U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Home
  2. Logistics Human Capital Strategy (LHCS)

Logistics Human Capital Strategy (LHCS)


Alternate Definition

The President directed the DoD to be prepared to defend the homeland, remain the preeminent military power in the world, ensure the balances of power remain in our favor, and advance an international order conducive to the nation's security and prosperity. To meet this call to action, the Department is investing broadly in the deployment of autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the rapid application of commercial breakthroughs to gain a competitive advantage. With this new technology comes new operational concepts and capabilities and the need for even more resilient and agile logistics support.

As logistics by its very nature is a human endeavor, the "guild" concept we've used since the 1950s to grow logisticians and maintainers will also have to become more adaptive to address global threats and continuously changing technologies. The 2019 DoD Logistics Human Capital Strategy (LHCS) addressed these concerns, advancing the joint logistics enterprise by introducing human capital tools to complement our current workforce and ensuring a modern, agile, information-advantaged workforce for the future, as new technologies are introduced into the DoD weapon system inventory.

The specific mission of the 2019–2026 LHCS is to support the DoD with a professional, flexible, highly-skilled human capital logistics workforce that possesses the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA) needed to ensure readiness for winning the war across the spectrum of military operations. In addition, the LHCS charges the Department to design, implement, and sustain a world-class employee professional development program to facilitate a highly trained and well-educated workforce empowered to continually learn and thrive in a rapidly changing environment.

Alternate Definition Source
General Information

The 2019 LHCS vision is to provide a logistics enterprise that is ready to support any combination of combat, security, engagement, acquisition, sustainment, and relief and reconstruction operations. The employee development program is charged with creating and sustaining a broadly-based, highly integrated combination of practitioner training, continuing education, career development, professional certification, proficiency documentation, competency-based evaluations, mentoring, employee recognition, career broadening, leadership development, and easily quantifiable workforce readiness metrics for assessing and rewarding successful performance.

The logistics community landscape consists of four logistics workforce categories: life cycle logistics (LCL), supply management, maintenance support, and deployment/distribution/transportation. In support of these employees, the LHCS includes three strategic goals – to develop and manage talent and to enhance related processes and tools, and finally to ensure a well-informed workforce. Originally devised as part of the 2008 Human Capital Strategy (HCS), Figure 1 (see attachment below), illustrates a notional career development framework for DoD logistics professionals.

The DoD LHCS devised this notional career development framework to help ensure alignment of workforce categories, proficiencies, and competencies with specified logistics tasks and accomplishments. The three strategic goals of the 2019 LHCS continue and accelerate this effort.

Strategic Goal 1: Develop and Manage the Talent

DoD uses the notional career development ladder based on competency models first defined in the 2008 HCS. A competency is defined by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) as “…a measurable pattern of knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, and other characteristics that an individual needs to perform work roles or occupational functions successfully. Competencies specify the “how” of performing job tasks, or what the person needs to do the job successfully.” Defining those individual goals is the first step in developing and managing talent, which also requires understanding and strategic use of varied hiring and retention authorities. This of course necessitates improved forecasting of demand for logisticians across the Joint Force and identification of staffing risks, the get the right person with the right skills to the right place when needed.  Professional development opportunities, including education, cross-training, job rotations, career broadening, etc., will be enhanced. DoD’s competitive advantage is often defined by mission products; however, the workforce is the real competitive advantage that continues the DoD success. Reinforced training and education strategies will continue to provide a significant return on investment for the DoD. In a global competition for talent, DoD will improve abilities to incentivize workforce performance and speed recognition of achievements.

Strategic Goal 2: Enhance Logistics Human Capital-Related Processes and Tools

Commonality of human capital processes and tools is key in enhancing human capital efforts. A network of common processes and tools provide a solid base of knowledge, promoting accuracy and efficiency in managing personnel. This goal is the pathway for DoD organizations to establish common processes and Information Technology (IT) tools to manage the Logistics Functional Community (LFC). One important path to this end is improved methods to collect and share human capital management best practices, processes, and lessons-learned.

Strategic Goal 3: Well-Informed Civilian Logistics Workforce

A strategic communication plan is the cornerstone for establishing a well-informed logistics workforce. Strategic communications provide insight to functional communities, DoD and Agency-wide, of career opportunities, achievements, training, and new apps for electronic communication. The strategic communication plan should establish a consistent battle rhythm of making information available to logisticians.  DoD seeks to foster alignment/integration with other functional communities and programs (e.g. Financial Management (FM), IT, Human Resources (HR) and  Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)).

Many of the logistics occupational specialties have online presence (mainly Service-specific), there is a need for an overarching LFC digital home to provide timely information, resources, and services which affect the breadth of the logistics community across all DoD entities. Using current technologies, such as application-based push notifications on a digital landing site, is a feasible resolution for sharing information across common IT platforms; the digital site will provide a dedicated platform for community managers to push notifications and updates to the logistics community in near real time. As demonstrated throughout history, information is a critical force variable; the right information in the right hands at the right time can serve as a force-multiplier, while a lack of information can be catastrophic.

State of the Workforce

The DoD LHCS is designed to facilitate developing multi-faceted enterprise logistician for total mission support. As the DoD continues to address diverse needs nationally and globally, it is simultaneously growing the right mix of logisticians with the functional capability to satisfy the need. The 2019 strategy builds on the 2008 concept by depicting integration and alignment across the four functional workforce categories; supply management, maintenance support, transportation and LCL. The 2019 LHCS provides specific actions to transform the workforce from a traditional workforce model to a more agile, critically thinking, interdisciplinary, and innovative body of professionals that are needed to effectively deal with the rapidly evolving threat, technology, and data analytics arena in which the LFC operates. The 2019 DoD Logistics HCS is that nucleus needed for continuous development, training, and recruiting of highly skilled logisticians with comprehensive competency skill sets.

Logistics is the largest DoD functional community, comprising 21 percent of the DoD civilian workforce. The DoD logistics workforce is comprised of approximately 156,000 employees (salaried and wage) across 126 occupational series throughout the Services and 4th Estate, as shown in Figure 2 (see attachment below).

The Army and Air Force encompass the largest percentage of the total logistics workforce (civilian), with 35 percent each, followed by Navy with 23 percent, and 4th Estate at 7 percent. The distribution of logisticians is directly related to the mission sets of each Service and Agency. Current initiatives and programs, as well as those being developed, will promote both inter-Service/intra-Service and Agency cross-functional opportunities. 

Figure 3 (see attachment below) shows the breakout of the logistics workforce categories, indicating the maintenance career field has the largest percentage of logistics personnel at 51 percent, followed by supply at 33 percent. To meet future challenges, logisticians will need enhanced skills to support their respective Service missions as well as operate in joint environments. Enhanced skills can be gained through logistics career roadmap, logistics competencies, logistics career development framework, education, training and development, and certification/certification programs. All of these are pillars to promoting a high performing, competent, agile workforce.

The logistics workforce has experienced variability in size since 2007, with an increase in salaried employees and a decrease in wage grade (WG) employees. With an overall logistics personnel gain of approximately 3.3 percent since 2007, it’s important to analyze the challenges to retaining a robust WG workforce further at the Component/Agency level. As an integral unit of military support, the logistics workforce provides functional depth, continuity, corporate knowledge and leadership to meet mission and operational needs. 

Another factor that affects variability in workforce size is that more employees are now achieving higher-level certifications and degrees including Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degrees. Opportunities and available resources for education are a catalyst for attaining and retaining the workforce, while simultaneously increasing knowledge and critical thinking skills. These resources have made the logistics workforce more competitive for opportunities outside of the DoD and the Federal Government as a whole. The Department must foster additional innovative human capital development programs and incentives for the workforce in order to retain the most skilled logisticians. Programs that promote attaining degrees, coupled with innovative new programs, must be critical factors in creating human capital development programs.


This 2019 LHCS directly aligns with the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS), and SECDEF’s three lines of effort:

  1. Restore military readiness as the department builds a more lethal force
  2. Strengthen alliances and attract new partners
  3. Reform the Department for greater performance and affordability


The key factor in supporting the lines of effort centers on Components and Agencies embracing the DoD LHCS to develop agile, relevant, interoperable logisticians. This strategy is the force multiplier that promotes achievable workforce development outcomes that will provide source data for metrics in future human capital process improvements. The rapidly evolving challenges facing the US necessitate a HCS that cultivates a logistics workforce with competencies to function in dynamic, joint environments. Continued global instability will impact the US and its allies. This requires logisticians be equipped with requisite skills to respond to the rapid pace of technological advancements, concurrent global conflicts and regional discords. Logisticians with competencies that answer the call of duty are paramount to mission success.