By David Beaumont. Some may recall from earlier posts on 'Logistics In War' that in late 2016, the Chief of the Australian Army, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell, challenged the senior logisticians of the Australian Army to 'revolutionise' Army's logistics. This was not because sustainment operations were not successfully happening, nor was it a condemnation of… Continue reading Transforming the Australian Army’s logistics
By Michael Lane. It has been said that origins of modern logistics were adopted from the military. This implies that at some point in time military logisticians were the leaders in logistics thinking and by extension logistics training. However, where the military were once logistics thought leaders it can be argued that this is no… Continue reading Learning and training to get it right – what environment are we preparing Army logisticians for?
By David Beaumont. The scale of logistics and the size of headquarters are routinely considered alongside one another because of the belief that smaller headquarters and logistics forces means more combat troops and, more importantly, efficient processes. This can be seen at the organisational level; most militaries have experienced periods of reform where efficiency-seeking impacts… Continue reading The ‘Headquarters Snowball’
by Hayden Marshall It is no wonder that logisticians are regarded as a humourless bunch for they have spent many years living in fear of Alexander the Great’s wrath (and his successors) that famously declared that the logisticians would be the first to be slain if the campaign fails. The prospect of a slaying often… Continue reading Surviving your time as a military logistician
By Dr. Chris Paparone and George L. Topic In part one of 'From the swamp to the high-ground and back', Chris Paparone and George Topic questioned the methodology applied to the education of military logisticians. In concluding part one, it was posed: We need to focus much less on the 'what' of education (that should… Continue reading From the ‘swamp’ to the ‘high-ground’ and back – educating logisticians to operate in complexity: Part Two
By Dr. Chris Paparone and George L. Topic The difficulty and complexity of the post-industrial military profession at all levels is so profound and widely recognized that it is almost cliché to mention. This is true for all specialties, but few are more challenging than the field of logistics especially as leaders reach higher levels… Continue reading From the ‘swamp’ to the ‘high-ground’ and back – educating logisticians to operate in complexity: Part One
By Carney Elias. In an earlier post, I argued that Defence must become better at developing commercial acumen in logisticians. This assertion was made on the basis of my experiences within the Australian Army. In keeping with the fundamental principles of education and training used across Defence, to develop the commercial acumen of logisticians we… Continue reading Commercial acumen – the missing link in the training of ADF logisticians: Part Two
By Carney Elias. '[T]he procurement process itself is a weapon of war no less significant than the guns, the airplanes, and the rockets turned out by the arsenals of democracy.' I.B. Holley The 2015 edition of the Macquarie Dictionary defines acumen as quickness of perception; mental acuteness; keen insight and commercial as 'being engaged in… Continue reading Commercial acumen – the missing link in the training of ADF logisticians: Part One
By Gabrielle M. Follett. Trust. The willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party based on the expectation that the other will perform a particular action important to the trustor, irrespective of the ability of the ability to monitor or control that other party. In a recent post in 'From… Continue reading The trust deficit – why do we expect logistics to fail us?
Next month the Future Logistician series of posts begins. The first will be posted on the 8th of May, on a variety of topics relevant to the preparing the right logisticians, military and civilian, for their future appointments – especially at the operational and strategic levels of their organisations. Posts already received include commentary on the structure of education, the development of commercial acumen, and the balance between Service and Joint training among others.
There is always time to contribute to the community of logistic professionals and interested readers, and if you can’t make the deadline but wish to write please send a message and we’ll propose alternatives. If you are short of ideas, have a read of the ADF’s Strategic J4’s reframing of the problem in the post ‘Future Logistician: Framing a New Approach’.
“Transforming those force projection and sustainment processes cannot be done without competent and dedicated military and civil service logisticians to manage the changes and the processes. DoD must help them develop the new skill sets in performance-based service contracting and contract oversight, change management, knowledge management, and financial resource management, and the new technical skills that the new process designs require. They will continue to need the operational logistics skills developed and honed through the last several decades of experience in campaign support. Much of what this book discusses demands leadership skills—the ability to inspire colleagues, contractors, and customers to continuously improve their processes. It’s a tall order.”
– General William G.T. Tuttle Jr., US Army (ret.), 2005
After one’s career as a military logistician, particularly for those few who might reach the highest echelons of the military such as General Tuttle, most will have traversed a path that…
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