An Army Guard Blackhawk idles at a Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. landing zone as members of the 42nd Regional Support Group prepare to load a simulated casualty.
Lyndhurst resident, SGT Gabriela Pereira, A Company, 250th Brigade Support Battalion out of Teaneck, NJ, assembles the equipment for water purification operations.
"My men can eat their belts but my tanks got to have gas."- General George S. Patton, 1944
“I don't know what the hell this 'logistics' is that Marshall is always talking about, but I want some of it.” - Fleet Adm. E.J. King's famous remark during World War II
America’s success on the battlefield is directly related to the quality of the logistical support that is provided by the Quartermaster Corps. Job training for Soldiers in the Logistics Support Career Field consists of ten weeks of Basic Combat Training plus 6 or more weeks of Advanced Individual Training (AIT) depending on your specialty. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field. Based on your job, your training might include the handling and storage of supplies, including food, medicine and ammunition; storage and transfer of petroleum; food preparation and water treatment.
The Logistics Support Career Field covers many career areas. The skills you learn can help prepare you for a future as a parts and supply manager or stock control clerk with civilian factories, repair shops, department stores and government warehouses. Petroleum Supply Specialists and Petroleum Laboratory Specialists may move toward civilian careers with oil refineries, tanker truck and ship lines, pipeline companies, chemical companies, manufacturing firms and government agencies. And depending on your Food Service specialty, you might pursue a civilian career as a cook, chef, meat cutter, butcher or baker with restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, hospitals, manufacturing plants or schools. You'll also be able to consider a future as a food and drug inspector, public health inspector, health and safety inspector or industrial hygienist.
Military Occupational Specialties
92A Automated Logistical Specialist
The right supplies, delivered at the right time, can ensure the safety of troops in the field. Automated Logistical Specialists are responsible for making sure equipment and materials are available and functioning for missions. Automated Logistical Specialists are primarily responsible for maintaining and distributing the Army's large inventory of food, medicines, ammunition, spare parts and other supplies. As supply experts, they also manage and maintain stock and inventory records.
92F Petroleum Supply Specialist
Watercraft, aircraft, trucks, tanks and other Army vehicles run on petroleum-based fuels. These products, such as oil, gasoline, diesel fuel and compressed gas, need special storage and handling. Petroleum Supply Specialists are in charge of the proper storage and shipment of bulk or packaged petroleum-based products. They dispense fuels from storage and distribution facilities, and load them into tanker trucks, airplanes, ships and railroad cars. They also select and submit samples of petroleum, oils and lubricants to labs for pollutant testing.
92G Food Service Operation Specialist
More than a million meals are prepared every day in Army kitchens. As key members of the food service team, the Food Service Operations Specialists prepare all types of food according to standard and dietetic recipes. Food Service Operations Specialists are primarily responsible for preparing and serving food in field or garrison food service operations (chow halls), cleaning equipment and utensils, and erecting, striking and storing all types of field kitchens.
92M Mortuary Affairs Specialist
The Mortuary Affairs Specialist performs duties relating to the search, recovery, processing and evacuation of the remains of deceased U.S. Armed Forces personnel. Mortuary Affairs Specialists also inventory, safeguard and ensure the recovery and safe return of personal effects. They coordinate with non-U.S. authorities concerning disposition of enemy, allied, or civilian remains.
92W Water Treatment Specialist
Maintaining sanitary and safe conditions in military communities is a major priority. Water Treatment Specialists work as members of the environmental health and safety team to maintain healthy conditions. Water Treatment Specialists are primarily responsible for the installation and operation of water purification equipment, as well as dealing with water storage and distribution operations and activities. They assist in preparation and setup of water treatment facilities, oversee water treatment activity, and provide continued storage, transportation and disposal of hazardous waste.
92Y Unit Supply Specialist
Army National Guard troops depend on timely delivery of important supplies. Unit Supply Specialists maintain and distribute the Guard's large inventory of food, medicine, small arms and ammunition, spare parts and other supplies. They receive, inspect, store and deliver supplies, and keep records of all transactions.
History of the Quartermaster Corps
The Quartermaster Corps traces its origins to 16 June 1775. On that day, following General Washington's address accepting command of the Army, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution providing for "one Quartermaster General of the grand army and a deputy, under him, for the separate army." Major General Thomas Mifflin, the first Quartermaster General, had virtually no money and authority and was dependent upon the several states for supplies. Major General Nathanael Greene, the third Quartermaster General, reorganized the supply system after Valley Forge and established the first depot system to support the Army. While his fame as a battle leader is well known, his outstanding service as the Quartermaster General during the darkest period of the Revolution has been almost forgotten.
From 1818 to 1860, the Quartermaster General was BG Thomas Sidney Jesup, a daring leader and able administrator who did much to enhance the Corps' reputation. During his 42-year tenure as head of the Quartermaster Department, he instituted an improved system of property accountability and experimented with new modes of transportation, including the use of canal boats in the east and camel caravans in the desert southwest, and worked some of the earliest railroads. Because many of his policies remained in effect well into the 20th century, Jesup is traditionally regarded as the "Father of the Quartermaster Corps."
During the Civil War, the Department under the leadership of MG Montgomery C. Meigs supplied the Union Army of over half a million strong, ran the Army's first major depot system, and transported unprecedented levels of supplies and personnel throughout the war. Also, in 1862, the Quartermaster Department assumed responsibility for burial of war dead and care of national cemeteries.
In 1912, Congress consolidated the former Subsistence, Pay, and Quartermaster Departments in order to create the Quartermaster Corps much as we know it today - fully militarized with its own officers, soldiers, and units trained to perform a host of supply and service functions on the battlefield. With this consolidation came the missions of subsistence and food service. And when the Army began purchasing motorized vehicles, as early as 1903, the Quartermaster Corps naturally assumed the new petroleum supply mission
World War I showed the increased importance of logistics in the modern era, and witnessed the first use of specialized Quartermaster units on the Western Front. Several "logistics warriors" were also singled out for valor in the Great War and received the nation's highest honors for bravery.
During World War II, the Quartermaster Corps trained thousands of soldiers to fill specialized roles in every theater of operation - from the Pacific Isles and China-Burma-India theater to North Africa, Italy, and central and northern Europe. They performed heroically at such far off places as Bataan, Iwo Jima, Leyete, Salerno, Anzio, Normandy, and Bastogne. At the height of the war, Quartermasters were providing over 70,000 different supply items and more than 24 million meals each day. When it was over, they had recovered and buried nearly a quarter of a million soldiers in temporary cemeteries around the world. 4,943 Quartermaster soldiers lost their lives in World War II.
In 1950, the Quartermaster Corps moved swiftly to supply the United States and their UN allies sent to defend South Korea from the Communist North. That same year the Corps assumed a new mission-supply by air-which often proved crucial to the sustainment of troops on the Korean peninsula.
The 1965 decision to commit major United States combat forces to the Republic of Vietnam led to a massive logistics buildup. Quartermaster Corps personnel were deeply involved in meeting this challenge. They could be found operating in every area of Vietnam, furnishing vital supplies and services often under the most adverse and dangerous conditions.
Following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the United States entered into prolonged conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to smaller operations. Quartermaster Soldiers supported the coalition forces in these difficult environments. In Iraq, Quartermaster logisticians performed their traditional duties of delivering supplies and services to Soldiers throughout the theater, including operation of an Inland Petroleum Distribution System. In Afghanistan, where the rugged terrain often precluded ground delivery of supplies, aerial delivery became the only resupply option for some locations. The Quartermaster community developed new low cost disposable parachutes as a means to reach isolated outposts on a routine basis. These operations were also noteworthy for the unparalleled cooperation between the Active, Reserve, and Guard components.
Over the course of history quartermasters have served as mule skinners, dog trainers, teamsters, bakers, launderers, typewriter specialists, shoe repairmen, depot operators, heraldry experts, paymasters, cemeterial custodians--and in other capacities too numerous to mention. No other branch of the service can begin to rival the Quartermaster Corps for its diversity of tasks and the many functions provided. But despite all the changes, the fundamental mission of the Corps has stayed the same: it is to support the individual combat soldier in the field.
No other branch of the Army can claim so many missions, either historically or at the present. No other branch of Army touches the lives of soldiers on a daily basis as does the Quartermaster Corps. This has been the case since 1775. America’s success on the battlefield is directly related to the quality of the logistical support that has been provided by the Quartermaster Corps.