Editor’s note: The following poem was written by Air Force Col. Loren M. Reno on Nov. 26, 1997 when he was assigned to Split, Croatia, as part of Operation Joint Endeavor. Col. Reno served as the Commander, Defense Fuel Supply Center and Defense Energy Support Center, Defense Logistics Agency Fort Belvoir, Virginia, from May 1996 to February 1998. He returned to DLA as a major general and served as the Vice Director from Oct. 2005 to May 2007. Lt. Gen. Reno retired from the U.S. Air Force in Feb. 2012 as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. Reno was inducted into the DLA Hall of Fame in August 2014 at the McNamara Headquarters Complex on Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Loggies Fuel the Line
I’ve worked logistics all my life, and I am not ashamed.
It gives a satisfaction, but it seldom brings real fame.
I learned a truth a while ago that’s stood the test of time:
Though operators make the news, the loggies fuel the line.
Which one of you can name the gent who fueled the Lindbergh plane?
Who drove the truck, who held the hose, who checked the fuel’s octane?
I’ve been to Europe several times, a transatlantic flight.
I met the captain at the door when landing day or night.
I did not see mechanics or the handlers of the bags.
The ones who planned the menu, the comptroller or the JAG.
The one who did the preflight and who wiped the wind screen off;
The one who pumped the tires so the landing would be soft.
The one who fixed the brake line so the jet would come to rest;
The one who changed the button when it would not press to test.
The point is that it’s folks like you who spend a lot of time,
And though not seen or heard about, the loggies fuel the line.
In years gone by, I’ve flown the planes that carry everything
From soup to nuts, and POL, and even mail they bring.
Though some think those who fly the jets are operators pure.
The things they lift and drop support the needs of those on shore.
And be it bombs or food or tents or medicine or fuel,
They’re loggies just delivering what used to go by mule.
I did not always comprehend or even take the time
To understand the basic fact that loggies fuel the line.
It’s only been since May last year, that I have come to learn,
The gravity of all it takes to get the fuel to burn.
DFOs and DFRs, and contract specialists,
QSRs and clericals, financial analysts.
Directors and commanders, and transportation peers,
Scientists, and drivers and those savvy engineers.
Lawyers and executives, economists and more;
Military specialists and training stevedores.
Deputies and auditors, division chiefs divine,
These are the Energy folks who work to fuel the line.
I’ve been to see our customers, and they appreciate
The work you do to get the fuel right up to their front gate.
But I’m a bit ashamed when some pretend that I’m the one
Responsible for all it takes to get this huge job done.
It’s you who work so quietly that should get all the shine,
Content to do your job because you loggies fuel the line.
I’ve been to our suppliers, representing all of you.
I hear them sing your praises—lots of people, not a few.
I’ve climbed the tanks that hold the fuel you’ve bought from near and far.
I’ve walked the line, been on the ship, and touched the sample jar.
Been in the labs and seen the tests that make sure quality
Is guaranteed along the way from the refinery.
And to the pipeline or the tanker that’s from MSC;
Trucks or rail cars you arrange with great dexterity.
And though you face tough challenges that vex from time to time,
You always find a way to win, you loggies fuel the line.
And now we step into a world of other energy
We have a lot to do and room for creativity.
I cannot tell you all the change that this new task will bring.
But we’ll succeed, and you’ll be proud, in case you’re wondering.
So as we end one era and move into a new time,
Stand tall …accept my hand salute…you loggies fuel the line.
Colonel Loren M. Reno
Split, Croatia 26 Nov 97