When Daniel Kuykendall Jr. became a logistics management specialist with the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command in January 2020, he did not know his job would drastically change two months later.
Kuykendall is a lead materiel fielding manager assigned to the AMCOM Logistics Center, Acquisition Logistics Directorate. He and his team manage six Integrated Fires Mission Command Project Office weapons systems and provide support to multiple air defense artillery units worldwide.
Prior to COVID-19, Kuykendall and his team traveled to various locations throughout the U.S. and overseas to field IFMC’s critical weapons systems to commandant commanders and provided on-site support to Soldiers. However, on March 13, 2020, the secretary of defense issued a stop-movement order to all military personnel and Department of Defense civilians.
The order halted all travel, to include official travel, which grounded Kuykendall’s team and forced him to find a way to field equipment to units without leaving Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
Kuykendall said his team assists ADA Soldiers with equipment ranging from computers to trucks and tanks to helicopters. They use the phrase “weapons systems” as a generic term to cover the entire gamut of possibilities but, the bottom line was, the Soldiers needed the equipment.
Much like the rest of the world, Kuykendall had to find a new way to conduct business during a global pandemic and provide uninterrupted support to the warfighter.
He devised a plan to remotely field the weapons systems, relying on his 21 years of experience on active duty to help him.
“The same thing I’m doing now, I did in the Army — supply operations, property book accountability — so I explained to the leadership, ‘This is what Soldiers do in the Army.’ The property book officer and the supply sergeant, they get new equipment all of the time. They inventory it and issue it to the section that it belongs to, so that’s how I knew it could happen, because that’s what I did in the Army.”
Kuykendall’s plan worked. His team has now successfully used his remote fielding plan for more than a year — coordinating with the gaining commands to conduct remote fieldings and joint inventories and achieving 100% property accountability with zero issues.
He said, “We coordinate with the unit, ship the equipment out to them and provide all of the documentation for them to conduct the inventory with us via on the phone or [video call].”
For his dedication to supporting the warfighter and continuing the mission, the U.S. Army Materiel Command recognized Kuykendall as an employee of the quarter across the entire AMC enterprise for the fourth quarter of 2020.
He said he did it because it had to be done. The rest of the world may have come to a stop in March 2020, but the Soldiers in the field and deployed all over the world could not.