News | Oct. 1, 2021

New video details love of logistics by DLA’s first director

By Beth Reece

The Rhode Island man responsible for the Defense Logistics Agency’s initial success is the subject of a new seven-minute video highlighting the agency’s 60th anniversary called "Quartermaster to a Generation." 

Army Lt. Gen. Andrew McNamara was the deputy commander of the Eighth U.S. Army in South Korea when Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara called him back to the U.S. to serve as director of the new Defense Supply Agency. His goal: to create uniform, efficient procurement and distribution processes for all the services. 

The quartermaster was already well known among leaders for his logistics and leadership savvy. As the First U.S. Army prepared to invade Europe in 1943, then-Col. McNamara and his unit bought, packed and shipped everything half a million troops needed for D-Day and the following months. 

The video describes how McNamara and his crew also took down supply lines for the German Army while delivering critical supplies to U.S. troops on the frontline during the Battle of the Bulge. 

McNamara was one of the most decorated quartermasters in history when he took the helm of DSA. Within 18 months, he built an agency of almost 17,000 employees, 45 facilities and 11 field organizations. 

“By the end of the first 3 years, DSA had reduced unnecessary inventory by almost half a billion dollars and reduced supply operation costs by more than $40 million – all while dramatically improving service and responding to the changing needs of national defense,” according to the video. 

A playlist of this and other videos highlighting DLA’s history is available at the Defense Visual Information Service website.