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Supply sergeants serve a vital function in Army operations. When superior officers on the command staff determine the unit's mission and what supplies and equipment the unit will need, the supply sergeant is the one who gets the supplies to the base and into the hands of soldiers. He also has to conduct supply room inventories and make sure Army property is secure from theft.
Assist the Property Book Officer
The supply sergeant assists the property book officer in the mission of accounting for every item belonging to the unit. This includes weapons, night vision goggles and even bedsheets. The supply sergeant helps the property book officers by ensuring that every item distributed is signed for by individual soldiers or unit leaders. The supply sergeant then follows up to ensure that all property checked out is returned.
One major responsibility of the supply sergeant is supervising supply specialists in the property room. Sergeants make sure junior supply soldiers are using proper procedure when they check weapons and supplies out to soldiers, including issuing hand receipts. Hand receipts are the paper trail supply sergeants can use to track missing property. They are also needed for the property manager's mission.
Organize Small Arms Maintenance
It is also the job of the supply sergeant to direct specialists in performing preventive maintenance on small arms like pistols, rifles and machine guns. The sergeant sets the maintenance schedule and assigns soldiers to the task. By completing periodic preventive maintenance on weapons, unit supply soldiers can decrease the possibility they will break down and have to be sent off for more serious repair services.
However, weapons and other items do break down or run out. For this reason, supply sergeants keep a constant watch on inventory levels and fill out requisition orders when those levels fall to an unacceptable range. Because of their experience, supply sergeants have a strong understanding of the types and quantity of supplies need by a unit based on its function and current mission. This experience helps them in managing inventories.
Monitor Soldier Welfare
Supply sergeants are also responsible for all the regular duties of a noncommissioned officer (NCO). They lead their soldiers in physical training and make sure they adhere to Army regulations on weight and physical fitness. They also inspect soldiers' appearances and work areas. Finally, they counsel soldiers and keep a lookout for problems in the soldiers's home life that might begin to affect performance while on duty.
Liz Frazier has been producing Web content, instructional articles and trivia for websites such as TopTenz.net and RealDealTechnologies.com since 2008. Her writing interests lie primarily in the areas of politics (specifically public administration and elections), the military, education and forced migration. Frazier has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from California State University, Northridge.