By :Alvin Plexico, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Photo by: Dusty Good
NEWPORT, R.I. – Ensign Kirsten Olson applied the lessons learned from Tall Timbers, Maryland, to help in developing the skills to become a naval supply officer.
“My hometown taught me the value of hard work and determination,” said Olson. “I continue to uphold those values everyday while serving in the Navy.”
Those lessons learned during Olson’s time growing up, 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, Rhode Island.
“The Supply Corps is one of the best communities the Navy has to offer,” said Olson. “They really take care of their own, and I am looking forward to gaining a new skill set and being the best I can in my job.”
Olson is a 2013 Shenandoah 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 Olson is most proud of her selection and completion of officer candidate school.
“Being selected to OCS showed me that with hard work and determination I can accomplish anything I set my mind to,” said Olson. “I went from a third class petty officer to an ensign in 12 weeks.”
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 warfighting 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 skillsets 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 warfighting readiness and threat deterrence in an era of great power competition.
Olson is continuing a tradition of military service for her family.
“My father is a retired Chief Warrant Officer who served 30 years in the Navy, and my brother is currently serving in the Army’s Special Forces,” said Olson. “It means the world to me to be a part of my family’s legacy in the armed forces. Proud is an understatement.”
As Olson and other officers continue to train, they take pride in what it means to serve their country in the United States Navy.
“There is nothing greater than having a significant part in keeping your loved ones and country safe,” said Olson. “I love what the Navy has done for me and what it continues to do for me.”