People matter. We have to invest in people, our most important resource. We must drive readiness, maintain our edge, and compete against and dominate peer adversaries. The Army is transforming from an Industrial Age-based institution to an Information Age ready force competing in large-scale combat operations (LSCO) in a complex Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) battlefield. Leaders need to be innovative, mentally tough, and have a winning attitude. They need to pursue both institutional learning opportunities and self-development. They have to get after the academic rigor needed to build critical skill sets for their profession. The sustainment enterprise is supporting these concepts, and the 2019 Army People Strategy line of effort “Develop Talent,” through numerous initiatives including intensive degree and industry-standard certification programs from various sources.Where We AreDid you know that captains can get a fully funded Master in Supply Chain Management degree from Virginia Commonwealth University?The Virginia Commonwealth University Master of Supply Chain Management program allows branch-qualified captains to enhance their understanding of strategic supply chain concepts and how to leverage data analytics in decision-making. The yearlong program improves data analysis and visualization skills, teaches forecasting methods, and develops an understanding of strategic and operational management. Opportunities exist for graduates to conduct follow-on utilization assignments at organizations across the enterprise upon completion of the graduate program.Did you know the Industry Based Broadening Logistics Program (IB2 LOG) course applies industry best practices to achieve optimized logistic support?IB2 LOG was developed in collaboration with Department of the Army, G-3, and the Institute for Defense and Business. The key objectives of the course are to apply industry best practices to achieve optimized logistic support in your organization; learn how top organizations analyze and interpret complex data to support decision making; and a develop more broad perspective on the use of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in the military and government.The IB2 LOG program is a three week educational and experiential learning opportunity that includes classroom education sessions paired with on-site team bench marking with local private sector companies. The program is open to personnel with experience in using Army ERP systems to manage logistics, such as Global Combat Support System-Army (GCSS-Army) and General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS). Personnel interested in attending the program should be in the following grades:GS13 to GS15Captain to MajorChief Warrant Officer 3 and 4Impact in the Operational Force IB2 LOG is already paying dividends for operational units. In April 2019, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Brian Masters, the 18th Field Artillery Brigade Maintenance Technician at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, conducted the IB2 LOG course through University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, which included working with industry partners such as General Electric, Volvo, Murano and Caterpillar. Utilizing the skills he accumulated through the IB2 LOG course, Masters developed a customizable and interactive maintenance readiness dashboard that is populated with real time data from GCSS-Army and analyzed and presented through the Microsoft Power Business Intelligence (BI) application.The results of optimized visualization over time helped drive significant changes in 18FA’s maintenance program. In less than a year, there were positive readiness impacts in numerous metrics, including reductions in both overdue wheeled services by 95% and reducing unserviceable reports turn-in average turn-in time by 91%. This was not accomplished through "maintenance stand downs” or “surge maintenance” efforts, but rather through systematic changes driven by the unit’s ability to see itself. Engaged leadership and exceptional management at the unit level made this possible. Data analytics and visualization gave a target for leadership to shoot for and metrics to measure, which contributed to the success.“Data analytics is like the sand table before a battle,” remarked Masters. “It takes all the inputs and variables and provides the ability to build models to determine the outcome. Through data analytics, maintenance warrant officers can perform causative analysis through historic data and predict with a level of certainty the failure rate of equipment and the resources (soldiers, time, and parts) needed for future mission requirements.”This tool provides one example of how data analytics can help positively impact readiness and provide a sustainable and more predictable system for units. It is imperative that we take advantage of the opportunities offered through courses such as IB2 LOG and spread the knowledge throughout the operational force. Additionally, many of these concepts are also being taught in the Ordnance Warrant Officer Advanced Course (WOAC) at the Army Logistics University (ALU) on Fort Lee, Virginia.Did you know Department of the Army Civilians can earn the nationally recognized Master Logistician certification?The Civilian Logistics Career Management Office (CLCMO) offers the Department of the Army Master Logistician Certificate (ALMC) program. Completion of the three-tiered program provides the Army with multifunctional logisticians who are well-trained and have operational experience in at least two of the three functional areas:Supply managementMaterial managementTransportation and distribution managementThe ALMC program accreditation is with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is nationally recognized. Upon earning the Master Logistician certificate, careerists will be able to use the “ML” designation.Where We Are GoingThe Army currently delivers world-class tactical and operational sustainment leaders. In order to generate forward momentum, we need to expand our breadth and depth of knowledge in big data analytics. We need to ask ourselves: How do we use big data and turn it into knowledge that a commander can use on the battlefield?Advancements in technology and the implementation of  the Army’s ERP systems—GCSS-Army, Logistics Modernization Program, GFEBS, etc.—have allowed Army logisticians unprecedented access to massive amounts of data. Our ability to find, analyze, interpret, communicate, and turn that data into knowledge will determine the level of competitive advantage we gain over our adversaries. The Army G-4 has implemented the logistics data asset management (LDAM) forum with several lines of effort to improve our systems and create a data-focused culture. ALU is leading the “Build Analytic Talent” line of effort and is developing courses to build this particular knowledge and skill set. Data analysis topics and techniques are also being incorporated into professional military education (PME) courses at all levels.So, how are we preparing leaders to win on the battlefield?Bottom LineWe need sustainers who can meet the demands of combatant commanders in time and space under dynamic conditions. We owe it to the nation to develop leaders throughout their career with the right knowledge, skills and behaviors to compete and win on the next battlefield. The institutional and operational training environments are important, but we need sustainment leaders that maximize self-development learning opportunities as part of the Army profession.Self-Development doesn’t always come in structured programs, but professionals seek opportunities to improve their craft while developing others. Engaged leadership provides the resources and tools necessary to allow leader development and talent management. Challenge yourselves, get after the professional rigor of institutional, operational, and self-development training environments, and spread the word to your Soldiers and leaders that opportunities exist across all domains. The investment on leaders will sharpen critical skills required to win against any adversary, at any time, any place.Winning Matters!If you would like more information on these programs, please refer to the following points of contact:Virginia Commonwealth University Master of Supply Chain Management: Carrie Vernon at carrie.vernon2.civ@mail.milDepartment of the Army Master Logistician Certificate program: Samantha Newman at samantha.newman3.civ@mail.milIndustry Based Broadening Logistics Program (IB2): Army Civilians contact Ms. Samantha Newman at samantha.newman3.civ@; military personnel contact Sgt. Maj. James Yuras at Gen. Rodney Fogg, commanding general of Combined Arms Support Command, is a graduate of Quartermaster Basic and Advanced Officer Leadership Courses, Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College. He has a master's degree in logistics management from Florida Institute of Technology and a master's degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.--------------------This article was published in the April-June 2020 issue of Army Sustainment.RELATED LINKSArmy Sustainment homepageCurrent issue of Army Sustainment in PDF formatCurrent Army Sustainment online articlesConnect with Army Sustainment on LinkedInConnect with Army Sustainment on Facebook