Army Supply Sergeants: 10 Tips to Succeed in the Job

In today’ post I want to talk about the duties, responsibilities and job description of the Army Supply Sergeant.  We will briefly cover what they are responsible for and I will also share some tips for success.

The basic duties of an Army Supply Sergeant include:

  • Responsible for the request, receipt, issue, and accountability of individual, organizational, installation, and expendable supplies and equipment
  • Assists in property accountability through the Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced (PBUSE) system
  • Ensure critical assets were on hand or ordered
  • Monitors all sensitive items and unit inventories
  • Initiates Financial Liability Investigations of Property Loss (FLIPL)
  • Has custodial responsibility of unit’s equipment
  • Supervises Unit Supply Clerk

If I had to sum it all up in one sentence, “the Supply Sergeant manages the unit’s property.”

Now that you know what a Supply Sergeant is responsible for, I want to share my top 10 success tips for Army Supply Sergeants.   This is designed for anyone in the job or about to take the job.

# 1 Get Organized

One of the first things you need to do is get organized.  You want the Supply Room neat and clean.  You want all of the equipment stored neatly, in a practical manner.  You want a place for everything.   You want the “flow” to make sense, so Soldiers can get what they need in a timely manner.  Once the Supply Room is organized, you want to be organized yourself.  You want priorities.  You want a daily “to do” list.

# 2 Get to Know the PBO and Battalion S4 NCO

The Property Book Officer and Battalion S4 Officer and NCO will be your mentors.  They will also be the folks who give you tasks and assignments.  You will work with them closely, probably on a daily basis.  You can and should learn a lot from these two folks.  As you get promoted and advance your career, you will probably move into one of these jobs yourself.  Pick these folk’s brains whenever possible.  Ask questions.  Learn from them.  And do what you can do build a good working relationship with them.

# 3 Watch the Training Calendar and Training Schedule

As the Supply Sergeant you need to watch the training calendar and training schedule.  You need to know about upcoming training and what equipment will be needed and when.  Work closely with the 1SG and XO to make sure any equipment that needs to be requested gets done.  If you do your job right, you can look at the entire training year in advance and forecast what supplies you will need to resource and coordinate.

# 4 Sub Hand Receipt ALL Property

Your goal is to sub-hand receipt all property.  You really don’t want any property on the commander’s hand receipt and you want as little as possible signed directly to you.  Although you have custodial responsibility of everything, sub-hand receipt everything down to Soldiers in the unit.  This makes life easier for you, it empowers your subordinates, and can potentially limit your liability if something comes up missing.

# 5 Stay on Top of Inventories

Inventories are a nature of the beast.  You need to know the inventory schedule and you need to make sure that people are appointed to do the inventories.  You want to educate the designated personnel on how to do inventories properly and you want to make sure the paperwork is processed and turned in on time.   Do what you can to keep your commander out of trouble.

 # 6 Monitor PMCS and Scheduled Services

Don’t forget to PMCS and do the scheduled services on the equipment in the supply room and vault.  You want to make sure the gas masks, weapons, night vision goggles and other equipment is done on time and turned in on time.  You will want to work with the Platoon Sergeants to make sure this gets done.  This is one area that often gets neglected.

# 7 Review the CSDP Binder Frequently

Your unit will have a CSDP Monitor who handles the Command Supply Discipline Program.   This is typically the Company XO.  You want to review the binder a couple times a month to make sure everything is up to date.  This is also a great place to find discrepancies in the unit and areas for improvement.

# 8 Create a Good Supply SOP

Your unit needs a good, practical and functional Supply SOP.  You need something that makes sense.  Make sure that you follow your SOP.  Make sure that your SOP accurately reflects the way you do business.  Review your SOP at least once a year to make sure it is still current.   There are plenty of templates online you can use to create a baseline document.

# 9 Don’t be a Bureaucrat

You might be surprised that I’ve included this tip on the list, but I have to include it.  Remember that your job is to serve your unit and the Soldiers in your unit.  Their job is not to serve you.  Don’t make life difficult for people in your unit.  By all means, follow the regulations, but work with people whenever possible.  Make sure they know your policies.

# 10 Teach Your Soldiers About Supply Procedures

This tip might come across as a bit weird, but a good Supply Sergeant will educate his or her peers, subordinates and superiors about Unit Supply.  They should go out of the way to make sure people understand about inventories, regulations, procedures, how to do hand receipts, how to turn in property, how to safeguard property and more.

Final Thoughts

In summary, the Army Supply Sergeant has a very important job.  A good Supply Sergeant really can make or break a unit.  If you are ever in this duty position, the key to succeed is to know your job, to take pride in what you do, to get organized and work hard.  By following my ten tips for success, you will be well on your way.

What are your thoughts?  What are your best tips for success for Army Supply Sergeants?  Leave a comment below to let us know what you think.

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6 thoughts on “Army Supply Sergeants: 10 Tips to Succeed in the Job”

  1. You make excellent points here. Though they are all important and vital to working efficiently and effectively, I am so glad you mentioned #9 – Don’t be a bureaucrat! So many people get it in their heads that they’re in a “power position” and make things difficult for everyone because they can. There is no “I” in TEAM.The Supply Sergeant is definitely important! They have to be on their toes and forward thinkers all the time. Having a good rapport and being in touch with platoon leaders and the Company XO is also vital for their cooperation!I am curious as to what types of discrepancies there could be and whose butt gets reamed if things go missing / not returned.

  2. I can totally comprehend where you state a Supply Sergeant can make or break a unit. If the supplies are mishandled or stock not kept at a proper management, the whole unit will suffer. I have stated it before, but I think I should reiterate, there are great statistical programs which can allow you to keep track of normal usage. It would help quite a bit in setting up ordering procedures.

    Great post Chuck.

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