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Army Magazine >> Army Magazine Archive >> ARMY MAGAZINE July 2008 >> Letters Email this... Email    Print this Print


Enterprise Logistics

Lt. Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody’s synopsis of the need for transformation of the Army’s approach to logistics (“An Enterprise Approach to Logistics,” May) highlights some past (and current) flaws and provides insightful directions for change. There has always been a need for holistic approaches to serving soldiers, and logistics is trailing the operational transformation. There are some excellent ideas throughout Gen. Dunwoody’s article, especially those pertaining to enterprise leaders.

I’d like to add a plea for updating the “Principles of Logistics,” reviewing historical perspectives in that process. For example, the British army’s principles of administration published in 1850 concisely offer foresight, economy, flexibility, simplicity and cooperation. Do these fit the enterprise approach? Yes, so long as the definitions of those terms are inclusive (for example, cooperation includes partnership, flexibility includes adaptation). Are those terms sufficient in scope? That’s for the reviewers to determine, but looking at the basics should be fundamental to logistics transformation.

Much has been done to integrate logistics within the Army and in coordination with other services, allies, contractors and so on. A good example, one that I worked on for a few years, is the Global Combat Support System, an enterprise architecture approach to satisfy principles: plan, seek efficiencies, accommodate, simplify and link.

Another sign of progress is the implementation of a broader technical approach in organization—the Logistics branch. The leadership ideas in Gen. Dunwoody’s enterprise leadership concept point the way to transforming the management of logistics into the future.

Heartening progress!

Albuquerque, N.M.

Maj. Gen. Meloy’s Mentorship

Maj. Gen. Guy S. Meloy’s description of the splendid training he received in Germany in the mid-1950s captures how beneficial it is to receive mentorship, the likes of which was provided by Capt. Arch Carpenter, during the fledgling years of Army careers (“Training the Trainers—The Arch Carpenter Way,” May).

That Company C of the 1st Battle Group, 187th Airborne Infantry, stood out is especially noteworthy, since training standards were extremely high in the 11th Airborne Division at the time. Meeting those standards had a telling effect not only on Gen. Meloy’s career, but on other young officers in the division as well. In the small division artillery alone, more than a dozen officers who served in Germany rose to flag rank, a remarkable statistic by any measure.

As an aside, it was my good fortune to have served with Gen. Meloy in the Vietnamese Airborne Division. It was no surprise that this remarkable officer proceeded to the major general level. His articles that appear in ARMY Magazine mark him as an icon who has an enormous grasp of what makes soldiers and units tick.

Clarksville, Tenn.

I want to express my appreciation for the many articles ARMY has published by Maj. Gen. Meloy, U.S. Army retired. His topics and leadership information remind me of the many articles written by the esteemed Maj. Gen. A.S. Newman for ARMY. Gen. Meloy would probably not remember, but he and Maj. Gene Mitchell (now deceased) and I spent a pleasant New Year’s Eve 1966 during a truce period with the 25th Infantry Division in Cu Chi, Republic of Vietnam. Gen. Meloy was commanding the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry (Wolfhounds); Gene was S-2 of the 1st Brigade; and I was S-3 of the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment (all part of the 25th Infantry Division). We were able to reflect on old times and leadership issues we were facing, and it was a great break and learning experience for me. Then, and throughout his career, Gen. Meloy demonstrated a great soldier-oriented leadership ability. I hope he keeps contributing to ARMY Magazine.

Wichita Falls, Texas