FORT DETRICK, Md. -- U.S. Army Medical Logistics Command is partnering with the Army Reserve to provide training opportunities for reserve Soldiers in an active-duty setting.
Aligning with its higher headquarters, AMLC in September hosted its first reserve Soldier from Army Reserve Sustainment Command’s Detachment 7 program.
“Detachment 7, or the DET 7 program, is designated to support Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) in various functions with the use of reserve Soldiers who are able to perform annual training and battle assembly at other functional commands, such as AMLC,” said Maj. Ibrahim Kabbah, AMLC’s Reserve liaison officer.
AMLC, the Army’s Life Cycle Management Command for medical materiel, is a direct report to CECOM.
Maj. Brandon McCalla, a reserve signal officer and cybersecurity expert with a private company when not in uniform, trained and worked alongside the AMLC G-6 team at Fort Detrick over his two-week assignment.
“The AMLC G-6 staff and I were excited to provide Maj. McCalla an opportunity to support his Army Reserve training as part of CECOM’s DET 7 program,” said Jason Gatti, director of AMLC’s G-6. “It’s always a good experience to get an outside perspective on program execution for process improvement.”
McCalla called the experience “insightful,” helping him gain perspective of information technology practices and processes from a command headquarters level.
“It’s been a great experience to use the skills I have as a cybersecurity program manager at my private-sector company, in addition to my experience as a brigade and battalion S-6 in the Army, and be able to bring those skills together here at AMLC,” McCalla said.
McCalla, a resident of Virginia and 2003 graduate from Howard University in Washington, D.C., served 14 years as an active-duty signal officer before transitioning to part-time in the Reserve and working for a large information technology firm.
His military experience has included signal roles in the field, including in Afghanistan and Iraq, so to gain additional experience at a command headquarters level through the DET 7 program was “invaluable” and provided a wider view of the overall IT enterprise.
McCalla also said the relationship between public and private sectors, especially in the realm of cybersecurity, which is a concern universally in today’s technology-savvy world, can be symbiotic in many ways.
“As much as we think the private sector has all the answers, it doesn’t,” he said. “One thing that the DOD overall has that the private sector can take some lessons from … is leadership. The private sector is great at developing best practices, but often lacks leadership to drive teams forward. That’s where the DOD excels.”
Comprised of six teams with different disciplines of expertise, the DET 7 program was developed to better align with modern defense strategies that focus on shaping the force and Army formations to be more integrated, agile and flexible.
McCalla's training marks the first time AMLC has participated in the CECOM program, opening the door for additional training opportunities across the MEDLOG enterprise for reserve Soldiers in the future, Kabbah said.
“The DET 7 program is a way ahead in helping to provide training but also potentially mitigate manpower gaps at AMLC,” he said. “It can serve as a force multiplier and a way to keep the AMLC MEDLOG ready.”