Today, I want to take a few minutes and educate you about the different Army Classes of Supply. I’ll share a simple cheat sheet you can use as a reference to answer your questions and keep you on point.
Regardless of your rank, duty position, or MOS, you should have a basic understanding of supply and the different classes of supply in the Army. All Soldiers use supplies on a daily basis and should know the basic categories of supply.
Army Classes of Supply: Cheat Sheet
In the Army, there are 10 classes of supply. They are explained in more detail below. I’ll also provide an interesting statistic or quote after each category of supply.
Class I – Food, Rations, and Water
This includes MREs, UGR rations, pre-packaged meals, snacks, and water. Basically, it’s anything you eat.
Over the years, MRE menus have undergone changes. In 1983, there were only 12 menu items and by 2014 it got raised to 24.
Class II – Clothing
This includes tools, tents, unclassified maps, clothing, individual equipment, tool kits, hand tools, maps, and administrative and housekeeping supplies.
In the 1820’s, American Soldiers wore ankle high boots. They did not have a left boot or right boot, and this way they could be worn on either foot. The reason for this was so soldiers didn’t get confused with what boot goes on which foot. This design was very uncomfortable until they were able to wear them in so it would fit their foot better.
Source: Vehicles for Veteran
Class III – Petroleum, Oils, and Lubricants
This includes petroleum, fuels, lubricants, hydraulic and insulating oils, grease, preservatives, liquids and gases, bulk chemical products, coolants, deicer and antifreeze compounds, coal, transmission fluid, etc.
During World War II, supporting one Soldier on the battlefield took one gallon of fuel per day. Today, we use over 22 gallons per day, per Soldier.
Source: U.S Army
Class IV – Fortification and Barrier Materials
Class IV includes construction and barrier materials such as barbed wired, lumber, nails, plywood, metal fence posts, sand bags, steel culverts, etc.
Bonneville Dam, Panama Canal, Washington Monument and Pentagon are just few of the most amazing landmarks and projects the Army Corps of Engineers have done.
Class V – Ammunition
Class V includes ammunition of all types, such as hand grenades, rockets, bullets, bombs, explosives, mines, fuzes, detonators, pyrotechnics, missiles, rockets, propellants, etc.
In fiscal year 2015, DOD spent about $118 million to demilitarize and dispose of conventional ammunition.
Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office
Class VI – Personal Items
This includes personal demand items such as mouthwash, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, wet wipes, toilet paper, snack food, writing paper, cigarettes, snacks, batteries, cameras, alcohol. These are typically things you would find at the local PX.
The Burger King at Baghdad’s airport opened in June 2003 and began making 5,000 meat patties a day. In 56 days, the restaurant topped $1 million in sales.
Class VII – Major End Items
This includes major end items such as the HMMWV, tanks, artillery guns, 5-ton trucks, the MLRS, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, etc.
The U.S. made a staggering 90,000 tanks from 1939 to 1945.
Source: Popular Mechanics
Class VIII – Medical Supplies, Minimal Amounts
This includes medical materials such as bandages, IV’s, tubes, needles, swabs, etc. It also includes parts that are used to fix medical equipment. In addition, there is a class VIIIA and VIIIB which can include blood, plasma, etc.
In 2016, MHS served over 9.4 million beneficiaries with 3.2 million under Retired Family Members/Survivors.
Source: Military Health System
Class IX – Repair Parts
This includes parts used to maintain and repair vehicles and equipment. It can include engines, transmissions, oil filters, tires, bumpers, air filters, tracks for tanks, and even repair parts for weapons.
Corrosion remains the largest preventable cost to the U.S. military, a cost which exceeds $23.0 billion per year.
Source: ADS, Inc
Class X – Miscellaneous Supplies
This includes material to support nonmilitary programs such as agriculture and economic development (not included in Classes I through IX). Sometimes this is referred to as Civil Affairs.
U.S. assistance to Afghanistan often arrives in the form of cash, disbursed to local contractors through the Commander’s Emergency Response Program. But it also comes in the form of fertilizer spreaders, pesticide sprayers, shovels and rakes – and Midwestern common sense as Army farmers work to regrow Afghanistan.
Source: Wired, September 2009
Requisitioning Supplies in the Army
At the unit level, the Supply Sergeant handles supply. They store, issue, safeguard, and maintain supplies. This includes high end items and common, inexpensive items. When Soldiers, NCOs, or section leaders need supplies, they put in a formal or informal request with the Supply Sergeant (depending on the item). If the item is on hand via the Supply Sergeant, they issue the requested items. If the item is not on hand, it is requisitioned by the Supply Sergeant through their higher headquarters, normally through the Battalion S4 or Property Book Officer.
In conclusion, these are the 10 classes of supply in the Army, along with some examples. I encourage you to study this cheat sheet and familiarize yourself with each class of supply. I hope you found the information helpful.