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Maritime Logistics Community News : Summer 2011
32 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SUMMER 2011 BY LCDR BEN MACDONALD, RAN Supply Officer Career Management In sitting down to write my final contribution to the Navy Supply Newsletter as Supply Career Manager, I felt it appropriate to reflect on some of the things that have changed during my time here. For example: • I joined an organisation known as the Directorate of Naval Officer’s Postings and will leave the Navy People Career Management Agency; • When I joined I was a ‘Poster’, now I am a ‘Career Manager;’ • When I joined there was a Supply Charge Endorsement Panel to make Supply Charge appointments. Now Supply Officers are selected along with their fellow Heads of Departments at the Command and Charge Board; • When I joined, there was a List of Officers’ Postings, now postings are promulgated online. Of course, these are only a few of the many changes that have been affected at a local level within NPCMA during my tenure and are only a small part of a larger change process that has and will continue to take place under New Generation Navy and the Strategic Reform Program. But, they are local changes that have, in some instances, had much broader ramifications than simply influencing the way we do business in the ivory towers of Canberra. That got me to thinking about the theme for this Newsletter: everything that has been done here has been about ‘shaping the future’ to enable us to prepare a workforce ready and willing to staff Force 2030. While Navy can (and has) started the structural change, there is plenty that each of us can also do as individuals to shape our own futures. For example, depending on where each of us sits in the Supply Career Continuum’, we may decide that we need to specialise into a particular career stream or broaden our experience base utilising the guidance outlined in the Supply Officer Career Pathways released by Head of Supply Community on 18 October 2011. We may decide that we need to sharpen up on particular skills by undertaking service provided training, such as the DMO Integrated Logistics Support packages now being undertaken through the Supply and Health Faculty, or perhaps the Joint Logistics Planning Course through Joint Warfare Doctrine and Training Centre. We may decide that we should expand our horizons and improve our promotability by enrolling in post graduate study, or undertaking either the Capability and Technology Management Program or Australian Command and Staff Course. We may even decide that we need to take a career break to plan for a family or take a long sought after overseas trip. What is certain is that shaping our own futures is an ever evolving process that requires each of us to pause regularly to take stock both of what we have done and where we want to be in the future. To do this, we should consult regularly with our peers, mentors, supervisors, our families and (of course) our Career Managers. And while we may think that the changes we make to our own career priorities are small in the greater scheme of things, bear in mind that the Supply Admirals, Commodores and Captains that will take stewardship of Force 2030 are today’s Supply Lieutenant Commanders, Lieutenants and Sub-Lieutenants. The seemingly minor career decisions that you make today may well set you on the path to being those senior Supply Officers of the future. In the meantime, as I face the prospect of shaping a future in my post-NPCMA career, change will continue apace within Navy career management. First, and most obviously, LCDR Rebecca Levitt, will join as my relief in January 2012. Later in 2012, NPCMA will relocate from Russell to Brindabella Park (adjacent to Canberra Airport) with Army and Air Force career management agencies. In the longer term, it is envisaged that many ‘back office’ functions undertaken (and in many cases duplicated) by each organisation will be streamlined and/or amalgamated. Apart from a few days’ disruption while the physical move takes place, you should notice very little change in the interface with your Career Manager. While all that is going on, issues such as realignment of Career Management Cells into Families and potentially altering the Qualification Based Board process to identify officers to be cleared (as opposed to selected) for promotion will continue to simmer away in the background. I am sure that you will hear more on these topics from LCDR Levitt next year. In closing, I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone in the Supply Community for the support that you have given me in this role. This job has been as rewarding as it has been challenging, but I hope that I have achieved the aim of balancing individual aspirations with corporate requirements more often than not. For those of you inspired by this article to review your career plan, I would certainly encourage you to consider taking up this job if and when the opportunity arises!