My job as a deputy comptroller in the Navy is to manage the spending of funds by various groups within our branch. I put together the budget for them, make sure that it’s spent properly and that they don’t exceed it. I also justify or defend their budget requirements, getting them the funding that they need to execute their mission.
Being a supply corps officer, when aboard a ship I am accountable not only for the funds, but all the material that we are charged with managing. We’re constantly resupplying. As far as food goes, we typically carry enough for about a month. There are various contracts in place with different vendors, but you have to establish those relationships. So there’s a lot of responsibility that comes along with that.
A big challenge we faced was about a year-and-a-half ago. I was the assistant supply officer onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier, and we were deploying. As we were in our transit to the Arabian Gulf, we went around the coast of South Africa. That was the first time that an aircraft carrier actually made a port visit in Cape Town, South Africa. There was quite a logistics challenge to make that happen as far as the resupply of parts and food. Going to South Africa, where we hadn’t been in quite a number of years, there was a lot of uncharted territory there. We had to build a lot of new relationships that the Navy hadn’t had before. That was quite a challenge that we had to work through.
I’m hoping to go back to sea now that I’m a commander. There’s a selection process to go back and be a supply officer on an aircraft carrier. Hopefully, I’ll be selected to go back to sea one more time. Then, I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to work with the Army or Air Force in a joint assignment, which will help me to make captain someday. The best part about being a leader is helping those that work for you in developing their career and their leadership skills themselves.