By Mr Charles Fick (AMC)September 26, 2011
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- An Afghanistan veteran received the 2010 Linda J. Villar Logistics Assistance Representative of the Year Award in a Sept. 26 ceremony at Army Sustainment Command headquarters.
Graydon A. Field, a logistics management specialist, is serving as the Readiness LAR with the brigade logistics support team supporting the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Ky.
"This award is well-deserved," said Maj. Gen. Yves J. Fontaine, ASC commanding general. Fontaine went on to laud Field's choice to keep serving Soldiers as a LAR, following a 27-year Army career.
"Thank-you for this opportunity to represent my fellow LARs," Field said after the presentation. He also thanked the Almighty before turning to his wife, Linda, and thanking her for serving at his side for 33 years.
After the ceremony, Field expressed mixed emotions over the recognition. "I'm honored, of course, but don't feel that I am the one who should have received the award. Many more folks out there are more deserving than I," he said
Field entered the Logistics Assistance Program in 2009, bringing a lifetime of experience and a desire to continue serving Soldiers.
"We have a passion for what we do," Field said, describing his fellow LARs and members of his BLST.
Maj. Edward Sleeper, 4-101 BLST chief, nominated Field for the award, citing a range of skills and accomplishments.
"Mr. Field is a multi-tasking logistician, able to communicate and operate worldwide," Sleeper wrote in the nomination.
Field's ability was tested early and often, including a six-month stint as interim chief of the BLST. Once the new team chief arrived, Field became an expert mentor, Sleeper wrote in the nomination.
With the 4th Brigade Combat Team marked for deployment to Afghanistan, Field was part of the brigade's mission rehearsal exercise at Fort Polk, La. According to the nomination, Field was commended by the commander of the 406th Army Field Support Brigade for "extensive, organized and mission-focused support … that led to the IBCT's successful rotation."
When the 4th Brigade deployed in August 2010 to Forward Operating Base Sharana, Afghanistan, Field was right there with the Soldiers he supports.
During his tour in Afghanistan, Field said he continued his primary duties, but "with a greater emphasis on assisting the brigade with supply and maintenance issues and the combat environment that affects the theater-provided fleets they fall in on."
Attending to his own team of LARs offered an "increased challenge with personnel accountability, life support and administrative support for assigned LARs during deployment," Field noted.
In the nomination, Sleeper pointed out several of Field's noteworthy accomplishments on the battlefield.
"Mr. Field researched and worked through the process of acquiring subcomponents of end-items versus ordering the next high assembly for multiple systems. His work got the attention of the Defense Logistics Agency, which responded by providing accurate ordering options … leading to a dramatic decrease in excess property," Sleeper wrote
Seeing a need for a database to locate, track and re-issue excess property, Field took action. "Mr. Field's energy and competence resulted in 5,694 lines of redistributable [repair parts] being built into a local database for AO [area of operations] Sharana maintenance technicians to quickly and accurately obtain parts," Sleeper wrote. The initiative resulted in making available an estimated $1.5 million in repair parts.
Field was active as a guest speaker at the Defense Acquisition University on the issues, challenges and opportunities during fielding of initial production models of the MaxxPro Dash DXM MRAP vehicle.
According to Sleeper, ensuring effective, integrated support is among Field's skills. "Mr. Field was the lead IBCT maintenance process instructor for more than 75 field service representatives on FOB Sharana, Afghanistan. His ability to provide the Army Materiel Command partners a concise process for the IBCT's priorities shaped the standards for … equipment maintenance."
Speaking for himself, Field listed a number of goals his BLST aims to achieve.
"Working up our chain of command to Logistics Assistance Program managers at Army Sustainment Command and, through them, to Army Materiel Command, we can deliver the might of the Materiel Enterprise," Field remarked.
"Our BLST is the face of the Materiel Enterprise for the Soldiers of the 4th Brigade. We strive to ensure the brigade understands what the BLST and assigned LARs can do for them," Field said. "We're building trust and confidence within the brigade as to the value of technical LARs and logistical support the BLST brings to the fight."
"I'm the Readiness LAR, but in a sense, all of us in the 4-101st BLST -- and the entire Materiel Enterprise -- have one mission: ensure the materiel readiness of operating forces," Field said.
"To me," Field concluded, "the honor of receiving the Villar Award is sharing it with all my brothers and sisters out there serving Soldiers."