SC, USN...let me explain. Those are common initials behind my name when signing anything in the Navy. SC stands for Supply Corps and USN stands for United States Navy. Today, I finally earned those first couple of initials for good. (when you think "Supply Corps"...think logistics, financials, food, supply chain management....like the hub of a big wheel that makes the whole "machine" work) At 10am this morning, 28 of my fellow classmates and myself graduated from the Navy's Supply Corps School in Athens, GA. It was a fine Navy day...starting with brilliant sunshine, warm temperatures heading for the 70s, and a Navy base littered with fellow officers walking around in their dress uniforms. It was...it IS a good day.
Before we headed into graduation at 10am, my class met outside on the historic building's steps, Winnie Davis Hall for a class photo (see below...that's me...top row, center) then made our way inside. Along with our class of 29 (all reservists), another class that has been there full-time for the past 5 months on active duty were graduating alongside us. In classes past, the graduations were on different dates. However, with the Navy's big focus on "One Navy"...thus blurring the lines between active and reserve, we now graduate together. Years before my time, the Reserve didn't do as much as today. Today, we are called up to support the Navy like never before...not so much on ships like many think, but heavily in the Middle East in places like southern Africa, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Together, we are "One Navy" but the demographics between our Reserve class and the active duty class are a lot further. Many of them graduated college last year, went to Officer Candidate School, then reported to school. On the other hand, the majority of our class have graduate level degrees and are highly ingrained into successful careers. The education and our civilian careers most likely got us in the Reserve and many of us (like myself) previously served as an enlisted sailor which made me even more attractive to be a leader of junior sailors.
Icing on the cake today was the most senior Supply Officer in the Navy was our Key Note Speaker, RADM (Rear Admiral) Mike Lyden. Great words of inspiration and the handing of each graduation certificate to each one of us personally as we crossed the graduation stage. Afterwards, I met him and the Commanding Officer of the Navy Supply Corps School on the steps of Winnie Davis Hall for one last photo. It was great to have such high brass here for my graduation. (from left: RADM Lyden, me, CAPT Hayes)
There was certainly a great sense of pride and ownership in the Corps I now am officially a part of. The ceremony started with a commercial, courtesy of the US Navy's marketing department, which really got my blood flowing red, white, and blue. During the 1 minute commercial, memories are stirred from my many days out to sea on a cruiser and a few aircraft carriers and also has images of things I may do in the future. It represents well what the Navy is today for me and for you as an American citizen. My Navy. Your Navy. Our Navy.