What should you know about the Army Support Operations Officer? What do they do and what are they responsible for? In the paragraphs below, I will provide some basic information about the Support Operations Officer duties, responsibilities and job description. Let’s get started.
Within each maneuver brigade there is typically a Brigade Support Battalion or Forward Support Battalion that provides logistics to the brigade. Inside either of those two support units there is a Support Operations Officer. That person is responsible for coordinating and planning the direct support logistics between the maneuver elements in the brigade and the support battalion. In other words, when the brigade needs some type of logistical support (supply, maintenance, and medical), the request goes through the Support Operations Office.
The Support Operations Officer is normally an experienced Major. He or she typically has a staff consisting of some maintenance personnel (a Warrant, Captain and NCO), some supply personnel (fuels, supply, mortuary affairs) and medical personnel. Most Support Operations sections have somewhere between 10 to 20 Soldiers in them (at the brigade level).
Within the Support Battalion, the Battalion XO handles the internal logistics to support the battalion. However, the Support Operations Officer handles the external logistics and makes sure the Support Battalion supports the Brigade with the required medical, supply and maintenance support.
Here are a few of the duties and responsibilities of the Support Operations Officer:
- Plan, coordinate, and enable the external support provided by the battalion’s subordinate units
- Supervise personnel within the Support Operations Office
- Monitors the brigade’s operational readiness with equipment (026 Report)
- Handles all mortuary affairs issues
- Manage the SAMS-2 box and SARRS-2 STAMIS
- Provide directives to the Shop Officer concerning maintenance priorities
- Handle all logistical requests within the Brigade
- Provide logistical updates to the Senior Maneuver Commander and Support Battalion Commander
- Serves as LNO between Brigade Commander and Support Battalion Commander concerning logistics
Additionally, there is normally a Support Operations Officer at the Division Level. Within the Sustainment Brigade (formally DISCOM) there is also a Support Operations Officer. This SPO coordinates between the Division’s units and support units. They have pretty much the same functions as a Support Operations Officers in a maneuver brigade, just on a different scale.
If you’ve ever spent time as an Army Support Operations Officer, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment to this post to talk about your experience or share any insights that you can. Thanks.