FORT KNOX, Ky. - The Knowledge Management motto is to get the right information, in the right form, to the right people, at the right time, to make the right decision.
Thai Huynh, knowledge manager, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, has been doing just that as a civilian employee for the First Team since the beginning of 2020. However, that isn’t his first time working as a member of the unit.
Huynh initially worked as a KM officer in the 1st TSC’s Operational Command Post while serving as a captain in the Mississippi National Guard’s 184th Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC). The unit completed a nine-month rotation in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility from 2018 to 2019.
Huynh is currently a major and has served in the Mississippi National Guard for 16 years. During that time, he deployed twice. The first time was to Afghanistan with the 857th Engineer Company as the executive officer in 2012.
He spent the first 12 years in the guard as an engineer officer, having earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Southern Alabama. Huynh’s military occupational specialties include engineer, logistician and simulation operations officer.
In his civilian career, he also worked as a civil engineer, construction project manager and mathematics teacher. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in mathematics, and plans to return to teaching after completing his military and federal service obligations.
He believes that a common misconception about KM is that they just operate and develop the SharePoint portal.
“Knowledge management is more than just SharePoint. It’s working with people, processes and tools to enhance the organization,” he said. “We are part of the mission command [function] to deliver knowledge to the commander.”
“The most rewarding part of my job is when we put in a process and it continues to be used, which enhances the functions of the staff section or unit,” Huynh explained.
While SharePoint is the most well-known tool used in KM, they also use other tools. These include Global Electronic Approval Routing System, the KM assessment maturity model, battle rhythm management, content/records management and training exercises. Using these tools, KM can improve a process for a staff section and unit.
For those who are unfamiliar, the 1st TSC implemented the use of a platform called GEARS, an authorization and signature program, for accountability of staff reviews of products. It allows a user to track a document or packet throughout the staffing and approval process. Huynh describes it as similar to a FedEx tracking system.
“You can track a document from cradle to grave using GEARS,” he said.
“KM assessment tool consists of working with the sections KM representative to assess, evaluate and implement a process that enhances the capabilities and collaboration of the section.”
Has that process been used for a long period of time? Where are the knowledge gaps? Does it transfer with rotating units? Those are things that they look for during an assessment process.
KM professionals also work closely with the G6 directorate. With SharePoint and GEARS being the most used KM tools, the network assurance Soldiers ensure those systems can operate on the network.
Huynh also manages 1st TSC’s records management using Army Records Information Management System. ARIMS is a tool used to manage information from creation through its final disposition, per Army recordkeeping requirements and federal law.
“Using ARIMS, we maintain records for a determined amount of time,” Huynh said.
KM also works closely with the 1st TSC training and readiness accelerator team to train rotating expeditionary sustainment commands from all three components of the Army. They are trained in the processes and continuity of the 1st TSC for their deployment rotations and represent the 1st TSC OCP in the CENTCOM AOR.
Huynh’s teammate, Staff Sgt. Skylar Rohrscheib, KM noncommissioned officer in charge, 1st TSC, said “Mr. Huynh is great to work with, and he tries to help everyone. He will go above and beyond to assist.”
Mostly Huynh likes to meet people and solve their problems. He also doesn’t like saying no or we are not able to do that.
“I am a problem solver and will continue to work to find a solution,” he said. He attributes that to his background as an engineer, logistician, operations and mathematics.
The analytical Huynh uses these skills in his hobby as well, one that he picked up during college that he still does today.
“I referee professional and college soccer for U.S. Soccer, National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Southeastern Conference,” he said.
He travels the nation and relishes the hobby, which helps keep him in shape.
Huynh also coaches soccer for two of his children who play in the Elizabethtown Youth Soccer Association. He has been married for 10 years and has four boys and one daughter. They range in age from 3 to 18.
The family moved here from Mississippi when he joined the 1st TSC. His mother remains in Mississippi, where she is part of the Asian community.
Huynh is Vietnamese ethnically but was born in Thailand, where his first name Thai is derived. Forty-two years ago, he immigrated with his parents to the United States.
“My parents are from Vietnam and were refugees in Thailand after the war,” he said. “Then we came to the U.S. through California, moved around a good bit at first, and then settled in Mississippi.”
Huynh also has a family history with the military. Both his grandfather and father served in the South Vietnamese Army.
A popular Vietnamese food that Huynh still eats is pho.
“The broth takes a long time to cook and is good soup for the cold weather,” he said.
Whether it is refereeing on the soccer field or finding KM solutions to help make a job easier, Huynh continues to provide answers for a team on the field or a directorate here with First Team.