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Army Logistician: Forty Years of Service to the Field

It is with great pleasure that I note the 40th anniversary of the Army Logistician professional bulletin. Four decades of providing Army logisticians with their very own publication is truly something to celebrate. However, this anniversary issue is not only an occasion to look back over 40 years of Army logistics; it also marks a significant move into the future, as the bulletin transforms to become Army Sustainment, the Army’s magazine for the sustainment warfighting function.

Forty years ago, the first Army periodical written for and about experts in logistics—a publication designed to serve as the principal means of communication with the logistics community—rolled off the press. Today, Army Logistician continues to be the voice of logisticians throughout the Army, proactively addressing topics within the logistics field and publishing fresh viewpoints—many from deployed sustainment Soldiers. As Army Logistician marks its 40th anniversary, we can look back with no small measure of pride on the successes of military and civilian logisticians captured in its pages. From the Logistics Offensive in the 1970s to Division ’86 Logistics and the Army of Excellence in the 1980s; from the Revolution in Military Logistics in the 1990s to the transformation to a modular force and a campaign-quality Army supporting joint and expeditionary missions—Army Logistician has been there to chronicle these concepts every step of the journey.

The magazine’s fundamental mission has always been to support the professional development of Army logisticians. As such, it has been a significant resource for thousands of logisticians over the years, and that includes me. By reading Army Logistician over the course of my career, I have personally gained insights on issues and professional development opportunities, I have learned valuable strategies for resolving problems in the field, and I have benefited from the stimulating, forward-thinking ideas of my senior leaders, peers, and subordinates.

The forum that this publication offers has never been more important than it is right now. As we adapt our Army to the demands of the 21st century operating environment, it is critical that we foster communication across the sustainment community and the Army. That communication should not only be from the top down; sustainers at all levels must share their ideas and experiences to make us all better. Army Logistician, and now Army Sustainment, will continue to connect, develop, and maintain our community of professionals.

Sustaining our Army, especially in these times of persistent conflict, is a tremendous challenge. Army sustainers are trained and ready, supporting victories on the battlefields of today, and they will do so on the battlefields of tomorrow. In order to better support the full spectrum of operations, we took the historic step of establishing the Logistics Branch, which joined officers of the Quartermaster, Ordnance, and Transportation Corps into one unified branch that emphasizes the multifunctional nature of Army sustainment.

Another step supporting full-spectrum operations was the establishment of the Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM) as the Sustainment Center of Excellence (commonly referred to as the “SCoE”) at Fort Lee, Virginia. As mandated by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005 decisions, CASCOM, as the Army’s SCoE, will centralize sustainment education, technical training, and reachback for sustainment operators in the field. By 2011, all training developments and combat developments for Army logistics will take place at Fort Lee. CASCOM consolidates at one location the Quartermaster, Ordnance, and Transportation Schools. Although the Soldier Support Institute at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, is not moving to Fort Lee, it is also an integral part of CASCOM and the SCoE. CASCOM will also integrate across the medical, chaplain, and judge advocate general capabilities of the Army. CASCOM as the SCoE provides the force with sustainment Soldiers and leaders who are tactically and technically proficient to operate across the full spectrum of conflict. Support Starts Here—The Sustainment Center of Excellence!

Sir Winston Churchill once said, “This is not the end or even the beginning of the end, but it is, I believe, the end of the beginning.” That’s how I feel about Army Logistician. I believe the publication has reached the end of the beginning. Army Logistician has provided a very sound foundation on which to begin the new era of Army Sustainment. For all sustainment Soldiers—whether in maintenance, transportation, supply, field services, human resources support, financial management, or medical logistics—Army Sustainment will continue the remarkable and decades old tradition of Army Logistician as your professional bulletin.

Major General James E. Chambers is the Commanding General of the Army Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee, Virginia.

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