NEWS | Nov. 5, 2020

NAVSUP WSS Employee—Citizen Sailor, selected as Junior Officer of the Year by ROA

By Kelly Luster, NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support

NAVSUP WSS Employee—Citizen Sailor, selected as Junior Officer of the Year by ROA
SLIDESHOW | 1 images | NAVSUP WSS Employee—Citizen Sailor, selected as Junior Officer of the Year by ROA Lt. Curt Bender, Navy Cargo Handling Battalion Ten, Operations Officer, is congratulated with a commander’s coin from Capt. Trent Kalp, Commanding Officer, FLC Pearl Harbor, after the successful completion of the Pacific Pathways 20-1 Operation in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Jan. 2020. Bender was the officer-in-charge of a 43-Sailor detachment of cargo handlers from four separate battalions which successfully completed the on-load of 649 pieces of cargo onboard the M/V CAPE HUDSON and 370 pallets of cargo onboard the USNS ARCTIC.

Curt Bender, Logistics Management Specialist at Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, Doctrine and Policy Directorate, is a man of diverse experience who wears many hats. One of those hats, that of Navy Lieutenant Curt Bender, garnered him top honors as the 2019 Reserve Officers Association Junior Officer of the Year. 

According to the ROA, each year’s winners are selected from among reserve officers who exemplify the best and brightest serving in the United States Navy Reserve. 

The commander of Navy Cargo Handling Battalion Ten, Cmdr. Michael Griffith said, “No other officer has contributed more to their unit’s operational readiness, training, safety, and force than Lt. Bender. His personal dedication and devotion to duty are above and beyond his peers and well above expectations.”

Among the accomplishments that earned Bender this honor was his successful tour at NCHB Ten where he concurrently served as the battalion Operations Officer, battalion Safety Officer and Surface Cargo Company Commander. He was responsible for the operational support of 349 enlisted and 24 officers across 11 cargo handling companies. Additionally, he led a team of 11 safety company petty officers across 21 high risk training evolutions resulting in zero accidents or injuries.

Bender now dons his Navy uniform for duty as the Assistant Readiness Officer at Navy Reserve U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Logistics Support Unit. He is responsible for the readiness of 33 Sailors who provide mission capable personnel to support exercises, contingency operations and Maritime Operations Center Logistics Readiness Center surges.

In his civilian career, Bender supports the development and implementation of policy related to surface and sealift transportation. Prior to his tenure with NAVSUP WSS, Bender had an extensive career in the commercial maritime industry primarily in ship management, marine terminal operations and intermodal logistics. 

“NAVSUP WSS is the End-to-End supply chain integrator for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, joint and allied partners—a mission that is vital to readiness and lethality,” said Rear Adm. Doug Noble, commander, NAVSUP WSS. “That is why we continue to attract and retain the most talented people like Lt. Bender. His dedication both as a Sailor and civilian shipmate, exemplifies our Navy.”

NAVSUP WSS is one of 11 commands under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter. Learn more at www.navsup.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/navsupwss and https://twitter.com/navsupsyscom.