DAHLGREN, Va. – Revonna Waring grew up in Charles County, Maryland, and originally planned on pursuing a career in accounting. Her first experience with the U.S. Navy came in 1984 through a high school co-op program that combined academic coursework and part-time responsibilities at Naval Ordnance Station Indian Head. “We were doing calculations for explosive mix sheets and the Standard Missile Program,” Waring recounted, noting that the data and detail-oriented opportunity shared many of the same elements that first appealed to her in the accounting field. Waring graduated from the College of Southern Maryland and began working at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) in 2001. She now serves as an inventory accuracy officer with management responsibility for live and inert explosive materials on base, which are collectively valued at more than $100 million. The inventory accuracy officer is responsible for both the safe disposal of potential explosive hazards and management of significant Navy assets, including multiple range stations and the Cooperative Engagement Capability Tower.
Late-March will signal the commencement of Explosive Safety Inspections (ESI) on base, which represents something comparable to a Super Bowl event for Waring and her team. Every two years outside experts inspect Dahlgren’s igloo-shaped explosive storage magazines to ensure the accuracy of inventory counts and compliance with military regulations while adding additional layers of accountability. That makes for a very high visibility period for the inventory accuracy officer, to put things mildly.
“Failure is absolutely not an option,” Waring said with focused poise and a smile. “I’m very confident that we are going to do well, because we are always in ESI mode.” This last phrase is a mantra frequently repeated by Waring, along with this related piece of wisdom: “always be ready for an inspection.”