What Follows 1,000?
Although it pales in comparison to the truly important things you as members of the DoD life cycle logistics community accomplish every day on behalf of this great nation of ours, I wanted to let readers of this blog know that this marks my one thousandth life cycle logistics blog post.
Back in August 2009 (at the prodding of an enthusiastic and today, long-since retired colleague), I reluctantly wrote an admittedly unimaginatively titled “Inaugural LCL Blog Post” in which I outlined a vision for this endeavor, saying in short:
This blog will focus on the Life Cycle Logistics (LCL) career field, and in particular, items of interest to the logisticians perform this vital task in defense of our nation. Since this is my inaugural blog on this site, it is important to start with the basics, namely what is the value proposition the DoD Life Cycle Logistician brings to their organization.
Because the Life Cycle Logistics career field is responsible for the planning, development, implementation, and management of a comprehensive, affordable, and effective systems support strategy, the Life Cycle Logistician is therefore responsible for translating force provider capability and performance requirements into tailored product support to achieve specified and evolving life-cycle product support availability, reliability, and affordability parameters.
As strong advocates for Life Cycle Management (LCM) principles and practices, their focus includes life-cycle sustainment planning and execution, seamlessly spanning a system’s entire life cycle, from Materiel Solution Analysis to disposal.
Of course, it’s important to remember, however, at the end of the day, exactly why we do what we do. When we say “force provider,” we are really talking about our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers, our neighbors and friends, who put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf to protect this great land of ours.
We have a duty, a responsibility, and an obligation to provide them with the most capable, reliable, available, maintainable, supportable, and yes, affordable systems possible to ensure they can successfully accomplish their assigned mission. Anything less than excellence is not an option!
I look forward to dialoging with you through this forum, and welcome your feedback, comments, and suggestions to make this a more useful forum for the exchange of ideas and information.
When I first undertook this initiative, there was no product support manager (PSM), life cycle sustainment plan (LCSP), sustainment quad chart or integrated product support (IPS) elements. No product support analysis, product support assessment, product support business model (PSBM) or DoD mandate for independent logistics assessments (ILA). DAU did not offer a LOG 103, LOG 211, LOG 215, LOG 340, or LOG 465 course. There were no PSM Workshops, Product Support Analytical Tools Database, Integrated Product Support Implementation Roadmap Job Support Tool, PSM Toolkit, Performance Based Logistics (PBL) Community of Practice (CoP), or Additive Manufacturing CoP. There was no DoD PSM Guidebook, BCA Guidebook, O&S Cost Management Guidebook, or IPS Element Guide; no Better Buying Power.
Fast-forward to today, some seven-plus years later. Everything mentioned above -- and more --- has transpired or been implemented in the intervening years (for the better, I would contend). Coupled with the energy, initiative, dedication and expertise of you, the members of our defense acquisition workforce, these resources, processes, and initiatives have contributed greatly to the advancement of life cycle systems management, reliable, available, maintainable and supportable weapon systems, integrated product support management, and the professionalism of the life cycle logistics workforce.
Although I suppose 1,000 might be considered a significant milestone by some, this by no means signifies the end of this endeavor. Please know that writing this blog is a privilege I do not bear lightly. It not only serves as a forum for sharing knowledge, disseminating timely information, and facilitating life cycle logistics workforce professional development, but it also has proven to be a powerful means of communicating key concepts, processes, proven practices, lessons learned, and perspectives to our community. It also has been a forum for encouraging dialog, discussion, innovation, and critical thinking; not to mention principles of cross-functional, interdisciplinary integration, life cycle management, affordable readiness, leadership, and workforce excellence. I look forward to continuing to share information and perspectives with the life cycle logistics, product support management, and defense acquisition workforce communities as together we tackle the many challenges ahead.
And as I re-read that very first August 2009 blog post, I am struck by the fact that the words are just as true today as they were seven years ago. It is indeed still “important to remember, however, at the end of the day, exactly why we do what we do.” And we still “have a duty, a responsibility, and an obligation to provide them with the most capable, reliable, available, maintainable, supportable, and yes, affordable systems possible to ensure they can successfully accomplish their assigned mission.”
And what about the question, 'what follows 1,000'? The answer (inferred from Lao Tzu's famous quote "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step") is, of course....blog post 1,001!
From me to each of you, best wishes for a joyous holiday season, a happy new year, and a heartfelt thank you for doing what you do on behalf of our nation.