Serving with Army Materiel Command was one of Maj. Gen. Charles Hamilton’s goals, and when he got the call, he was looking forward to working at the next level.
“For a logistician, it’s the most strategic assignment you can get, and I looked forward to the challenge,” he said.
Hamilton has spent the last nine months as AMC’s deputy chief of staff for logistics and operations, G-3. The challenges he faced included maintaining readiness – getting Soldiers the equipment they need, where they need it – while simultaneously supporting modernization and reform efforts across multiple areas. These challenges were intensified as he assumed the responsibility three months into the global pandemic.
“I think what we all learned is just like war, we had to adapt and work inside that COVID environment,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton and his team had to support ongoing Army training, get supplies to Soldiers amid travel restrictions and contribute the whole-of-government response to the pandemic, all while completing regular missions. One big success was how the G-3 supported the health of the supply chain. With the support of industry partners and through supply chain demand planning, supply availability stayed between 93-95% in the last year.
“Despite the pandemic, AMC was able to support an Army in motion and the team didn’t miss a beat,” he said. “They pulled it off, and it was just impressive.”
AMC Commander Gen. Ed Daly has described the G-3 as the defensive players in football, whose names and numbers are seldom called, but are critical to the command’s success.
“I want to thank you from the standpoint of being the G-3 for the largest, most complex Army command and the fantastic work that you’ve done giving guidance and direction, and really purpose and motivation to this great team,” Daly said at Hamilton’s farewell and award ceremony.
During Hamilton’s time at AMC, the G-3 made strides in advancing Army priorities. AMC prepared for the Regionally Aligned Readiness and Modernization Model, or ReARMM, which will transform the Army into a multi-domain capable force ready for competition, crisis, conflict and change. AMC established the Modernization Displacement and Repair Sites, which make it easier for Soldiers to turn in old equipment and free up space for upgraded equipment.
“I am a huge supporter of ReARMM,” Hamilton said. “We have to get through this model and modernize to keep pace with our adversaries.”
Hamilton also led efforts in advanced manufacturing, Enterprise Business System-Convergence, Prognostic and Predictive Maintenance, and more. He compared these advancements to that of the telephone, where it is now hard to imagine life before smartphones.
“I think the way we manage and use data in the future will be one of the key components in how we fight in large scale combat operations,” he said.
Hamilton led with the Army’s number one priority of people in mind. Because AMC has maximized telework, he was unable to meet every member of his 800-plus team in person. To make up for that early in his assignment, Hamilton spent three hours walking across two floors, looking at his team member’s cubicles to see family photos, sports memorabilia and other details that would help him get to know them better.
He also continued to mentor Soldiers through leadership professional development and one-on-one mentoring sessions. He said he enjoys mentoring Soldiers but also sees it as his duty. Daly said there is no better trainer or mentor in the Army.
“He spends an unbelievable amount of time mentoring, coaching, leading and developing the future of this profession of arms, specifically in the logistics corps, and I’m truly proud of that and that’s going to be one of your great legacies,” Daly said.
Looking back on the last nine months, Hamilton said one of his biggest lessons he learned was the importance of being patient instead of reactive. He learned the importance of waiting to see how best to support the issue in front of you.
“You have so many other stakeholders that even when you want to go fast, you have to let the situation develop,” he said.
His experience working with AMC will help him as he transitions to serving as the Army G-4 assistant deputy chief of staff. He anticipates the budget being his biggest challenge, ensuring he gets the Army what it needs to be successful. With challenges ahead, he looks forward to continuing to support AMC, a command he believes will continue to make strides supporting Soldiers.
“Nothing in the Army happens without checking with AMC. I think it’s amazing,” he said. “It went from Army Materiel Command – key word materiel – to this operationalized command now, and I think it’s pretty awesome. So I’m looking forward to going to the G-4 and continuing to contribute.”