Ensuring America’s Navy has what it needs, when it needs it Purchasing, Supply & Logistics

Imagine being in a position where the success and safety of a mission depend on you. For an organization charged with protecting the nation and helping the world, it’s critical that the supplies, materials and equipment they need are ready at a moment’s notice. That, in essence, is the mission of the men and women of the Purchasing, Supply & Logistics community in America’s Navy.

Job Description

America’s Navy is a mobile military force consisting of ships, submarines, aircraft and equipment – all continually on the move. To keep the Fleet ready and able to travel the world safely and efficiently, your strategic planning and strong organizational skills are essential.

As a Reservist in the Purchasing & Supply community, you’ll track and order the materials and equipment needed to help each mission run successfully and safely. Mission-critical materials and equipment depend on you as you carry out the movement of Sailors, equipment, supplies and machinery.

Officer positions in the Supply Corps are available to college graduates, and Enlisted positions in Purchasing & Supply are available to those without a degree.

Whatever your specific role, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists. And know this: The impact of your work and your service will go far beyond the time that you put in.


Video: Navy Reserve - Ensign Jose Acay, Supply Officer

Reserve Ensign Jose Acay, Supply Officer. The Navy Reserve does give me that ability, that flexibility to have a very balanced life.

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U.S. Navy

Specific Responsibilities

As a Supply Corps Officer, you are a business manager. You perform executive-level duties in inventory control, financial management, physical distribution systems, petroleum management, personnel transportation and other related areas. You might:

  • Analyze the demand for supplies and forecast future needs
  • Manage the inspection, shipping, handling, and packaging of supplies and equipment
  • Direct personnel who receive inventory and issue supplies and equipment
  • Evaluate bids and proposals submitted by potential suppliers
  • Study ways to use space and distribute supplies efficiently
  • Determine the fastest, most economic way to transport cargo or personnel
  • Oversee the handling of special items, such as medicine and explosives

Enlisted Sailors in the Purchasing & Supply field may:

  • Keep fiscal records of a facility
  • Order, store, check and issue Naval aircraft and aeronautical equipment and accessories, including flight gear
  • Prepare inventory reports and correspondence
  • Keep official publications up-to-date
  • Maintain financial logs and records
  • Operate computer systems that provide logistic support information for submarine supplies and accounting functions
  • Organize and operate Navy post offices


Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent of that.

Individuals in Purchasing, Supply & Logistics can serve in either Enlisted or Officer roles. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with the job, initial training requirements must be met.

For current or former Enlisted military servicemembers (NAVET or OSVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial training requirement – so you will not need to go through Boot Camp again.

For Enlisted candidates without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial Recruit Training requirement by attending Boot Camp for seven to nine weeks in Great Lakes, IL. This training course will prepare you for service in the Navy Reserve and count as your first Annual Training.

Enlisted Sailors receive on-the-job training and formal Navy schooling, during which you might learn postal procedures needed to run the post office on a ship or submarine or at a land-based facility. Or you may learn the accounting principles needed to maintain a multimillion-dollar government budget.

During later stages of career development, advanced technical and operational training is also available.

For current or former Navy Officers (NAVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.

For current or former Officers of military branches other than the Navy (OSVET), as well as for Officer candidates without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial leadership training requirement by attending the twelve-day Direct Commission Officer School (DCO) in Newport, RI. This will count as your first Annual Training.

Prospective Officers may also receive specialized training in transportation management, freight classifications, methods of working with civilian and other service carriers, and special handling of medicine and explosives.

Career Advantages

Serving part-time, Supply Corps Officers in the Navy Reserve acquire and enhance skills that are essential to businesses and industries in every sector. And become better prepared for management positions in hospitals, schools, government agencies, airlines, shipping firms and any number of other private sector positions.

Enlisted Sailors in the Purchasing & Supply community receive training that may improve their career potential as a(n):

  • Stock control supervisor
  • Cargo agent
  • Budget accountant
  • Retail store manager
  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounting clerk
  • Purchasing agent
  • Stock/shipping clerk
  • Postal clerk

What’s more, you could potentially get full tuition for college – plus money for books and living expenses – through the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Your specialized training in the Navy Reserve could prepare you for credentialing, certification and/or licensure opportunities from a number of national boards and organizations. Allowing you to become even more competitive in your challenging field.

And the more tangible benefits? Competitive pay. Points earned toward retirement benefits. Outstanding insurance options. And much more. Read about the benefits of serving in the Navy Reserve.


General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.

Note that no college degree is required to join the Navy Purchasing, Supply & Logistics community (minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent is required). Prior experience is valuable but not necessary. You’ll receive all the training and education you need from the Navy.

More Information

Want to explore further? Learn what you need to know about joining the Navy Reserve. Find us on Facebook to interact with actual Navy Reservists. Or, if you need more information, contact a Navy Reserve Recruiter.

Consider Your Service Options.

There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America’s Navy. Besides part-time opportunities in the Navy Reserve, full-time Active Duty positions are also available in this career area.