The Art and Science of Defense Logistics
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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This objectives of this paper are as follows 1 demonstrate that DoDs 1994 Logistics Strategic Plan STRATPLAN is a bridge between the sciences of military and business logistics 2 demonstrate that the military services can execute the tangible requirements of the STRATPLAN and 3 assert that military logistics must be viewed as an art, rather than a science, due to its reliance on such intangibles as intuition, morale, and innovation. When DoD published the STRATPLAN in 1994, it brought together the two diverse worlds of military and business logistics. The former has a long and well-documented history. Though first portrayed as an art, it is now acknowledged as a science due to the nature of its processes and execution. Business logistics, however, has always been considered a science due to its relatively recent conception and reliance on analysis and data. The STRATPLAN completes the evolution of military logistics to scientific status through advocacy of the smart business practices of corporate logistics. The paper consists of five topic areas 1 a historical overview of military logistics, 2 a synopsis of the STRATPLAN, 3 a discussion of selected smart business methods advocated by the STRATPLAN, 4 Services implementation of the STRATPLAN, and 5 STRATPLAN inadequacies based on the failure to acknowledge the intangibles that make military logistics an art, rather than a science. The papers conclusions are as follow 1 the STRATPLAN is a potentially dangerous document if it is considered definitive logistics theory or strategy 2 military and business logistics are not the same despite sharing many common processes and systems 3 military logisticians must acknowledge their role in meeting intangible requirements in their management of risk and 4 business logistics might be a science due to its methods for managing risk, but military logistics must remain within the realm of art to minimize risk.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies