Pagonis to donate logistics material to ALU
May 13, 2010
FORT LEE, Va. (May 13, 2010) -- Future students attending the Army Logistics University will be able to read, watch and study one of the most comprehensive collections of logistical documentation ever donated to an Army professional development school.
During a May 17 ALU ceremony, retired Lt. Gen. William Gus Pagonis will officially donate his extensive collection of videotapes, documented after action reports, and other material for use at the university. The donation represents the start of the Senior Sustainment Collection.
This collection will benefit students and set the standard for other sustainment commanders to donate their logistically related documents and files for use, said Dr. Steve Anders, Combined Arms Support Command and Sustainment Center of Excellence historian.
"Hopefully, Fort Lee will become a repository for the [sustainment war fighting functions] of transportation, ordnance and quartermaster," said Pagonis. "I just happen to be the guy who kicks everything off."
The extensiveness and accuracy of the Pagonis collection is the result of forward thinking. When the Persian Gulf War kicked off in 1990, Pagonis, then Gulf War director of logistics, knew the importance of what was about to happen and put together a history team to document every aspect of planning and preparation.
"I remember turning to one of my Soldiers and saying that with all these National Guardsmen and Reservists being activated, there has to be some college professors of history," said Pagonis, who commanded all National Guard, Active Army and Reservists belonging to logistics during the Gulf War. "I said I want them assigned here and we\'re going to form a history team right from the start.
"The result was a three-Soldier history team that was charged with documenting everything pertaining to the logistics of the war, whether it was right or wrong.
"The team documented everything," said Pagonis. "We even had VHS tapes made of every pre-meeting and after-action review. I kept it all, which amounted to about two five-drawer filing cabinets; all cataloged and documented, plus VHS tapes."
The collection, ranging from operational orders to more than 2,000 taped interviews, has remained in Pagonis' care since the end of the war. "I have always considered this material Army property, even though it was in my possession," said Pagonis, who over the years had considered donating the materials to either Carlisle Barracks for use at the U.S. Army War College or Penn State.
"I kept the material because I had a gut feeling that the Logistics Corps was going to happen, since it was something we did during the Gulf War," said Pagonis. "Once Fort Lee was set up as the center of the Sustainment Community, [Maj. Gen. James E. Chambers, commanding general of CASCOM, SCoE and Fort Lee] and I talked and agreed it was the perfect time to donate my materials."
Pagonis, now vice-chairman for GENCO Supply Chain Solutions and author of "Moving Mountains," said if anything is certain, it's that history repeats itself. "The more people can study and research history, the better they become. I don't know what materials other senior leaders will donate, but this is a great way to start it off."