Supply sergeants enhance skills, unit readiness during training at Fort McCoy – DVIDS

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Photo By Cheryl Phillips | Sgt. Olivia Willis, instructor, clarifies a question on the final exam July 28, 2021,… read more read more
Photo By Cheryl Phillips | Sgt. Olivia Willis, instructor, clarifies a question on the final exam July 28, 2021, for Staff Sgt. Angel Figueroa during training in the 92Y30 Unit Supply Specialist Course at Fort McCoy, Wis. (U.S. Army Photo by Cheryl Phillips, 88th Readiness Division Public Affairs)  see less | View Image Page
BY CHERYL PHILLIPS
88th Readiness Division Public Affairs

Senior noncommissioned officers (NCOs) learned the nuances and power of GCSS-A — or Global Combat Support System-Army — during the Unit Supply Specialist Senior Leaders Course at the end of July at Fort McCoy.

GCSS-A is a logistics and finance system that enhances unit supply operations. Supply sergeants use it to track supplies, spare parts and organizational equipment; and manage inventories and hand receipts.

The 26 NCOs in the course were also increasing their capabilities “to prepare them for the next phase of their career,” said Master Sgt. Shawnee Burkes, course manager with the 94th Training Division, Fort Lee, Va.

Burkes said she has seen a lot of changes in supply processes and systems during her nearly 25-year military career. She said that in the past, she’d have to wait two weeks to get a response from another unit when looking for supplies; now it can be obtained in 24 hours. Also, the time to transfer the supplies has been reduced by two-thirds.

“The (GCSS-A) system is worldwide, from active Army to Army Reserve to Army National Guard — one system,” Burkes said. “It’s an evolving system.”

Burkes said it’s evident the course enhances unit readiness.

“GCSS-A gives Soldiers the ability to dig deeper into records and learn things they don’t know,” she said. “When Soldiers leave the course, they’ll know how to bring their unit from yellow to green in the Unit Status Report, improving readiness ratings.”

One of the students was Staff Sgt. William Barber with E Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Assault Helicopter Battalion, of Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. He was taking the course “to progress my career and learn something I didn’t know,” he said. “The course is giving me more tools to use with GCSS-A that I didn’t know were at my disposal.

“I also want to be a better leader,” Barber said.

Another student, Staff Sgt. Aaron Cobosco with D Company, 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry Regiment, of Madison, Wis., said he welcomed the opportunity to spread the knowledge he’s gained from the course to other unit supply sergeants. This enhances the unit’s ability to achieve its mission.

“Seeing where the shortfalls are so I can fix them is probably the biggest enhancer for our unit readiness. GCSS-Army is more important then I realized, since equipment readiness is two parts of the USR,” Cobosco said.

Learn more about the Army Reserve by visiting https://www.usar.army.mil. Learn more about the 88th Readiness Division by visiting https://www.usar.army.mil/88thRD.

And learn more about Fort McCoy online at https://home.army.mil/mccoy, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.” Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set “Fort McCoy” or another installation as your preferred base.
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