will start drawing $4,600 per month in retirement. Both should have hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Thrift Savings Plan.
I said Logistician, by the time a 92Y soldier becomes a master sergeant he or she will be a logistician. This is not always an eight hour a day job, especially when units are deploying. In 2012, Sergeant First Class Gidget Borst was assigned as a battalion S-4 (supply) Sergeant at Fort Bliss, Texas. Upon arrival at her unit, she found things not in good order and a supply inspection on the horizon. She had to put some evening and weekend work to bring the battalion supply program back up to par, and then established herself as a key member of the battalion.
SFC Borst’s Battalion Commander said; “We heavily rely on her efforts to forecast the needs of not only our battalion, but also to meet the needs of the elements that are deploying into harm’s way.” She really is now a logistician.