Figure 1. Proposed logistics professional education framework for officers.
Figure 1. Proposed logistics professional education framework for officers.

As the Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM) continues to develop the Globally Responsive Sustainment Strategy, it has both the need and the opportunity to integrate the learning initiatives it is undertaking into a comprehensive logistics leader development strategy to produce adaptive and creative sustainers with the skills and knowledge to operate in the future environment.

It is imperative that our initiatives nest within the Army Leader Development Strategy (ALDS) and enable us to leverage Army resources to the maximum advantage to systematically develop the required skill sets across Soldiers' and Department of the Army (DA) civilians' careers.


Leader development is achieved through a career-long synthesis of training, education, and experiences acquired through opportunities in the institutional, operational, and self-development domains to develop the leader attributes (character, presence, and intellect) and competencies (leads, develops, and achieves) outlined in Army Doctrine Publication 6-22, Army Leadership.

ALDS lays out how to approach that development and grants individual proponents the flexibility to develop a strategy to approach their functional learning areas. Thus, we are developing a logistics leader development strategy that will become the logistics component of ALDS.


The logistics community has been working on a number of initiatives that contribute to the leader development of our sustainers. Our contributions to the new version of DA Pamphlet 600-3, Commissioned Officer Professional Development and Career Management, include career maps that give sustainers the opportunity to develop themselves from the tactical through the operational and strategic levels of the logistics enterprise.

We have started a number of education initiatives directly tied to the sustainment competencies required over the course of a career, to include strengthening the professional military education programs and university partnerships that the Army Logistics University (ALU) has established.

Among these programs and partnerships are the College of William and Mary's Major General James Wright MBA Fellowship, Virginia State University cooperative undergraduate degree programs, and a commercial SAP [Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing] certification program in coordination with the SAP University Alliance.

Additionally, we are examining current programs within ALU, such as the Theater Logistics Planners Program and Intern Logistics Studies Program, as well as those at the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) and the Army War College.

However, during the development of these initiatives, we have discovered that the Army has many disparate logistics education programs (both military and civilian) that are not clearly tied to an overarching strategy, Training and Doctrine Command priorities, or the capabilities described in the Globally Responsive Sustainment Strategy.

By facilitating the development of an integrated logistics education process, we will work to integrate these various programs and tie them to the Army's overarching strategies, priorities, and concepts. As first steps in this process, we worked within the logistics community to define the logistics learning areas and established the Logistics Professional Education Board (LPEB) to guide our work.


To understand the educational requirements, we worked with our logistics partners to develop logistics leader learning outcomes and competencies tied to the demands articulated in the Army 2020 and Sustainment 2020 concepts. Those competencies, applicable to officer professional development, pertain to four main learning areas of military logistics: planning, distribution/supply chain management (D/SCM), life cycle systems management (LCSM), and defense industrial base management (DIBM). These areas are by no means mutually exclusive; yet, when considered holistically, they make up the professional discipline of military logistics.

LOGISTICS PLANNING. Logistics planning involves conceptualizing, forecasting, and resourcing the future movement and support of forces. It includes those aspects of military planning that deal with a) design and development, acquisition, storage, movement, distribution, maintenance, evacuation, and disposition of materiel; b) movement, evacuation, and hospitalization of personnel; c) acquisition or construction, maintenance, operation, and disposition of facilities; and d) acquisition or furnishing of services.

D/SCM. D/SCM refers to a cross-functional approach to procuring, producing, and delivering products and services to customers. The broad management scope includes suppliers, internal information, and funds flow.

LCSM. LCSM is the process of managing systems across their entire life cycles, taking into account the fully burdened costs associated with maintaining required systems readiness, trade-offs between systems design and total ownership costs, and the importance of comprehensive visibility over total ownership costs.

DIBM. DIBM pertains to cooperative management within a complementary and synergistic industrial base (private and government owned) that has the ability and capacity to satisfy mission materiel requirements in peacetime and during national emergencies. It involves evaluating processes, organizations, and resources.

These four broad logistics learning areas will be considered for coverage in each level of learning. They will be emphasized relative to the scope of work or context expected at each level and cohort (officer, warrant officer, noncommissioned officer, or civilian).

In addition, these learning areas will be placed in context so that the learner may gain a sense of how these areas of military logistics play out under various conditions. The study of military logistics history and case study research, we believe, will serve that learning well. (See figure 1.)


The LPEB was designed as a logistics professional education strategic oversight body to shape the future development of Army logisticians. The board will enable the Army logistics community to synchronize its many learning initiatives. It will also facilitate the development of an integrated logistics education process that is tied to the Army's overarching strategies and priorities.

The LPEB comprises three of our most senior practitioners and is chartered to provide strategic guidance and oversight as we continuously adapt our educational institutions. Establishing the LPEB under ALU's purview will help the logistics community accomplish the desired outcomes.

On February 25, 2013, CASCOM sponsored the first meeting of the LPEB. Its initial tasks were to establish the board through an agreed-to charter, review the current state of Army logistics education, adopt an officer logistics education framework that integrates with the Army and joint communities, and carve a way ahead to later include civilians, warrant officers, and noncommissioned officers.

The voting members in attendance were the Army G-4, the Army Materiel Command deputy commanding general, and the CASCOM commander. Also in attendance were the director of the National Defense University's Center for Joint and Strategic Logistics; the Ordnance, Transportation, and Quartermaster School commandants; and representatives from the Human Resources Command, the Forces Command G-4, the Army War College, CGSC, and the Combined Arms Command.

One of the main accomplishments of the first LPEB meeting was drafting the board's charter. The charter states that "the board will review opportunities for broadening assignments and self-development at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels throughout a logistician's career."

The charter also identifies the following specific responsibilities of the LPEB:

• Guide the development of an overarching logistics education strategy.
• Review and approve the four logistics learning areas.
• Review and approve the logistics education continuum.
• Review and approve the logistics learning outcomes.
• Guide criteria and processes for governance of accreditation standards for logistics educational programs, curriculum outcomes, selection of qualified military and civilian faculty, and student selection and talent management in accordance with DA Pamphlet 600-3.
• Provide personnel to participate in the LPEB Council of Colonels and action officer working group activities to conduct staff analysis and produce deliverables in accordance with the LPEB's intent.

The initiatives that we are currently working in the education realm will shape the Globally Responsive Sustainment Strategy that supports the ALDS. The end state of this strategy is a sustainer who can design and conduct effective support operations from the tactical through strategic levels and manage the business of logistics in the future environment. We will develop these skills through training, education, and experience.
Maj. Gen. Larry D. Wyche is the commanding general of the Combined Arms Support Command and Sustainment Center of Excellence at Fort Lee, Va.
This article was published in the July-September 2013 issue of Army Sustainment magazine.

Page last updated Thu April 30th, 2015 at 14:36