Quawnishia Morgan’s time in the U.S. Navy as Aviation Storekeeper built her foundation of knowledge in military logistics. Her responsibilities included procuring supplies for the squadron, managing the squadron’s budget for supplies and issuing goods to her fellow soldiers. Her top priority was ensuring all items were received in good order, promptly and without compromising service. This is what she still strives for today as ADS, Inc.’s Warehouse Manager, continuing to serve the warfighter daily even after her military career ended. We spoke with Quawnishia to learn how her military background helped shape her career path and hear her advice for those transitioning from military to civilian life.
Quawnishia Morgan, Warehouse Manager
Why did you decide to join the military?
In my junior year of high school, I realized my parents had no way to fund 3 children through college, so I decided to join the military. I also thought this was my one-way ticket out of Baltimore, MD. My parents were very strict on me as a child even though they didn’t have a military background. Therefore, I immediately knew I would have no problem conforming to the structure the military offered. This led me to join the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) which later had me enlisted in the U.S. Navy under the delayed entry program soon after the start of my senior year at age 17.
What was your role/roles throughout your time in service?
After being convinced by a recruiter to join the U.S. Navy without an actual “job”, I initially ended up doing numerous odd jobs. An “undesignated” sailor is required to work under temporary assigned duty for six months. So, if you’d asked me if I thought my first job in the military would have been a barista, deployed to Sicily learning how to make an awesome espresso, I would have laughed. However, this was just one of the earlier roles I was assigned to fill until I found my niche. After my initial introduction to the Navy, I finally found my passion as an Aviation Storekeeper. My responsibilities as an Aviation Storekeeper often included ordering, receiving, stowing and inspecting parts and equipment needed for the day-to-day tasks of aviation mechanics and maintenance workers. At the age of 19, I was made a shift supervisor. I found myself quickly leading sailors that were double my age. Managing the squadron’s OPTAR (Operating Target Funds) worth over 6 million dollars and ensuring accurate budget OPTAR and transmittal reports with zero discrepancies was an achievement that didn’t go unnoticed. In direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom, I was responsible for researching, processing and tracking over 7,000 non-mission and partial mission capable supplies, as well as work stoppage requirements. There were also a multitude of smaller roles which allowed me to become a better storekeeper and leader, including hazardous materials clerk, tool room supervisor, training Petty Officer and disbursing technical publication librarian.
What is your current position and how does your military experience fit into your current career?
Without my military career as an Aviation Storekeeper, I would not have the foundation of logistics in the military sector. My current position as a Warehouse Manager at ADS goes hand in hand with my previous role in the military. This background has ultimately provided a platform for me to advance my skills in relation to the defense supply system through some of the government contracts ADS has been awarded.
How was your transition from military life to your civilian career?
Transitioning from military to civilian life was filled with both anxiety and excitement. I initially saw myself as a “lifer” but my decision to start a family with my active duty military husband changed my mind. Once I decided to end my enlistment, I knew it wasn’t the end of my logistics career, especially with the military.
What tips and/or advice do you have for veterans leaving their time in service and moving into the civilian workforce?
As a mentor, I advise many transitioning veterans to be patient and also to take advantage of the GI Bill. As prior military, we assume landing the perfect job will be easy because of our military affiliation. Utilize the money saved toward the GI Bill and obtain certificates, trades or degrees. Do not ignore all of the benefits you’ve earned as an honorably discharged veteran. Be proud to have served, you deserve the honor.
How does your past military experience empower you in your role here at ADS?
In the Navy I was responsible for procuring supplies for the squadron, managing the squadrons budget for supplies and issuing goods to my fellow sailors. Today within ADS I am still issuing gear to sailors, but they do not encompass our complete customer base. The one thing that has always remained the same is the level of service provided to each and every one of them. In the military I strived to fulfill the customer’s needs by ensuring they received their gear in good order, promptly and without compromising service. This is something that is still a priority to me today.
Quawnishia Morgan’s time in the U.S. Navy in service provided a crucial foundation to her successful career at ADS, a defense industry company providing over 50,000 products directly to United States soldiers across military branches. Her experience as Aviation Storekeeper directly parallels her civilian role as Warehouse Manager.
Thank you, Quawnishia, for your dedication to the United States and to the ADS mission.
More than one third of ADS employees are veterans or members of military families, providing a unique perspective on the work that we do. We are committed to hiring and training ADS team members from within the military community.