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 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

From the ‘swamp’ to the ‘high-ground’ and back – educating logisticians to operate in complexity: Part One

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

Commercial acumen – the missing link in the training of ADF logisticians: Part Two

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

Commercial acumen – the missing link in the training of ADF logisticians: Part One

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[1] 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

The trust deficit – why do we expect logistics to fail us?

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[1]. In a recent post in 'From… Continue reading The trust deficit – why do we expect logistics to fail us?

Call for submissions – Creating the ‘Future Logistician’

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’.

Logistics In War

“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[1]

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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Logistics and the strangling of strategy

By David Beaumont. Logistics has long been recognised as vital to a force, but when inefficient a constraint on that force’s freedom to manoeuvre. However, the impact of logistics on strategy is just as significant and ultimately more profound. The modern fixation on high-velocity, nominally ‘efficient’, and usually ‘globalised’ supply chains have introduced significant operational… Continue reading Logistics and the strangling of strategy

Calculations and the loss of logistics

By David Beaumont. Recently the US Army introduced an internet site reinvigorating the idea of the ‘extended battlefield’ as envisioned by TRADOC in the last decade of the Cold War. In reading General Starry’s 1981 Military Review article on offer at the site, conspicuously linked to the ‘Multi-Domain Battle’ concept, the description of ‘deep attack’… Continue reading Calculations and the loss of logistics

Future Logistician – framing a new approach

By Major General David Mulhall. What do we need of our military logisticians in the future?  Or perhaps, what skills, attributes, experiences and education will best prepare logisticians to deliver outcomes in a Joint environment? An environment that is characterised by change; changes in war fighting concepts and capabilities, quantum leaps in our capacity to source and manipulate information, and the possibilities of artificial intelligence… Continue reading Future Logistician – framing a new approach