Houston native trains to become future Navy supply officer

November 11, 2018

NEWPORT, R.I. — Ensign Donnelle Simmons applied the lessons learned from Houston to help in developing the skills to become a naval supply officer.

“My entire state is big on respect, so this is definitely something that I have taken with me and continue to teach others,” said Simmons.

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, Rhode Island.

“I became a supply officer because I wanted to be a part of the solution to help with financials within the U.S. Navy,” said Simmons. “In addition to that, I enjoy the aspect of managing a business.”

Simmons is a 2017 Devry 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. Simmons is most proud of his service as an enlisted sailor for 10 years as an information systems technician.

“During my time in the Navy I’ve had many accomplishments, but I would probably say completing my degree while on active duty and earning my commission is the biggest so far,” said Simmons. “Earning my degree and a commission as a naval officer shows that my hard work has paid off, and it still feels unreal to live my dream.”

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.

Simmons is continuing a family tradition of military service.

“Most of my family has served in the military, and two were officers,” said Simmons. “I intend to provide the best life to my children and set the best example that I can for them.”

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

“Serving in the Navy means I’m contributing to something much more than myself,” said Simmons. “I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to lead sailors. This is a huge task with tremendous importance.”

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