If you are currently serving as a Company Commander, Company XO or Supply Sergeant, it’s imperative that you create and follow an effective, practical, and useful Army Unit Supply SOP. Chances are your unit already has a preexisting Unit Supply SOP. If your unit already has one, you should use that document as a starting point. If your unit doesn’t have a Army Unit Supply SOP, you should do a quick internet search to find a shell or template that you can utilize. That way, you don’t have to start from scratch.
Once you have your shell document, your next step is to give a copy to your Supply Sergeant and Supply Officer (usually your Company Executive Officer) to review. Have them validate all of the procedures in your current Supply SOP to ensure it accurately reflects how your unit currently conducts supply operations.
At a minimum, your Unit Supply SOP should have the following information:
Property Responsibility: This section covers the different types of property accountability. It also discusses liability and negligence, field losses, statement of charges, FLIPLs, types of property, hand receipt procedures, installation property and much more.
Duties & Responsibilities: This section of your Unit Supply SOP highlights the duties and responsibilities of the Company Commander, Supply Officer, Supply Sergeant, Supply Clerk, Armorer, Platoon Sergeants and the individual Soldier.
Supply Room Operations: In this portion of your Unit Supply SOP, you will focus on supply channels, the Command Supply Discipline Program, Supply Training Program, Hours of Operation, and In-processing and Out-processing procedures.
Obtaining Relief and Responsibilities: This section of your Supply SOP covers responsibilities, hand receipts, clothing records and turn in of supply and equipment, signature cards, hand receipt procedures, inventory procedures, and component accountability,
Maintenance and Storage of Equipment: This section covers the appearance, safety, security, storage, supply economy, clothing records, key control, safekeeping, and office supply procedures.
Requisitioning Policies and Procedures: Here you will focus on policies, authority to temporarily defer requisitions, requisitioning procedures, hazardous material, IMPAC credit cards and specific instructions for the various classes of supplies.
Turn-In / Lateral Transfer Procedures: This portion of the Unit Supply SOP covers turn-ins and lateral transfers, personal clothing, directed lateral transfers, receiving and turning-in Army pre-positioned stock, excess property book items, expendable/durable items and component turn-in.
Reporting: This section highlights the requirements for your document register, due in suspense file, due out reconciliation, budget reports, USR reporting, company shortage report, and supply requests.
In addition, you will also have sections to cover your PBUSE system, supply training, publications, files, and references. Each of these sections will be a chapter or tab within your Unit Supply SOP. That way, your Supply SOP is organized and the information is easy to find.
The secret to establishing an effective Unit Supply SOP is to get input from key leaders and supply personnel, whenever possible. Make sure that what you have in your Supply SOP is the way you currently conduct supply operations. If your Supply SOP is different or out-of-date, update it.
Once you have published your new, updated Unit Supply SOP, make sure everyone in your unit gets a copy of the SOP and is educated about how things are supposed to work. It would be sad to spend countless hours creating a great Supply SOP, but never use it. After all, you don’t want a binder that sits on the shelf in the supply room and just collects dust. Instead, you want a working, living document that properly guides your Soldiers on supply procedures.
At a minimum once each year, review your Unit Supply SOP to make sure that it still makes sense and is applicable. If changes are required, make those changes and republish the Army Supply SOP. Think of your SOP as a living, breathing document that always changes and improves. You should always strive to find better ways to conduct supply operations.
What are your thoughts? If you have experience as a Supply Sergeant or Supply Officer, what do you think about the Unit Supply SOP? What tips for success can you share with the rest of our community. Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.
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