Scott Fike, Col USAF (Ret)
Logistics Officer Association

Greetings LOG NATION!

I continue to hope you remain well and hope you remain safe as we navigate these ongoing COVID-19 times while not skipping a beat in providing steadied and, as always, dependable ongoing warfighter support. On many fronts we have been relegated to Zooming, Teaming, Goggle “Hangout-ing”, and more. As we all know, while often times we are not meeting in person, these new—or certainly more prominent—ways of engaging, communicating, fellowshipping, etc., have enabled LOA to maintain a means of ensuring your professional development remains first and foremost.

With that and with much excitement, we are pleased to inform you that our first virtual LOA University this year (19 – 23 Oct) was a success and provided tailored and focused content you asked for—content that facilitated your Leadership and professional development journey while serving our great Nation and great Air Force. 342 individuals registered for this year’s LOA U and had the opportunity to engage with 18 different guest speakers. I would like to extend a huge thanks to all our guest speakers who provided their insightful nuggets of wisdom and experiences with our LOA U attendees. We also certainly remain extremely grateful to the 36 exhibitors who also partook in this year’s LOA U.

Attendees (comprised of Enlisted, CGO, FGO, Civil Service, and Industry) participated in 868 sessions. Of the 29 survey results provided, the feedback suggested this year’s LOA U, though virtual, was a great success. On that note, a huge shout out to JD DuVall, Boyd Stewart, and Jerry Ottinger for planning and driving the 2020 virtual LOA U to a successful and meaningful conclusion, providing on-going professional development for our LOA members!

Though COVID-19 unfortunately put our annual LOA University and overall Logistics Symposium in flux—at the end of the day when the jets have been recovered, when our supply chain has provided critical supplies and parts, when our munitions and fuel support has been readily provided without interruption, and when our Airman and families were safe and secure—our team (your team) of LOA volunteers were working tirelessly across the globe. We demonstrated that LOA was prepared to survive, sustain, and remain relevant so we could continue supporting our community while ensuring YOU had a viable means wherein to focus on the Logistics Profession of Arms.

We know our mission is to inspire and connect members by providing value-added professional development and education opportunities through strategic engagement with military leaders and our defense industry and academia partners. This year is no different, nor will next year be. COVID may have altered the medium and COVID may have altered the approach wherein the LOA machine delivers its phenomenal support to our 1,500+ members (e.g., the postponed 2020 LOA Symposium). But make no mistake, COVID did NOT alter this organization’s spirit, its drive, its mission to adjust fire and do what Loggies have always done and will always do: DELIVER! Be it Live or be it Virtual, LOA fellowship, LOA mentorship, LOA professional development, and more will not in the least bit be deterred! LOG NATION, I alluded to our postponed Symposium now scheduled for the last week of March 2021.

With that, and after having advised Lt Gen Berry, Lt Gen Kirkland, and Brig Gen Hurry, I have an announcement to make (one which has already circulated within various social media circles). With lingering COVID uncertainties, the LOA Executive Board, with much measured deliberation, decided the 2021 Symposium will be virtual. Obviously, this was not an easy decision, and while nothing of course replaces a live event with its fellowship, relationship fostering, networking, etc., we are excited and optimistic that our Spring 2021 virtual Symposium will be an awesome event. In a similar vein, as we just experienced with our recent week-long virtual LOA U, I’ve no doubt that our Spring 2021 virtual Symposium will deliver as well. Our Symposium Planning Team (Colonel Ken Benton, Lt Col Dara Hobbs, and Ms. Jennifer Fletcher) got this! There is no doubt they will of course ensure next Spring’s virtual Symposium is a phenomenal success!

The 2021 virtual Symposium will be the second virtual Symposium (many may recall the 2013 “Sequestration” virtual event) for our LOA, and we have a great team at the ready to get us to the finish line! Our Aim, our Purpose, our Vision… is to remain a cutting-edge professional development association that provides relevant, real, and solution-oriented learning and collaboration opportunities to logistics, acquisition, and technology professionals across the Department of Defense, Industry, and Academia. LOA is an extremely strong, consortium like association, and it has proven—and will continue to prove—that it will take more than a pandemic to thwart LOA and LOG NATION!

As we approach 31 December 2020, wishing all LOG NATION-ers, friends, family, and affiliates the Happiest (and safest) of Holiday Seasons as we head toward the end of what has been a different and challenging year. Stay well!

Tap a Shoulder!
Let’s Go — Let’s Grow — Let’s Get After It!

Scott Fike

Logistics Officer Association