Inaugural participants in Ivy Tech Department of Defense Logistics program recognized at special event at NSA Crane

Seven participants in cohort 1 recognized for completing certifications at special recognition ceremony

CRANE, Ind. – On May 16, representatives from Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI), Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington, and Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC-Crane) hosted a special recognition lunch at Naval Support Activity Crane for the seven inaugural participants in the Supply Chain Management – Department of Defense Military Certificate program.

Department of Defense Logistics Certificate Cohort 1 ParticipantsCompany
Justina BakerNSWC Crane
Ryan BurrisNSWC Crane
Casey CornwellNSWC Crane
John HeyderNSWC Crane
Martha LeslieNSWC Crane
Anthony SudduthSAIC
Christopher WestfallNSWC Crane

This Ivy Tech Certificate is a collaborative project developed by ROI, Ivy Tech, NSWC Crane, and defense contractors in the Indiana Uplands region. The goal of this program is to build a pipeline for in-demand talent specialized in defense-specific life-cycle supply chain logistics.

Josh Erlien (far left) and Dr. Randall Walker (far right) with five of the cohort 1 participants (left to right: Ryan Burris, Anthony “Dale” Sudduth, Casey Cornwell, Justina Baker, and Chris Westfall). Not pictured: John Heyder and Martha Leslie.

NSWC Crane projects growth of up to 100 new logistics management specialist jobs in the next five years and the attrition of nearly 100 government employees currently filling logistics positions. As a result, at least 20 new product support and logistics specialists will be needed each of the next five years to meet demand at NSWC Crane. When you add this total to the demand for logistics personnel within defense contractors and by employers across the region, hundreds of new logistics specialists will be needed in the coming years.

Three years ago, ROI began facilitating discussions with representatives from NSWC Crane, Ivy Tech, and regional defense contractors to explore the potential for this highly customized credentialing program. “ROI was proud to convene our regional partners to develop this innovative talent development solution,” said Michi McClaine, Vice President for Talent Development.

NSWC Crane Deputy Technical Director Dr. Kyle Warner added, “partners from across our innovation ecosystem willingly rolled up their sleeves, defined the problem, and ideated possible solutions. In addition to NSWC Crane personnel that helped to develop the curriculum, several courses are also being taught by Adjunct Faculty employed at Crane. Werner added that the successful implementation of this program is “reflective of a culture of collaboration at Crane and within the Indiana Uplands region.”

After collaborating with industry partners to develop the curriculum, Ivy Tech obtained approval of the program from the Commission for Higher Education. ROI and defense industry partners then helped to promote the program, recruit participants, and hold informational sessions.

The 24-credit hour Supply Chain Management – Department of Defense Military Certificate offers specialized education and training within the Department of Defense logistics competency. Students become familiar with the Department of Defense processes at the heart of Military Acquisition and Sustainment. Cohort participants are introduced to the use of the Military Supply Chain, fundamentals of government acquisition, affordability, and system reliability. Students employ data analytics using optimization software within data visualization exercises that allow them to report on a system’s performance. The program takes two to three semesters to complete and prepares students for logistics roles on military bases, with military contractors, or in manufacturing and logistics facilities.

The inaugural cohort began in 2022 and completed its final course in March 2023. Participants in the first cohort were supported by their employers, which provided educational costs to complete the coursework.

Chris Carroll, Ivy Tech Dean of the School of Business, Logistics & Supply Chain, and the School of Information Technology, congratulated each of the cohort 1 graduates and credited the many partners that helped to successfully launch this specialized talent development program. “This could not have happened without the dedication of industry partners, students who eagerly jumped in to learn new skills, and their dedicated managers that helped support them along the way.”

In recognition of this program, Ivy Tech, ROI, and NSWC Crane were recently recognized by the Indiana Office for Career and Technical Education with the 2023 CTE Postsecondary Partnership Award at the May 3 Indiana Awards for Excellence. This annual award recognizes CTE programs and their partners (one or more) that have innovatively worked together to develop, expand, support, or promote a career and technical education program or programs.

Dr. Randall Walker, NSWC Crane’s Chief of Product Support in the Electro Optics Technology Division, added that the Department of Defense Military Certificate (CT) is the “first step of stackable credentials.”

The DoD certificate is 100% transferable to the Ivy Tech Associates Degree of Applied Science (AAS) in Supply Chain Management. The Supply Chain Management program is also an eligible Ivy Tech Guarantee Admissions Pathway. Ivy Tech has agreements with four-year colleges and universities in Indiana that allow qualified students that complete associate degrees to gain automatic acceptance to transfer for related bachelor’s degree programs.

Because many students now earn credentials and associate’s degrees while still in high school, Walker added that this program is also creating a new opportunity for the defense industry to develop a pipeline of young logistics talent prepared for internships and other career opportunities with NSWC Crane.

Cohort 2 is currently underway, and Cohort 3, which is open to any member of the public, begins in the fall of 2023. “The DoD Logistics program is already showing a lot of promise for the defense industry and for individuals seeking to advance their skill sets,” added McClaine. “It’s a great win for individuals, companies, and the entire Indiana Uplands region. We hope many others take advantage of this opportunity, from high schools looking to get started to professionals looking to skill up and advance their careers.”

Courses in this program are available via in-person, traditional learning, and hybrid (blended or learn anywhere) instruction. For more information on the Supply Chain Management – Department of Defense Military Certificate program, visit

About Regional Opportunity Initiatives

Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to advance economic and community prosperity in the 11 counties of the Indiana Uplands (Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen, and Washington counties).  ROI is growing potential and possibility through a focus on advanced industry sectors, regionalism, transformative school and workforce redesign, and placemaking strategies.  To learn more about ROI’s programs, visit

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor’s degree.

About NSWC Crane 

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions, and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi-spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today’s Warfighter.