By Sarah McCleary, Fort Lee Public Affairs OfficeJanuary 9, 2008
FORT LEE, Va. (Army News Service, Jan. 10, 2008) -- The first wave of more than 10,000 logistics officers exchanged their branch insignia at a Fort Lee ceremony Wednesday, following the Jan. 1 establishment of the Logistics Branch.
"Beginning today, we officially write a new chapter in history for Army logisticians," said Maj. Gen. Mitchell H. Stevenson, U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee commanding general.
Representing logisticians Army-wide, more than 50 officers from the Ordnance, Quartermaster and Transportation branches were united under the Logistics Branch in order to meet the sustainment challenges of the 21st century warfighter.
At the ceremony, representatives from each branch had their insignia exchanged by Maj. Gen. Stevenson; Brig. Gen. James E. Chambers, U.S. Army Transportation Center and School commanding general; and Brig. Gen. Jesse R. Cross, U.S. Army Quartermaster Center and School commanding general.
Capt. Brian M. Cozine, representative for the Quartermaster Branch, said he thought the ceremony was both important and historical. "The change to Logistics Branch gives us an opportunity to train and learn together in a unified environment," he said. "It shows there is no task in logistics that is more important than the other."
Representing Transportation, Lt. Col. Charles B. Moses said he believes the new branch keeps officers from singling out one logistics field over another and puts the focus on getting the job done. "We've really come full circle," he said.
Under the Logistics Branch, captains transition from a functional branch to a multifunctional logistics focus after completing the Captains Career Course. Ordnance, Quartermaster and Transportation branches remain, training enlisted Soldiers, non-commissioned officers and lieutenants in a specialized logistics field. Officers will have more Logistics Branch assignments and fewer assignments in their specialty, particularly as they become more senior.
Stevenson compared the idea of the Logistics Branch to a colonel becoming a general. Though generals view their missions in a broader perspective, they wear their regiment proudly, he said. "That isn't at all unlike what you are doing today."
Multifunctional logistics education and training prepare officers to anticipate, plan, integrate and execute all types of deployment and sustainment activities, said Stevenson. "Today, and into the foreseeable future, logistics officers must be able to operate effectively amidst uncertainty and unpredictability in the full spectrum of operations," said Stevenson.
The Logistics Branch insignia, a ship's steering wheel crossed by a key and cannon and a stylized star in the center, represents the union of these functional areas. The key represents the Quartermaster Corps' responsibility to provide supplies and services. The ship's wheel denotes the Transportation Corps' movement of troops, supplies and equipment. The cannon symbolizes the Ordnance Corps' maintenance and munitions responsibilities. Finally, the stylized star in the center represents the unity and integration of all of these functions.
"I'm kind of sad to see the Ordnance insignia go, but I think it's cool to combine all the services in one symbol and I'm getting used to it," Ordnance Branch representative Maj. Jennifer D. Wesley said about the exchange of her insignia.
The Logistics Branch motto is in Latin on the ship's steering wheel. "Sustinendum Victoriam," meaning Sustaining Victory, and it is written in the Branch color, Soldier Red.
"This ceremony and the new insignia is a tangible symbol of our transformation, our unity and our commitment to sustainment excellence," Stevenson said.