I am a current ILE student at the Command and General Staff School Satellite Campus at Redstone Arsenal. My background includes operational deployents twice to Iraq an Artillery Battery Commander and once to Afghanistan as Program Executive Officer Forward Fielding Coordinator. I am an Active Duty Army Acquisition Corps Officer currently stationed at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. This post aims to discuss the creation of a culture among operational units where equipment and services are expected to be provided a la carte and in light-speed-like capacity.

The creation of this culture of entietlement in both Iraq and Afghanistan can arguably be blamed on the Operational Need Statement process and the adoption of rapid acquisition methods across DoD. Units have come to expect everything from the material acquistion providers of their equipment and provide nothing when the equipment is fielded to them in Combat Observation Posts and Forward Operating Bases. Often times, units fail to even recall the reason for asking for the equipment in the first place.

Similarly, once equipment has been received, and in the odd occurance that units even provide Soldiers to be trained on the required equipment, the maintenance of those systems has been contracted-out to the army of Field Service Representatives provided through the equipment contract. With little motivation other than that of a personal nature, Soldiers take no initiative to learn the systems they have fielded opting to instead "call the repair man FSR." This, in turn leads to no knowledge base of their equipment, the inability to rapidly respond to maintenance/performance issues with the equipment while being operated off the COP/FOB and tremendous stress on the maintenance and lift assets required to get FSR's out to the location of the piece of equipment.

Rapid acquisition processes have contributed to the adapability and swift way in which we as an Army have evolved in Iraq and Afghanistan and have brought great capabilities to the warfighter, however it has also created a culture of entitlement resulting in the lack of Soldier initiative, drive and knowledge base on an entire inventory of equipment. It is a dangerous tide that must be turned to return Soldier pride in their equipment and their expertise in how to operate it.


MAJ Brian Spurlock
CGSOC Redstone Arsenal, AL