The Army Supply Excellence Award: An Overview

The Army Supply Excellence Award came about in 1984, as a way to recognize supply in the same way that the Maintenance Excellence Award and Phillip A. Connelly Award (Subsistence) recognizes outstanding achievement. These awards are great because they inspire excellence in your unit’s daily operations. We all know that Soldiers love healthy competition, and these programs achieve that in a way that also inspires them to do better at their MOS in the process. What, in particular, is the Supply Excellence Award and what does it achieve?

First, and best, in my opinion, the SEA goes hand in hand with the Command Supply Discipline Program! And that is something to be commended. I bet commanders would be more apt to encourage entry for this award if they knew the side benefits, especially if the CSDP improving was one of them.

As a logistician, I have an appreciation for this award, just like the Connelly award and MEA. My unit competed in the Connelly award last year, and though they didn’t place, the experience improved their operations and made them appreciate their MOS even more. Seeing Soldiers being motivated is the most rewarding thing.

Straight from the US Army Quartermaster website, the criteria and methodology for evaluation are as follows:

“The primary criteria for evaluation are demonstrated success in supervisory and managerial responsibilities in compliance with the Army standard supply policy and procedures, the Command Supply Discipline Program, and the Army management philosophy. Evaluation guidelines and scoring criteria within each level will be administered by USAQMS. The basis of the evaluation is the CSDP as detailed in AR 710-2 Appendix B and all units in any category will be evaluated against the Army CSDP standards. Units must attain a total composite score of 90% or better to meet the CSDP and SEA standard and to be an eligible award winner, runner-up, or honorable mention. Up to 10% of the total score is reserved for areas of special emphasis identified by the Army G–4 and/or the Quartermaster General, if applicable. If there are no areas of special emphasis, the evaluation criteria will be solely based on the standard Army CSDP areas. The USAQMS will determine applicable scoring for each evaluated area for each particular category. The scores attained by evaluated units will not be released or publicized. Recommendation for awards will be based solely on onsite evaluations.”

Chuck’s Input

I worked as the Company XO and Shop Officer for a Maintenance Company in the Maryland Army National Guard back in 2005.  I was the CSDP Monitor and I decided to submit our unit for the Army Supply of Excellence Award.  We easily won our region and received Honorable Mention at the National level.  While I was a bit disappointed for not winning the award for our unit, the process itself was fun, challenging and educational.  It definitely improved Supply Operations in our unit and also did something for morale.

My best advice for competing for the ASEA is to simply follow the regulations for it.  Everything is outlined in the CSDP book.  Update and review the book often to make sure you are following the policies and procedures.  Make sure you have a meticulous, detailed minded Supply Sergeant who cares, and loves their job.  The command team must make Supply a high priority, too. All equipment must be properly cared for and maintained.  Keep the Supply room neat and organized.  When the inspectors show up, be friendly and prepared!

Looking back, I wish we would have won the competition, but I take great pride in knowing that we did everything possible that we could do. Sometimes you win in life, sometimes you don’t!

Final Thoughts

In summary, the Army Supply of Excellence Award is an award for units with the best supply operations.  As a small unit leader, you should compete for the award.  It’s a great learning experience, a great way to reward your Supply personnel, and it’s also a wonderful way to improve morale in your unit.  If you’ve ever won the award, or competed for it, please share your input and secret tips by leaving a comment below.  Thanks.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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4 thoughts on “The Army Supply Excellence Award: An Overview”

  1. Good spirited and healthy competition is a great motivator. And though you didn’t win, having competed is a victory in a sense as well. It fosters team work and brings a unit closer together with a common goal in mind. It also gives you something to look forward to in following years. It gives you a chance to see other teams at work, get an inside look into their dynamic and use that as motivation to see where you can improve as well.

  2. Competitions such as this are great for morale. I commend you Chuck for having the faith in your team to enter them in this. We all must realize that the Army is not just about those who are shooting guns, mortars, or throwing hand grenades. The supply officers, the cooks, and all others that are not in the fighting are still very important to the whole system. Without them, the grunts wouldn’t survive.

    Great post. I hope other leaders will take the time to read this and realize there are many ways to build the morale of the soldiers within their units.

    Be sure and enter the next one Chuck, I have this gut feeling your team will win!

  3. Competing for any award is a great way to motivate your Soldiers, getting them into action. It seems to me that the Army Supply Excellence Award (SEA) is an outstanding program that inspires excellence and recognizes a unit’s hard work and efforts. Recognizing a Soldier’s achievements is important to keep productivity at an utmost high.

    In relation to corporate America, providing employees (or Soldiers in this case) with recognition to say “thank you” helps to encourage the actions that you expect to come from their input. The idea is to balance the input with the output of the individual’s work.

    I also feel that while recruiting efforts are going on, incorporating a pamphlet or presentation on awards and incentives that are given throughout service would be a great idea (if this is not already enforced).

    1. Good point. Many Soldiers don’t really know about this program, or all of the other competitions out there. It would really help if they did a better job publicizing each contest.

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