Editor’s Note: Lt. Gen. Charles R. Hamilton assumed duties as the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, on April 6. He most recently served as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, G-4 3/5/7, where he oversaw the G-4’s integration of strategic and operational logistics functions to sustain Army Forces. He has contributed several articles to the Army Sustainment Professional Bulletin throughout his career, detailing topics such as predictive logistics, remote expeditionary support, and pre-deployment training. In Hamilton’s first recurring column as the DCS, G-4, he provides an initial look into how the Army Sustainment Enterprise (ASE) will continue to advance its key initiatives that will effectively posture the Army of 2030.
The New Strategic Environment
Recent events at home and abroad—such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine—have clearly demonstrated the importance of logistics to strategic readiness that is central to the Army mission. The doctrinal transition from counterinsurgency to large-scale combat operations has altered adversarial assumptions that guided previous decision-making across echelons. Faced with the complex and dynamic capabilities of near-peer adversaries, the new strategic environment will test our ability to deter and compete from the homeland to varying tactical points of contact. Those adversaries will seek to undermine our logistics capabilities across multiple domains, including at home. It will be prudent and in our best interest as part of the joint force to proactively prepare for competition, crisis, and conflict. Recognizing the unique constraints of this operational context will prove foundational to our strategic readiness as we posture ourselves to meet the demands set by the National Military Strategy. From a modernized and resilient Organic Industrial Base (OIB) to an agile power projection infrastructure that ensures we can set and reset theaters in contested environments, our critical efforts to advance and sustain the Army’s strategic readiness will remain enduring. However, how we drive those areas forward will adapt alongside the evolving nature of future warfare.
Strategic Readiness to Empower the Joint Force
Readiness is our core requirement as Army sustainers. Enabling readiness across the Total Army ensures the force learns from the past to accomplish today’s requirements and prepare for future ones. Driving readiness across echelons is a complex, dynamic, and multi-dimensional task that begins, first and foremost, with our greatest asset—our people. The joint force will continue to rely on an agile and adaptive ASE into 2030 and beyond. Successful readiness is made possible in large part due to the Soldiers, civilians, and contractors at the ASE’s core. While our high standards will remain the same, the sustainment tasks and strategic environment we operate will continue to evolve across multi-dimensional domains.
To maintain our sustainment capabilities as a distinct and unassailable strategic advantage, we must be prepared to do the following:
- Achieve and sustain a strategic readiness posture that is resilient across all domains. The Joint Strategic Support Area (JSSA) is the center of gravity for generating and sustaining combat power. The ASE is integral to setting the JSSA to enable the Army’s strategic readiness. The Army’s OIB modernization efforts are critical to this endeavor. Achieving and sustaining strategic readiness will allow the Army to deploy and project combat power effectively. Strategic readiness will ensure the Army’s logistics overmatch to sustain operations across distributed and contested environments. This posture is enabled through a resilient command and control network that supports information and decision-making advantage. Reducing sustainment demand which unburdens our reliance on extended lines of communication across echelons, will be decisive in sustaining operations in contested environments. Critical to this demand reduction will be our role in supporting the Army’s climate initiatives to simultaneously increase strategic readiness and reduce harmful environmental impacts.
- Revolutionize our approach to data-enabled sustainment operations. The Army will advance the ways in which we collect, store, access, analyze, and communicate our large streams of data across echelons. Data must serve as a readiness asset. It cannot simply describe a past reality, and instead, it must be leveraged to reliably and rapidly inform immediate and future decisions from the strategic to the tactical space. Transforming our sustainment information systems, processes, and procedures will establish data as a readiness asset and form the foundation of predictive logistics (PL). To achieve PL, we will revolutionize our approach to data to deliver and execute sustainment before needed. Beyond PL, we also must commit to precise logistics that will be exact, accurate, and refined. This will enable exhaustive and proactive decision-making across the strategic, operational, and tactical support areas on behalf of and with the direct benefit provided to the warfighter.
- Ensure our doctrine is forward-focused, agile, and reflective of the Army of 2030. Army doctrine provides the foundation for sustainment as a key warfighting function and underpins efforts critical to our readiness posture. Descriptive in nature, allowing for innovative thought and execution, doctrine provides a steady framework for collective action. While the principles of sustainment will remain in place, how we will be called to apply those principles to ensure freedom of action, extend operational reach, and prolong endurance will evolve. Doctrine that is responsive to those needs and is reflective of the future-ready Army will sustain strategic readiness.
Current Strategic Readiness for Future Overmatch
History has continually told the story of the sustainer being central to battlefield victory. While we take pride in executing our mission in the background, the efforts do not go unnoticed. The Army of 2030 and beyond will place unique demands on our sustainers, but we will be ready to respond.
We must remain committed to the development of our people, prepare for the future through capitalization of revolutionary data-enabled sustainment, and ensure our doctrine is reflective of the Army of the future. I am honored and humbled to be your 47th Army G-4. People First, Winning Matters, Army Strong!
Lt. Gen. Charles R. Hamilton currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4. He most recently served as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, G-4 3/5/7. Hailing from Houston, Texas, Hamilton enlisted in the U.S. Army. Upon completion of basic and individual training, he was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas. In February 1988, he graduated from Officer Candidate School as the Distinguished Military Graduate and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Virginia State University and Masters’ Degrees in Public Administration from Central Michigan University and Military Studies from Marine Corps University. He also is a graduate of a Senior Service College Fellowship – Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellows Program.
This article was published in the Spring 2022 issue of Army Sustainment.