CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION
- Aim. The aim of this first volume of the Logistics
Branch Handbook is to provide to all members of the Logistics
Branch a clear concise description of the traditions and historical
background of the Logistics Branch, the goals of the Branch as
a whole, and an indication of the way in which the Branch as a
whole is organized to accomplish those goals.
- Volume 2 of the Handbook contains information relating to officers
and officer specialties while Volume 3 provides similar information
relating to NCMs. Specific MOC related information will be provided
in volumes 4 to 10.
- Scope. This first volume of the Logistics Branch
- an explanation of the Canadian Forces concept of logistics
to include the purpose, role, functions and identity of the
Logistics Branch within that concept;
- a concise overview of the history of military logistics
with particular emphasis on the development of Canadian logistics.
A separate history of each of the NCM occupations plus other
unique information relating to each of the occupations will
be included as separate volumes;
- a description of the Logistics training facilities; and
- an overview of the central headquarters in Ottawa, the environmental
commands (Navy, Army and Air Force) and a description of the
manner in which logistics support is provided to each of the
environmental commands and to joint operations i.e. those
involving more than one environmental command.
- This publication has been prepared as a general overview and
does not discuss detailed doctrine or procedures, nor is it to
be considered as a replacement for such study. Existing publications
regarding specific subjects have been referenced for further review.
102. BASIC MILITARY ARTS
- Logistics is one of the three basic military arts in modern
doctrine. These are:
- Strategy: the broad plans for employment of military
sea, land and air forces. This includes the structure of the
force and its broad objectives in times of peace and war;
- Tactics: the employment and maneuvering of forces
to implement strategy; and
- Logistics: the provision of resources to support
the strategy and tactics of combat forces.
- War cannot be won without a successful strategy. Strategic plans
are useless without capable tactical forces to implement them.
Tactical forces cannot operate without logistics support. Logistics
resources dictate many of the considerations made in planning
strategy. As can be seen, then, the three arts fit together in
an interdependent manner, each of which is equally vital and indispensable
in the conduct of any military operation.
- Many military men of great stature have discussed the historical
fact that logistics has received less attention than strategy
and tactics. During a lecture on generalship at Trinity College,
Cambridge, General Sir Archibald Wavell stressed the importance
of logistics planning, by saying "that strategy and tactics could
be comprehended in a very short time by any reasonable human intelligence,
but it was the principles and practice of military movement and
administration - the "logistics" of war - that was of prime importance".
He further advised the students "I should like you always to bear
in mind when you study military history or military events the
importance of this administrative factor, because it is where
most critics and many generals go wrong".
- Chapter three of this first volume offers a short history of
logistics primarily from a Canadian viewpoint and includes examples
of the importance of logistics in earlier history. Historical
aspects will also be included in the volume dealing with each
of the individual occupations.
103. LOGISTICS - THE WORD AND CONCEPT
- Logistics has been given many definitions and conceptual applications,
which may vary a great deal in detail but in fact include the
same basic concerns. Notwithstanding, all North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) countries now use the term "logistics". The
definition of the term logistics, however, may differ from country
to country, dependent upon which functional activities are included
in their definition of the term.
- The origin of the word comes from the Greek "logistikos" from
which the Latin "logisticus" is derived, both meaning calculation
and reasoning in the mathematical sense. The modern word logistics
has two meanings, one being the original "to reason mathematically";
the second is the military term (now used in civilian practice
- While many historians have argued the use of the word in the
ancient Roman Army, the modem military use of the word can be
clearly traced to 17th century France. The Latin root "log" evolved
into the French word, "loger" (to lodge). Around 1670 an adviser
to Louis XIV suggested a new staff structure to solve the increasing
administrative problems experienced as the early modern army evolved
from medieval chaos. "One of the newly created positions was that
of Marechal General de Logis, whose title came from the verb 'loger'.
His duties included responsibility for planning marches, selecting
camps, and regulating transportation and supply".
- The actual term "la logistique", translated in English to logistics,
was coined from Marechal General de Logis (Quartermaster-General)
by the foremost military theorist of the first half of the 19th
century, Baron Antoine Henri Jomini. Based principally upon his
war campaign experiences as a staff officer for Napoleon, Jomini
wrote his Precis de L'art de la guerre (Summary of the Art of
War) in 1836. Dividing the art of war into five branches - strategy,
grand tactics, logistics, engineering and minor tactics - he defined
logistics, "as the practical art of moving armies" by which he
meant not merely the mechanics of transportation, but the staff
work, administrative arrangements and even reconnaissance and
intelligence involved in moving and sustaining organized military
forces. Jomini determined the level at which logistics belonged
in stating "it must be admitted that logistics is no longer merely
a part of the science of staff'; it was a new science which will
not only be that of the staff but that of generals-in-chief".
As seen above, this same view of logistics being a science to
be studied by generals was voiced by General Wavell a hundred
- From both the duties of the Marechal General de Logis and the
writings of Jomini, came the start of modern logistics. The differences
in the details of the two may also be a factor in the present
differences in the many definitions and conceptions of the word.
Had logistics received continued study from Jomini's time, perhaps
these and other added differences would have been resolved. However
it was not Jomini, but Karl Clausewitz's Vom Kriege (On
War), published posthumously in 1831, that came to dominate military
thinking and practices in the latter half of the 19th century.
The Prussian Clausewitz's work, sometimes described as the "Bible
of military science", earned him the reputation by many as the
pre-eminent military thinker of western society. Brilliant
in its evolution of strategy and tactics, Vom Kriege virtually
ignored logistics. Thus as the leading military men of the world
adopted the Prussian interpretation of Clausewitz's theory of
war, the concept of logistics lost most of the military meaning
that Jomini had given it. That situation persisted in the mainstream
of military thinking until the second quarter of the 20th century.
This is not to say the components of logistics were ignored, but
logistics as a separate concept was given very little attention,
hence no conceptual development.
- Although American military colleges and their graduates produced
many writings with respect to Jomini's logistics in the early
20th century, they were virtually ignored until WW II. That war
thrust upon the military the requirement for the movement of supplies
as well as the movement and sustenance of men and equipment, throughout
almost the entire world and on a scale totally unequalled in prior
military history. The concepts and practices used by the US Forces
to meet their portion of these requirements came to be called
logistics, and by the end of World War II logistics was an official
word in US military terminology, and was recognized by all the
- Of the many definitions of logistics, some went as far as using
it to embrace "all military activities not included in the terms
'strategy' or 'tactics', to include facilities construction and
maintenance, communications, medicine and personnel, as well as
the traditional full range of supply and transportation activities.
In the Canadian military, the term originally was not officially
used at all, but rather, the British term "Administration" was
adopted. Logistics functions were included in "Administration"
which was defined as "the organization, discipline and well being
of men and the movement and maintenance of men and materiel".
- Today in the CF, "Administration" is defined in the NATO Glossary
of Terms and Definitions as the management and execution of all
military matters not included in tactics and strategy; primarily
in the field of logistics and personnel management. At the higher
management levels, the term 'Support' is often used in a similar
vein. At a more tactical level, the term "Combat Service Support
(CSS)" is often heard and this is defined as that support provided
to combat forces in the fields of logistics and personnel management
over which the formation commander exercises direct control.
- The CF is comprised of several Branches, which perform logistics
functions, of which the Logistics Branch is one. When referring
to the Logistics Branch and its component disciplines, it is written
with a capital letter and often referred to as "Big L" logistics.
104. LOGISTICS DEFINITION
- The NATO Glossary of Terms and Definitions provides the following
official definition of "logistics" in the Canadian Forces.
"The science of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance
of forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is those aspects
of military operations, which deal with:
- the design, development, acquisition, storage, movement,
distribution, maintenance, evacuation and disposal of materiel;
- the movement, evacuation and hospitalization of personnel;
- the acquisition or construction, maintenance, operation,
and disposition of facilities; and
- the acquisition or furnishing of services. "
- From this definition it can be appreciated that modern logistics
is a very complicated and far reaching discipline. To obtain
a better understanding of its complexity, one need only concentrate
upon the words "materiel", "personnel", "facilities" and "services".
It is these "aspects of military operations" with which logisticians
deal, perhaps not as the office of primary interest but always
as an involved party. The functions evolving from this definition
- supply chain management, which includes but is not
limited to: materiel acquisition, storage, distribution
- transportation: materiel movement, distribution, personnel
movement, and evacuation;
- facility services;
- financial services;
- financial management;
- food services, clinical nutrition, and nutrition education;
- personnel services including personnel movement and
- postal services;
- maintenance: materiel maintenance and facility maintenance;
- engineering: materiel design, development, facility
construction, and maintenance.
- Each of these functions are professional fields within the military
and can be divided into two distinct groups - those whose concerns
and interests are expressed entirely within this definition of
logistics, and those which go beyond the limitations contained
in the definition. All but the last two are encompassed in today's
definition of the term logistics and the professionals performing
these services collectively make up the Logistics Branch of the
Canadian Forces. The engineering aspects are part of other CF
Branches but ones in which Logistics Officers may become very
involved. Although different Branches, the two functional groups
nevertheless work closely together in the mutual effort required
to support combat operations and equipment acquisition. The present
philosophy has logisticians and engineers formed into teams working
very closely together in all aspects of equipment acquisition
105. THE LOGISTICS BRANCH OF THE CANADIAN FORCES
- CFAO 2-10 states the "Personnel Branches were created to enable
members of the Canadian Forces in related occupations to identify
with each other in cohesive professional groups. These groups
are based on similarity of military roles, customs and traditions.".
A product of the integration of the three former services, and
following a subsequent series of restructurings and amalgamations,
the Logistics Branch is comprised of the following CF Regular
Force military occupations:
- Logistics Officer, MOC 78;
- Resource Management Support (RMS) Clerk, MOC 836;
- Cook, MOC 861;
- Postal Clerk, MOC 881;
- Supply Technician, MOC 911;
- Ammunition Technician, MOC 921;
- Traffic Technician, MOC 933; and
- Mobile Support Equipment (MSE) Operator, MOC 935.
- Disciplines. The Logistics Officer occupation consists
of the following environmental professional fields or sub-occupations:
- Logistics Sea, sub-MOC 78B;
- Logistics Land, sub-MOC 78C; and
- Logistics Air, sub-MOC 78D.
- Officer Specialties. Within each of the above sub-occupations
are the following areas of officer specialization and each officer
must become professionally competent in at least one of these:
- Supply Chain Management (SCM, qualification code AIHJ).
This principal qualification enables the member to undertake
the duties and responsibilities associated with performance
measurement and cycle time development and control of inventory
and management of materiel. This will include monitoring warehouse
utilization, approving contracts and procurement, supporting
deployed operations, organizing distribution, materiel movements
and ensuring adherence to TB, HAZMAT and workplace safety
- Transportation (Tn, qualification code AIHK). This principal
qualification will enable the member to undertake the duties
and responsibilities associated with basic MSE operations
and safety, and the management of the vehicle fleet under
their control and basic movement of cargo and people in support
of military operations;
- Human Resources Management (HRM, qualification code AIHL).
This principal qualification enables the member to undertake
the duties and responsibilities associated with Personnel
Administration and Personnel Services;
- Financial Management (Fin Mgt, qualification code AIHM).
This principal qualification enables the member to undertake
the duties and responsibilities associated with Organization
and Establishment control, prepare/review costing of activities
and cost benefits analysis, design Activity Based Costing/cost
centre management, conduct Alternate Service Delivery process,
assess and report on Business Plan performance, manage public
revenue, contracting goods and services at the local level
and Comptrollership; and
- Food Services (Food Svcs, qualification code AIHN). This
principal qualification will enable the member to undertake
the duties and responsibilities associated with Food Services
in static locations and in support of deployed operations.
This will include co-ordinating, organizing and monitoring
food procurement and production, use of labour and facilities,
and contracts for food services in accordance with national
- NCM Specialties. For Logistics Branch NCMs there are
seven separate occupations. They are:
- Resource Management Support Clerk (RMS Clk) MOC 836
who performs the entire spectrum of personnel administration
services including personal documentation for current members
of the military, release processing, central registry services,
public and non-public fund accounting and public fund operations
and operations support of the construction engineering function;
- Cook MOC 861 who deal with food services and in some
case administration of single quarters;
- Postal Clerk (Postal Clk) MOC 881 who handle all
aspects of mail to and from units of the Canadian Forces,
no matter where they may be in the world;
- Supply Technician (Sup Tech) MOC 911 who deal with
the procurement, management, preservation and disposal of
- Ammunition Technician (Ammo Tech) MOC 921 who deal
with the procurement, management, preservation and disposal
- Traffic Technician (Tfc Tech) MOC 933 who deal with
the movement of personnel and materiel by all modes of transportation
, as well as the loading, unloading and receipt of inventory
into the supply system; and
- Mobile Support Equipment Operator (MSE Op) MOC 935 who
must be proficient in the operation and maintenance of
the full spectrum of vehicles in the Canadian Forces inventory.
106. LOGISTICS BRANCH MISSION.
- Logisticians support those who sail ships, fire weapons and
fly aircraft. Most often, logisticians support combat personnel
by becoming members of a ship's company, a field unit, or an air
squadron, hence, they must become sailors, soldiers or airmen
as well as logisticians. At other times, logisticians provide
support from Bases/Wings or Headquarters in order to satisfy requirements,
be they sea, land or air. Because we serve with the combat personnel
in all operational elements, every logistician must be capable
of serving with at least one of the environmental commands: Maritime
Command, Land Force Command or Air Command.
- The primary purpose of the Canadian Forces is to be prepared
for war. All members of the CF must condition themselves, both
mentally and physically, to be ready to defend Canada, and/or
our allies, against any aggression at sea, on land or in the air.
As a military force we exist primarily for this reason and also
for other reasons which are identified from time to time by our
Government. Each CF Branch has specific missions to perform. Its
primary mission is its raison d'�tre.
- Mission Statement. The Logistics Branch's role is to
provide and/or monitor the CF policies and systems which enable
logisticians to be recruited, trained and professionally developed.
The ultimate goal of the Branch is to ensure the provision of
members who are capable of effectively supporting naval, army
and air force operations, in all phases of armed conflict, peacekeeping
and aid of the civil power. The primary mission of the Branch
can therefore be stated as:
- "The mission of the Logistics Branch is to provide and maintain
a framework which will enable the development of highly motivated
and competent logisticians who are operationally focused. Their
development will be based upon employment which requires a balanced
blend of combat service support and core professional competence
- Vision Statement. Logistics Branch members are required
to perform their duties to two fundamental standards. First and
foremost, they must be operationally effective in their military
roles. Second, they must be efficient as judged by value-for-money
business criteria. The Branch will therefore have to continually
strive to compete, with both military and civilian contexts, to
demonstrate that it is the provider of choice for logistical services
to the CF and DND. The vision of the Logistics Branch can therefore
be stated as:
- "The vision of the Logistics Branch is to be instrumental in
developing logisticians who will be universally recognised, by
both military and civilian authorities, as the most effective
and efficient option for the provision of logistical services
to the Canadian Forces and Department of National Defence."
107. THE COMMITMENT
- Logisticians of all ranks must be prepared for war. This is
the personal commitment every logistician must make. If one can
not make that commitment, mentally or physically, logistics is
not the career to choose.
- It is an unfortunate misconception, shared by many that logistics
is a "desk job"- it is not. While logisticians often provide service
support from fairly modern, and clean buildings, they are also
found functioning within a ship, off the back of a truck, out
of tents, or within the passenger or cargo compartment of aircraft
working as team members with the "sharp-enders". Nor are logisticians
limited to logistics responsibilities. They are trained in the
use of weapons for the defence of their units and positions. Logisticians
participate in exercises and operations in order to practice leadership,
test mental and physical preparedness, and demonstrate their logistics
skills. Regardless of environmental affiliation, logisticians
can fully expect to work for long hours, sometimes days, in searing
heat, drenching rain or bone numbing cold. When the mission dictates,
service will continue to be provided past the point of individuals'
mental and/or physical endurance. This will happen in war; hence
it must be practiced in peacetime.
- There will be other times during a career when logisticians
work in a Base/Wing or a Headquarters. The role of a Base/Wing
is to support operational functions. The role of a Headquarters
is to command, advise, direct and co-ordinate operational and
support functions. All logisticians in the CF have these "desk
jobs" at one time or another during their careers. However in
the event of mobilization, the planning and managerial aspects
of logistics will most likely be given over to newly recruited
personnel that are quickly available from the civilian population.
Those serving logisticians, who have through the years gained
experience under trying conditions, will go to serve in the operational
units of Maritime Command, the Land Force and Air Command.
- While there must be no misunderstanding that Officer and senior
NCO responsibilities differ, if for no other reason that the legal
ramifications of the Queen's Commission provided to an officer,
in terms of management there is a blurring of the distinction.
Officers and senior NCOs must be leaders first and foremost. In
the final analysis, each officer and NCM's training leads him/her
toward a leadership role. It may be quite difficult for the average
leader to understand the seriousness and magnitude of military
leadership. While leadership is required in all walks of life,
military leadership has demands unique unto itself. Some are natural
leaders, but the majority develops leadership qualities through
constant effort. Military subordinates cannot be just managed;
they must be both led and managed. Moreover, unique to the military,
this leadership responsibility continues every hour of every day
throughout one's career.
- All officers and senior NCMs must possess the mental and physical
attributes necessary to perform their primary function in the
adverse conditions of war, thereby enhancing their subordinates'
and their own survivability and thus their collective chance of
success in accomplishing the mission(s). During their careers
in the CF, members are given training courses and other opportunities
to continuously condition their minds. Physical conditioning is
a personal discipline sometimes, but not always, built into every
duty day. That mind and that body must be committed to support
our operational forces, both as a professional logistician and
most importantly as a leader of men and women.