The Army Property Book Officer: What They Do and Why You Should Know Them

The Property Book Officer (PBO) is no doubt one of the most important jobs in any organization. While they aren’t out doing the most exciting things, we officers know that property accountability is one of our biggest tasks! AR 710-2 is the PBO Bible and I would recommend that every officer familiarize themselves with it, or at least know how to access this, no matter what branch you are or what type of unit you are in. Supply and property accountability are an essential part of any unit. A PBO can be anywhere from the unit/organizational levels on up to the division level. They will have an NCO or two on their team and all of them work together to ensure seamless operations.

My first experience with a PBO was when I was a team chief for the Aviation PBO on ADOS orders during the summer of 2007. I didn’t really know what he did until I was brought on orders to work for him. He taught me how to use PBUSE, turn in equipment, interact with CIF, and a host of other things that I never thought I would have to do in the Army! In fact, it is because of him that I got my federal technician job, so I owe him a world of thanks. Not only did he manage the Aviation Property Book, he did a lot with the fiscal side of things – primarily with aviation fuel dollars. I know the State Army Aviation Officer (SAAO) relies on him for a lot, which is saying something. Our PBO was an NCO with a wide range of experience both in and out of the aircraft that ended up becoming a warrant officer.

This leads me to my next point about PBOs. Generally, they are all very experienced Supply Sergeants (92Y) that became Warrant Officers for a reason! If you have a question about the property book, equipment, property accountability, lateral transfers, turn-in of excess equipment, and other related topics; they are the subject matter expert that should be able to help you. They can be found at every level in your state, and it would be a good idea to get to know who they are and introduce yourself. My experience has been that they made it as a PBO for a reason, and even if it isn’t the most sexy job, they take pride in what they do.

How many of you have experience as a PBO? I would love to hear about it.

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5 thoughts on “The Army Property Book Officer: What They Do and Why You Should Know Them”

  1. Property Book Officer is an important job. Keeping up with inventory, making sure what goes out come back in. It’s a soldier’s responsibility to take care of their equipment and make sure that they return it when it’s time. It’s tedious, but necessary to insure soldiers have what they need when they need it.

  2. While I am not all that familiar with the Property Book manager, I do have to say that this has to be a very high rated position. When it comes to supplies in the armed forces, you want to be wise in every aspect. Your supplies can make or break you. Yes the job may not seem like a glory-filled one, but it does carry a lot of power and responsibility. It would do you good to get to know this officer well.

  3. As a small unit leader, you should really get to know the Property Book Officer. Take them out to lunch and ask them your questions. Work with the PBO and their NCO to learn what you can BEFORE you take command. Learn about PBUSE, turning in equipment, how to sign for and issue equipment and all of those other things. It will be time well spent.

  4. Understanding supply is CRITICAL for any Officer. Even as a PL you may be called from time to time to conduct the unit inventory. I have experienced myself many times where equipment was not physically on hand to be scanned or documented. Being able to access the PBUSE and other supply management tools allows you track where the items are (i.e. maintenance, shop, lateral transfer, etc.) Go into that without an understanding of the system, it will be a long day of inventory for you. If you are or plan on being an XO then you BETTER know this better than anyone else!

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