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NEWS | Dec. 15, 2016

Quartermasters Lead The Way

By Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Crofoot U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne)

Fort Bragg, N.C. --- “Logistics Warriors who are Soldiers first, technicians second to none; battle focused; reliable professionals assuring victory by sustaining America’s Army in peace and war.” These are words that quartermaster Soldiers live by, it’s the quartermaster ethos.

If you try and name a job in the military that doesn’t require some type of quartermaster support, you may struggle, and that’s because quartermasters and logisticians are quietly involved in almost every operation, but many times people don’t realize their significance. 

Operation Toy Drop XIX is ongoing and for many people when they think Toy Drop, they think of all the Soldiers jumping.  Yes, OTD is the world’s largest annual joint airborne operation and training exercise, but people forget about the behind the scenes stuff.

“The QM field provides a range of services including Parachute Riggers, Food Service, Supply of all classes, laundry and bath, and mortuary affairs. Without QM Soldiers the Army would not have the materials required to execute their mission. For example, they would not have uniforms, weapons, ammunition, or food all items that are required for Soldiers to complete their mission,” said Col. Charles Butler, G4, United States Army Civil Affairs and Physiological Operations Command (Airborne).

“The value provided to OTD includes the food provided to those executing the air mission, the tents they use, the chutes that are used during the mission, the fuel used by the aircraft, and all the materials used during the operation. Without QM Soldiers, the air mission would not happen,” continued Butler.

Although the overall mission requires quartermaster support, Butler says that this also serves as a great opportunity for the Soldiers supporting the mission.

“This training helps QM Soldiers gain real-world, hands-on, practical experience with providing support during an Operation. We gain that experience knowing that without the support we provide, the operation is not able to proceed or would be severely impacted.”

“Training is the main thing.  It gives us a lot of training in our jobs.  Many Soldiers out here don’t even get a chance to do their jobs after Advanced Individual Training,” said Sgt. Curtis Chambers, a heavy vehicle driver with the 459th Transportation Company out of Elwood, Ill.

Chambers also said this gives the Soldiers a chance to refine their skills so they are ready to deploy.

“For me, this was great on so many levels.  For one, I haven’t gotten to do my job since graduating AIT, and coming out here I get to train on my military profession,” said Spc. Caitlyn Canobbio a fueler with the 915th Transportation Company out of Smithfield, Pa.

“I also have a great chance to network with other Soldiers in our field.  I do this job in the civilian world, and I have my own personal experiences, but there are a lot of Soldiers out here who have their own experiences as well, and with all that information, we can all become more rounded Soldiers and gain a lot more proficiency.”

According to Butler, Quartermaster Soldiers have an intricate role in the future of the Army.

“QM Soldiers add value to the force of the future by continuing to provide the support required. New products as they are fielded will require logistics to ensure those items continue to perform as programmed. During the fielding, QM Soldiers will be there accounting for and ensuring the complete product is given to the warfighter.  The force of the future will continue to require the support of QM Soldiers to issue, account for, and provide products to keep them functioning.”