• ROTC cadets learn about supply, accountability

  • Thirteen senior ROTC cadets from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., learned about the Command Supply Discipline Program April 11 when they visited the 15th Military Police Brigade Headquarters.

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    Thirteen senior ROTC cadets from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., learned about the Command Supply Discipline Program April 11 when they visited the 15th Military Police Brigade Headquarters.
    The CSDP follows established Department of the Army regulations to effectively administer supply economy.
    “Supply is a very important facet of being an officer and is not often discussed in depth as a cadet but can have drastic repercussions if leaders are not ensuring resources provided to their formations are being used without fraud, waste and abuse,” said 1st Lt. Conor Kane, 15th assistant S-3. “Having already completed my time as platoon leader and (company) executive officer, I can see how useful learning about command supply discipline is because accountability is paramount to being successful as a junior officer, and it is often not worried about despite being one of the most important parts of being an officer.
    “My hope is that (the cadets) take away how important command supply discipline is regardless of what branch they commission into,” he said. “If they leave here realizing that, then I see them taking it seriously when they learn about supply in their basic course, which will help them become better officers as well as help the Army to become better overall.”
    This is the second year the brigade has hosted the KU ROTC program.
    “In class, we kind of broach the subject, but until they physically see something or do hands-on training, it doesn’t make sense to them,” said Lt. Col. Tracey Olson, KU professor of military science. “The Army does not do a good job explaining accountability to the young officers, so by the time they get to their units and they’re expected to do this, they don’t have a baseline knowledge of what it is exactly that they’re supposed to do or why they’re doing it.”
    The visit began with a short class taught by Sam Ashley, 15th MP Brigade logistics management specialist, who focused on the importance of accountability and responsibility of signing for different equipment in a unit. This sparked conversations among the cadets and advice from junior officers of the 15th.
    “This stuff will make or break you, so take it for what it is worth,” said Capt. William Paige, operations officer for the 526th MP Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention).
    “Accountability, accountability, accountability,” said Capt. Martin Camacho, brigade S-4. “This is where you’re going to develop a relationship with your supply sergeant, your platoon sergeant and your NCOs, and that will help you a lot.”
    After the class, the cadets toured the Tactical Equipment Maintenance Facility so they could get the opportunity to physically see the equipment they might be working with when they are commissioned.
    Page 2 of 2 - Many cadets agreed that they enjoyed the visit and learned a lot. Cadet Capt. Grace Lawrence said she learned how important inventory is in a unit.
    “While we’re back at school, we’re really focused on the leadership aspect, but here we’re able to apply that,” Lawrence said. “You have your own personal items as a cadet but you don’t realize the gravity of the equipment that you have to handle.
    “This will give me a better understanding of at least the basics of what to expect when I get to my unit,” she said.
    Cadet Capt. Marshall Adams said even though he was enlisted before becoming a cadet through the Green to Gold scholarship program, the visit to the 15th still shed new light on his previous experiences.
    “When I was enlisted, I was part of the layouts (for inventory checks),” Adams said. “It was just a thing I had to do, but now I understand the motivation behind it and how that’s covering me and making sure I’m not making my commander liable or making myself liable for something that we didn’t do. I can understand the bigger picture more now.”
    Following the class and the tour, the cadets were addressed by Col. Caroline Horton, 15th MP Brigade commander.
    “My recommendation is when you graduate and you all go your ways, make sure you keep in touch and ask each other questions if you don’t feel comfortable asking your unit because you all will be learning simultaneously,” Horton said. “If the officers aren’t going to enforce command supply discipline, the NCOs aren’t going to enforce command supply discipline. It is just not going to happen. You guys set the tone.”
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