USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- One of the Navy's oldest officer corps just got one year older, on Feb. 23, the Supply Corps celebrated their 213th birthday on board the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
The celebration was a hard-earned break for the officers.
"We had all the supply khakis and some folks from the other departments come," said Cmdr. Gregory Hajzak, the ship's supply officer. "We had a big Supply Corps birthday cake in wardroom 3, and the captain came down and kicked it off for us."
The supply officers take care of all the ship's needs from food to parts and materials for the aircraft, as well as the transportation needed to send the supplies.
"We provide all of the items necessary to support the ship and the aircraft on board," Hajzak said. "We are in charge of all logistics and support for the transportation of all the materials that come to us, and all the ships around us as well."
The Navy Supply Corps was not always as efficient as it is today, there have been several turning points that gave the corps the experience needed to run as a well-oiled machine.
"The Supply Corps started 213 years ago by supporting the original six frigates for the Navy," said Hajzak. "When we moved from sails to steam, we were in charge of procuring all of the coal and getting it to the ships. The next big leap was during World War II, when we started working with replenishments at sea and getting supply ships whose only purpose was supporting the Navy."
Since the needs of the Navy are always changing, the Supply Corps must be able to adapt. With the help of automated supply functions to vertical replenishments with helicopters the duties of the corps has been able to support all of the Navy's missions.
This requires the corps' more than 2,500 officers to have gone through extra schooling, after receiving a college degree, in Athens, Ga., to study subjects as varied as inventory control to operations analysis.
"The good thing about the Supply Corps is we are embedded in all of the operational units," said Hajzak. "I've been on a small frigate, a submarine and two aircraft carriers. It makes you feel like you are definitely a part of the team. We get the opportunity to go out and do a lot of really neat stuff."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.