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TLog: Preparing Logisticians for the Modular Force

We’ve developed a new course, the Theater Logistics Studies Program (TLog), to replace the long-established Logistics Executive Development Course (LEDC) with which many of you are familiar. Why the change? Because, in this current environment of persistent conflict and Army and joint transformation, the Army must develop a cadre of logisticians who are equipped with the operational- and strategic-level tools needed to sustain the Modular Force and solve larger scale theater-level logistics problems.

TLog is designed to fill that need: Its goal is to develop agile, innovative logisticians who have the decision analysis, logistics knowledge, and skill sets to find solutions for complex operational logistics challenges. TLog will provide students with instruction in distributed theater operations, joint logistics planning, regional economic considerations, capabilities and requirements determination for the force mix and how to address gaps in the entire DTLOMSPF [doctrine, training, leader development, organization, materiel, Soldier support, personnel, facilities] spectrum, contracting, data analysis and application, and strategic and logistics policy. In line with the guidance contained in the recently published ARTEP [Army Training and Evaluation Program] 63–702G–MTP, Mission Training Plan for Headquarters, Theater Sustainment Command (TSC), TLog graduates will be able to—

  • Conduct peacetime planning for logistics support of contingency operations.
  • Direct theater-opening operations.
  • Manage TSC deployment operations.
  • Direct maneuver sustainment operations.
  • Manage surface and air distribution systems.
  • Establish support of logistics infrastructure and logistics support areas and activities.
  • Coordinate force protection resources.
  • Manage redeployment operations.

TLog offers an intense combination of logistics study and case studies and hands-on exercises for majors and senior captains designated for planning positions within our TSCs, expeditionary sustainment commands (ESCs), and corps and Army G–4 shops. The course broadens the individual’s logistics foundation—developed through previous education, training, and personal experiences— by providing a comprehensive military supply chain educational experience within the overall Department of Defense logistics system.

TLog uses the instructional model followed by the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. That model features the use of groups of various sizes with facilitators; case studies, site visits, guest lecturers, and extensive readings; and the use of the Socratic method of inquiry and the application of analytical techniques to develop solutions to real-world, operational-level logistics problems. TLog also has a cooperative degree program with the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT); TLog students will be able to enroll with FIT and earn a master of science degree in logistics management after a year of study at Fort Lee.

The first TLog course pilot began in August of this year with a diverse class of majors and senior captains (Active Component and Reserve Component), some international officers, and several Department of the Army civilians. We will track the graduates of this class through their next couple of assignments to assess the suitability of TLog’s content and ensure that we have targeted follow-on assignments that are appropriate. I have personally reviewed the TLog curriculum, and I am confident that these first graduates will be well prepared by their TLog experience to make significant contributions to their gaining commands. The lessons we learn from the pilot course will be used to update and revise future TLog iterations.

We are also pursuing the establishment of a skill identifier (SI) that will mark TLog graduates for assignments into those key support operations and planning positions at theater and above levels.

TLog’s long-term effectiveness will be ensured by having selected graduates who have served in theater logistics assignments return to ALMC as instructors to help train and educate their successors. Establishing the SI will allow the Army Human Resources Command to effectively track graduates to facilitate use of their knowledge, skills, and attributes.

TLog is a much-needed course that will prepare logisticians for macro-level problems and introduce them to the organizations and skill sets available to help solve them. I know that the current operating tempo and the shortage of logistics officers makes sending them to the course a challenge. However, I encourage commanders to pick some of their best and brightest majors and senior captains and send them to us for 19 weeks. The next TLog course will begin in January 2008. Identify your best candidates now for the next TLog iteration, and we will send you back a “super” logistician!

Major General Mitchell H. Stevenson is the Commanding General of the Army Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee, Virginia. Registration information for TLOG is available on the ALMC website, www.alu.army.mil/fy06ALMC_CATALOG.pdf.