Maj. Anthony Clas | 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division Public Affairs
FORT BLISS, Texas — Leaders from the brigade S4 (Logistics Operations Section) from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team “Bulldog,” 1st Armored Division, conducted a two-part, distributed-logistics forum with students taking a logistics operations elective at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College April 16 and April 23 to provide the cohort with feedback from peers conducting sustainment operations in a tactical-level organization.
“What’s important to me from a field grade in my formation is: one, you’ve got to be an expert at your job; two, as a field grade, when given a task, even if it’s outside your expertise, you must contribute; lastly, fieldgrade officers solve problems for the commander,” said Col. Marc Cloutier, 3rd ABCT, 1st AD, commander.
“One of the opportunities I wish I had, while I was at the (CGSC) school house was to engage someone who was actually in the field, and ask them — ‘Did (CGSC) prepare us well?’” said Maj. Ryan Molina, brigade S4, for 3rd ABCT, 1st AD. “Having the opportunity to ask the question — ‘What are you seeing at the tactical level?’ from somebody that’s about to go into that seat — that was our intention for the forum.”
The two-part logistics forum provided students enrolled in the Logistics Operations Planner Course elective at CGSC the opportunity to hear firsthand from sustainment professionals in an armored brigade combat team. Topics discussed during the forum included a brigade sustainment operations overview, finance and budget management, transportation and mobility considerations, food services planning and execution, and property book office procedures. The students also heard the expectations and feedback from the Bulldog Brigade commander, command sergeant major and executive officer.
Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Daniels, noncommissioned officer-in-charge of sustainment operations for 3rd ABCT, 1st AD, discussed the mentality incoming brigade logistics officers should have as they take charge of sustainment operations for a tactical-level organization.
“The mentality they have to have is to be open minded to who they’re going to be dealing with,” Daniels said. “Of course, they have to come in running and get their feet wet, but they have to know who’s on their team, who’s dependable, who’s not, and who can make something happen. The brigade S4 officer is in charge of everything that happens in the section. The (property book officer) is in charge of the (unit) property book, change command inventories, ordering and fielding, lateral transfers, equipment turn-in directives. The mobility officer deals with the movement of everything. They have to deal with the unit going from here to another training area just to support, and manage how the unit gets government-contracted vehicles.”
There is a significant learning curve for junior field-grade officers as they transition from the year-long CGSC program to serving in a key-developmental assignment on a higher-headquarters staff to assume responsibility of sustainment operations in a high-tempo organization managing millions of dollars and thousands of personnel as a logistics officer.
“I’ve never been assigned to a BCT, light or heavy, so the electives here at CGSC really give me an opportunity to institutionally learn what I haven’t learned through personal experience,” said Maj. Ashian Azadi, CGSC student.
Azadi participated in the twopart logistics forum facilitated by Bulldog Brigade via the Army University Blackboard virtual platform.
“There was a lot of value and a lot of things that I liked about the two sessions,” Azadi said. “I’ll tell you that, at first, I thought it was going to be maybe a few field-grade officers from the (brigade support battalion) and (support operations officer) section. It seemed like most of the brigade participated, to include the brigade XO and the commander, Bulldog 6. That was impressive — they valued our time, our education and this opportunity so much that they wanted to participate.
“There were so many participants willing to share information or answer our questions, and it helps to understand the layers of what’s important to whom, and how everybody has to work together to accomplish that same mission,” he said.