The optimal resource allocation is the subject to effective programs that implement measures aimed at preventing misallocation, abuse and wastage. The Army Command Supply Discipline Program (ACSDP) aims at illustrating the significance of optimal resource allocation. The availability of the necessary infrastructure and tools for the implementation, organizing, managing and controlling the Command Supply Discipline Program is critical. ACSDP aspires to regulate defined requirements while standardizing the program. This is characterized by definitions of responsibilities, procedural requirements and streamlining supply discipline processes. The commanders responsible for supply management require CDSP as an essential tool in the implementation, accountability and management of supplies.
The success of ACSDP requires the enforcement of supply discipline by the responsible commanders. Therefore, a commander should ensure that all supply materials and government property at his disposal are used and maintained according to the designated purpose (DA, “Garrison Policy”). However, ACSDP is critical in the identification of strengths and weaknesses of supply discipline; therefore, when adequately utilized ACSDP is capable of identifying logistical deficiencies and recommend corrective measures. The supervision, custodial and directional responsibilities of the commanders must be in accordance with stipulated army regulations. Compliance to stipulated supply policies and procedures are characteristic of ACSDP in the standardization of the supply discipline.
Each aspect of Army functions should be allocated optimal supplies in description and quantities to ensure they meet their set objective and goals; therefore, conservation is crucial. The commander takes ownership of the ACSDP, where implementation is characterized by existing resources like logistics and supply personnel; therefore, supply discipline is enforced through leadership, training, command emphasis, disciplinary and administrative strategies. The commander must utilize the human resources at his disposal to ensure that supply discipline functions efficiently. Problems arising as a result of procedural errors should be dealt with accordingly; while implementing measures to prevent future occurrences that may impair the integrity of the supply discipline.
The ACSDP commanders are obligated to ensure that adequate documentation of property, finances and transactional documents is kept at all times. Supply policies and procedures require that the commanders ensure absolute accountability of all resources under their command. The resource accountability should include the non expendable, expendable, locally purchased and durable items. The supply discipline leaders must ensure that all challenges to accountability are met. Accountability is ascertained by completeness and accuracy of supply discipline. All property must be accounted for including those acquired using Army Purchase Cards and fabricated items (DA, “Garrison Policy”).
The definition and specification of duties characterizes ACSDP accountability. Failure through misconduct or negligence in execution of duties may result in the loss of property belonging to the army hence the government. The responsible person is made liable financially for such loss in an attempt to prevent future negligence. Supply discipline and military discipline correlate directly; therefore, the ACSDP commander has deterrent tools in his disposal for correctional purposes (Rawlings, “Establishing Command Supply Discipline after Deployment”). Correctional actions ensure positive attitude and standards within supply unit recognition and operating procedures in supply discipline. Discipline and accountability starts at the lowest where the maintenance and enforcement of accountability in managing all supplies are prioritized.
The tolerance for irresponsible behavior and practices diminish the realization of designated unit functions; therefore, reducing the ability to realize set goals and objectives in combat or other army functions. Significant aspects of management controls require the commander to pay keen attention to; these include the property book office, accountability at the unit level, Shop Supply Lists (SSL) and the Supply Support Activity (SSA). The utilization of the ACSDP provides critical validation to these controls and their accomplishment. Therefore, the significance of accountability cannot be ignored in the realization of the ACSDP’s objectives and goals of supply discipline.
The instillation of discipline in respective supply discipline operations is the responsibility of the supervisory staff and commanders. Their significance is illustrated in guiding of the evaluation processes and procedures of supply discipline. The relay of feedback for improving monitory procedures and improvement of supply policy in supply discipline through the chain of command is essential to ASCDP. The presence of a coordinator is critical in ensuring that ACSDP is implemented by all aspects of the supply discipline (Rawlings, “Establishing Command Supply Discipline after Deployment”). The oversight of the program, provision of recommended changes and accountability for critical aspects within the command; fall on the command level personnel. While the inspection of the ACSDP is integral to the inspection programs, the review of the CDSP results per unit falls on the commanders. These enable the identification of the positive trends which should be encouraged and maintained while creating plans for improvement of negative trends.
The subordinate commanders are required to implement a CDSP on the basis of the available resources and personnel to prevent process duplications and unnecessary disintegration of activities. They should emphasize on officer developments whether commissioned or non commissioned and open forums in ensuring that the ACSDP is successful (DA, “Garrison Policy”). The commanders should facilitate the appointment of a CDSP monitor whose mandate would be to oversee the supply unit programs, however, the appointment should be done in writing. The monitor should identify and recognize the superior and inferior performances in relation to supply discipline; therefore, make recommendations for the Army Supply Excellence Award Programs on the basis of the ACSDP results. Hence, corrective action is taken on the basis of inspection and evaluation results (DA, “Garrison Policy”).
The ACSDP monitor helps the commander to use and establish the CSDP while observing the subordinates to ascertain the implementation of the ACSDP is in accordance with guidance principles provided by the commander. The monitor reviews and makes evaluations of the tests provided in an attempt to identify the weaknesses and strengths of the CSDP across the command chain. The monitor makes recommendations on areas that require significant command emphasis while keeping the commander informed on the CDSP’s status on a regular basis.
However, the senior commanders in the supply discipline are required to familiarize themselves with regulatory requirements that are applicable. They should follow stipulated routines in performance of their duties using the ACDSP listing as a checklist. The commanders are required to report any deficiencies in the CDSP, inclusive of any applicable requirements to the higher command headquarters (Harris, “Command Supply Discipline Program”). Compliance with ACSDP should be observed in the strictest terms accounting for all items arriving, departing or belonging to the unit. These should be adequately safeguarded and cared for to preserve their functionality. Commanders ensure that the conduct of inventories is within the stipulated time frame while using the most recent training manuals, catalogues and other materials essential for absolute accountability.
Verification of updating hand receipts in agreement with the appropriate property book office is critical to commanders. They ensure that all items and military property are properly inventoried and documented before changing hands with the receipt holder. All items and property in the unit are accounted for regardless of their appearance or non appearance on the hand receipts. These should be followed by corresponding reporting to the property book office (Rawlings, “Establishing Command Supply Discipline after Deployment”). The registration and serial numbers of property is verified while issuing receipts for all items issue or turn-ins for repossession. In cases of damage, destruction or loss of any property the commander issues a report to the higher headquarters. The commander is required to plan and anticipate on a timely manner the materials needed for the various functional units and departments while enforcing subordinate training on supply discipline.
Feedback and Follow up
The transmission of information across the chain of command and various arms of the ACSDP is critical to its effective functionality. Therefore, feedback is critical in the management of CSDP. Feedback should be relayed through the established, proper channels. These enable the command to be appraised of continuous status of the ACSDP. This facilitates the reporting of any shortcomings and requirements that cannot be realized to the headquarters; hence, providing a basis for review and evaluation of the CDSP in an effort to identify weakness and strengths in the supply discipline across the command and corrective action (Harris, “Command Supply Discipline Program”). The headquarters furnishes the command with a copy of finding in relation to the ACDSP evaluation. Based on the reports issued, the integrity of the ACSDP should be enforced by the establishment of a suspense date for solving all discrepancies identified. Where repeat findings are ascertained action should be taken to reestablish conformity and compliance. Follow up actions are reevaluated in periodic assessments and evaluations that follow.
All properties in the army which are obtained by means of purchase, scrounging, donations from any source are accounted for as demanded by the stipulated operating procedures. These may include organizational property, flags, artifacts and associated properties. The accounting for all properties should be a continuous process from the time the property was acquired up to the time it is disposed (Harris, “Command Supply Discipline Program”). All properties are classified and accounted for as durable, expendable or non-expendable. Expendable property is characterized by loss of identity or consumption in its use. Expendable items have designate classification and do not exceed three hundred dollars. Commanders have supervisory obligation while supply sergeants have managerial responsibilities towards expendable items and property.
Non-expendable items retain their functionality after being subjected to use while retaining their originality. They are not consumed and incorporate all non consumable items which are authorized by the army (Harris, “Command Supply Discipline Program”). These items are recognizable through authorized documentation as per army policies on force development and documentation. On the other hand, durable items and property do not need formal property book accounting but are characterized by unique qualities, which require the end users control. These items are not subject to consumption during use.
ACSDP requires the maintenance of exemplary supply discipline in the assignment of items to respective users. In ensuring the assignment of property and absolute accountability of the assigned property, commanders increase their probability of maintaining sound supply discipline. Property books, sub-hand receipts, hand receipts and equipment receipts are critical in the assignment of property. The responsibility for the unit’s property is prescribed to the property book officer who accepts the responsibility of assigning property on the basis of a primary hand receipt (Rawlings, “Establishing Command after Deployment”). The issuance of durable and non-expendable items dictates that a hand receipts to be produced. This describes the direct responsibility of the item handler by appending his/her signature.
Separate hand receipts are prepared for organization property and installation of items. Sub-hand receipts are critical in assigning property downwards to the end user. The Unit Supply Enhanced system is used to generate receipts to be issued via computerized accounting and record keeping methods. The review of the hand receipts in the Unit Supply Enhanced system and reconciliation reports is done by the commanders (Rawlings, “Establishing Command Supply Discipline after Deployment”). This review will highlight the discrepancies in receipt issues while showing the items which are not hand or sub-hand receipted. The items that should be reflected in the commander’s hand receipt are those with an active suspense like receipts of equipment being turned in new equipment or equipment with pending adjustments.
The familiarity with the Unit Supply Enhanced system and access to crucial reports is critical to the commanders in execution of their duties. Therefore, permissions should be sought from the property book officers in adequate time. Loaning of property for a period not exceeding thirty days should be accompanied by the issue of a temporary hand receipt. Where a person is issued on a recurring basis with property, he is issued with equipment receipt to assign the responsibility of the property. These include chemical, nuclear and biological masks, radiological equipment for training purposes and individually assigned equipments.