Choice 2: Supply Tech


What got me interested in being a Supply Tech is my aunt who currently is in the Canadian Forces. She’s been a member for over 20 years now and has ascended in the ranks over that time. And she seems happy with her career choice. I look up to her. She’s my favourite aunt, and I have a lot of aunts!

Any ways, moving along, what is a Supply Tech? Supply Technicians ensure that all of the supplies and services necessary for Forces operations are available when and where they are required. They handle a variety of items such as food, fuel, heavy machinery, spare parts, stationery and clothing. So in a nutshell, they’re responsible for inventory. I do have some experience in this field. My last 3 jobs I was responsible for inventory. I’d do receiving for shipments, which meant physically receiving product, recording any discrepancies and ordering store supplies.

Their primary responsibilities:

  • Manage the purchasing, warehousing, shipping, receiving, stock control and disposal of obsolete stock and equipment
  • Receive, handle and prepare items for shipment
  • Operate military vehicles weighing up to 10 tonnes and materials-handling equipment such as forklifts
  • Process invoices and prepare shipping documents
  • Order material from internal and external sources and purchase supplies
  • Deliver supplies and provide services to operational units
  • Perform recordkeeping, stocktaking and inventory control
  • Maintain accounting and financial records
  • Process and coordinate repair and disposal functions

Supply tech are a “Purple Trade,” which means they can work in any of the 3 branches of the Canadian Forces (Army, Air Force and Navy). I personally would like to be in Air Force. Like I’ve mentioned before, I was raised around aircraft. My dad is the one who got me interested at a young age and even today, I still hold that interest in aviation. I’m not sure how I’d fair in the Navy. The only boats I’ve been on have been ferries and I was on them for many an hr each and that was years ago! So being on a boat for weeks at a time? I really don’t know if I could handle it. Maybe I can, maybe I can’t. I don’t want to take that risk.

supply 2

Also, as mentioned before, Supply Techs have to do BMQ, or Basic Training. Everyone has to. After BMQ is completed, Supply Techs attend the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics in Borden. Training takes approximately 70 days (10 weeks)  and covers the following topics within the Canadian Forces Supply System:

  • Inventory control, stocktaking and accounting procedures
  • Requesting, receiving, issuing and warehousing materiel
  • Handling and accounting for petroleum, oils and lubricants
  • Handling and accounting for rations
  • Accounting for ammunition
  • Materiel and services procurement
  • Processing of materiel for repair and disposal
  • Financial management procedures
  • Budget management
  • Supply operations
  • Materiel identification
  • Preparation of requisitions
  • Warehouse stock location system
  • Use of materiel handling aids
  • Military correspondence
  • Processing issues and receipts
  • Computer operation and maintenance
  • Loan procedures
  • Preservation and packaging of materiel
  • Serially numbered materiel control and accounting
  • Supply-related administrative and support functions

Seems like a lot, but I think it’ll be fairly easy for me, given my work experience and education. I did fairly well in accounting classes in high school and college. And like other trades in the Canadian Forces, Supply Techs can get specialized training to do other jobs:

Supply Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:

  • Instructional Techniques
  • Parachute Packer/Rigger
  • Control of Hazardous Material
  • Hazardous Material Packaging
  • Storage and Packaging
  • Special Packaging

I’m not sure if I’d want to learn how to pack and rig a parachute…I’d constantly doubt myself and if a parachute I pack should fail to work…I don’t even want to think about that!

supply 3

And then there’s advanced training that Supply Techs can do as they advance their career in the Canadian Forces:

  • Military Contracts
  • Internal Audit Procedures
  • Personnel Management
  • Material Management
  • Budget Management
  • Business Planning Process

One thought on “Choice 2: Supply Tech

  1. Ron O'Shea says:

    I found your article on the duties and responsibilities of a Supply Technician to be quite interesting.I served in the RCAF/Canadian Forces for 25 years and was employed as a Suptech during that period of time.One of my postings was to the former RCAF #1 Supply Depot in Downsview Ontario, where the majority of warehoused items were aircraft spare parts.We were still using manual methods of recording at that time….computer technology was still years away.

    After retiring from the military I worked for another 13 years as a Materials Management Officer with Environment Canada.I credit my time as a Suptech and furthering my education in the field of Materials Management for helping to enable a second career.
    Best Regards,Ron O’Shea


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