When a piece of equipment becomes inoperative
because of a broken part, you must replace the broken
part. If you do not have a replacement or spare part, you
must order one from supply.
What must you do to obtain materials from the
supply department? What forms are used to requisition
materials? As a petty officer, you should be able to
answer those questions. Why is that so important?
Because as a petty officer, you may be the work center
supervisor responsible for maintaining the equipment
within your center.
The purpose of this chapter is to help you become
familiar with the workings of the supply department.
By understanding how the supply department works,
you can use the Navy supply system to help you carry
out your duties more effectively. You will be provided
information on material identification (that is, national
stock number format, etc.), requisition documents, and
This chapter is not intended to make you an expert
in the area of supply. Rather, it is designed to give you a
basic understanding of supply matters to improve your
The following definitions of the basic supply terms
should help you understand the material in this chapter:
CONTROLLED EQUIPAGEItems requiring
special management control because the material is
essential to the protection of life or is relatively
valuable and can be converted easily for personal use.
LOGISTICSThe science of planning and
carrying out the movement and maintenance of
military forces. In its most comprehensive sense,
logistics involve those aspects of military operations
that deal with the following areas:
Design, development, acquisition, storage,
movement, distribution, maintenance,
evacuation, and disposition of material
Acquisition, construction, maintenance,
operation, and disposition of facilities
Acquisition and furnishing of services
Movement, evacuation, and hospitalization of
MATERIALAll items necessary to equip,
operate, maintain, and support an activity.
SUPPLIESAll items necessary to equip,
maintain, and operate a military command, including
food, clothing, equipment, arms, ammunition, fuel,
materials, and machinery of all types.
SUPPLYThe procurement, distribution,
maintenance (while in storage), and salvage of
supplies, including the determination of the type and
quality of supplies.
SUPPLY CONTROLThe process by which an
item of supply is controlled within the supply system,
including requisitioning, receipt, storage, stock control,
shipment, disposition, identification, and accounting.
Learning Objectives: Recognize the different types of
stock and control numbers. Recall the purpose of
cognizance symbols. Recall the purpose of the special
material identification code. Recognize sources of
identifying material when a stock number is not
available. Recognize the uses of the following supply
publications: ML-N, MCRL, MRIL, ASG, and COSAL.
What is meant by material identification? Why is it
necessary? What tools are available for you to use in
identifying material? The problem of material
identification is not peculiar to the Navy or the
military. You probably have had occasion to purchase a
part for your car or an appliance or to use a mail-order
catalog. Those items were all identified by a catalog or
part number as part of the manufacturers or suppliers
identification system. Companies use an identification
system for the same reason the Navy does. It is a brief,
accurate means of identifying one specific item of
material. Each company develops a system to meet its
The Department of Defense (DoD) supply system
stocks over 4 million items. The Navy supply system
alone stocks over 1 million items. Because of that, the
federal catalog system was developed. It ensures the
proper requisitioning of items from either an activity
ashore or from a unit of the mobile logistics support