By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher Fairbanks, USS Makin Island Public Affairs
NORTH ISLAND, Calif. (NNS) -- Postal clerks (PCs) and storekeepers (SKs) on board USS Makin Island (LHD 8) had the unique opportunity to observe the Navy-wide merger of their rates into the new logistics specialist (LS) rating during a ceremony held aboard Makin Island Oct. 1.
In attendance for the historic event was Rear Adm. Michael J. Lyden, commander, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP).
"Today begins a new chapter in the Navy, and you are an important part of it," said Lyden, who also holds the position of chief of Supply Corps, while addressing members of Makin Island's supply department. "The expanded training opportunities and broader skill sets that you will develop will become a critical part in our ability to expand that global logistic strategy."
"Today is a special day for more than 10,000 Sailors as we celebrate the history and heritage of the SKs and PCs and usher in a new era in our Navy by establishing the LS rating," said Cmdr. David Shealy, Makin Island's supply officer. "We begin a new history of support to the fleet and our sister services."
The merger was officially approved Nov. 17, 2008, by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead. Since then, a new rating manual, mobile training teams and online training programs were developed to educate PCs and SKs in their new roles as LSs.
"We can see there's excitement here today," said Lyden. "I'm excited to recognize this significant milestone for our supply enlisted Sailors, who today take a major step in shaping our future force so that the supply enlisted community can face the challenges of tomorrow's Navy."
"There are definitely some new challenges ahead," said Logistics Specialist Seaman Roger Poole, a prior PC on board Makin Island. "But I'm excited to work with the other Sailors as we master the new rate."
Considering the wide role his new rate plays in the global theater, Poole will undoubtedly have an abundance of opportunities to work with, learn from and share experiences with other Sailors who now call themselves logistics specialists.
"LS's can be found around the world in support of their fellow warriors," said Shealy. "Whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, at sea on a big deck, 500 feet under the surface or ashore overseas, more than 10,000 logisticians are standing the watch."
Lyden added to those sentiments as he finished talking to the Navy's newest LSs.
"Shipmates, you are the resource that makes our Navy's global logistics capability happen … we are committed to you and to your ongoing professional development as logistics specialists," said Lyden.
NAVSUP, headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pa., has a primary mission to provide U.S. naval forces with quality supplies and services. Employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 25,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP oversees logistics programs in the areas of supply operations, conventional ordnance, contracting, resale, fuel, transportation and security assistance. In addition, NAVSUP is responsible for quality of life issues for our naval forces, including food service, postal services, Navy Exchanges and movement of household goods.
For more news from USS Makin Island (LHD 8), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd8/.