NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Norfolk, Va. —
Approximately 35 years ago and fresh out of high school, Capt. Mark Garrigus, Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s Supply Department Head (Code 500), was hesitant about his path for the future and deciding if pursuing college was the right choice at that time. Wanting to consider other options, he took a call from a Navy recruiter. During negotiations, he requested the job that seemed to be the longest shot of them all, Electronics Technician Nuclear Power.
“I didn’t think they were going to call my bluff,” said Garrigus. “Not only did I join the Navy, but I ended up getting a rate that required two years of schooling before going to the fleet. Interestingly, school was one thing I was trying to take a break from.”
Towards the end of his schooling, life threw him a sinkerball causing him to leave school early and enter the fleet as a conventional electronics technician.
“The problem with being an electronics technician was that the rate was overmanned,” he said. “That meant advancement would be slow and tough, especially since I was assigned to duties outside my rate, in Security.”
Garrigus had to make some tough calls. Should he focus his off-duty hours working hard to earn his bachelor’s degree or should he devote his time to study for advancement exams? He chose the former. During his studies, he completed a rate conversion to be an intelligence specialist, which had better advancement results.
“I enjoyed my time as an intelligence specialist. Once I finished my bachelor’s degree, I applied for officer candidate school (OCS),” said Garrigus. “I was selected to be a Supply Corps Officer.”
As a supply corps commissioned officer his sea duty assignments included Stock Control, Disbursing, Wardroom, Stores, Postal, and Hazmat Officer aboard USS Wasp (LHD 1); Supply Officer aboard USS The Sullivans (DDG 68); Principal Assistant for Services and the Assistant Supply Officer aboard USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75); and as the Supply Officer aboard USS Boxer (LHD 4) leading a department of 300 Sailors and Marines in daily shipboard supply operations. While assigned to The Sullivans and Truman he deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
“Being out to sea was a great experience,” said Garrigus. “After all, that’s what being in the Navy is all about. However, I have to say, a non-sea highlight of my career was when I was a leader for a Defense Logistics Agency rapid response team. My team and I were able to directly help those who were affected by Hurricane Florence.”
Garrigus is now NNSY’s first supply department head in many years. Garrigus stated that several years ago, Code 500 was disestablished as DLA took over the duties and responsibilities.
“Naval Sea Systems Command is constantly striving to improve our processes and alignment to better complete our shipyard mission,” said Garrigus. “For NNSY, it’s getting the ships and submarines out on time and under cost. Reestablishing Code 500 to further instill logistics excellence, and community best practices is a significant step in that direction.”
During his off time, Garrigus enjoys spending quality family time with his wife, children and grandchildren, exploring parks, going to the beach and family events.
“I look forward to being a part of Code 500 and leading our team’s collaborative material process efforts towards mission accomplishment,” he said.