Brian P. Laird, deputy director of Defense Logistics Agency Distribution’s Future Plans Directorate, graduated from the Depot and Arsenal Executive Leadership Program on May 21.
The decision to apply to DAELP was based on Laird’s desire to gain a better understanding of the Army’s organic industrial base and the support provided by DLA’s distribution center operations. He was nominated to attend the program by his supervisor Scott Rosbaugh, director of Distribution’s Future Plans Directorate, as well as by Perry Knight, chief integration officer, DLA Distribution. He received executive endorsement by Twila Gonzales, DLA Distribution’s deputy commander.
“The program opened my eyes to how the entire supply chain operates all the way from demand forecasting, through the DLA distribution center, and down to the artisan on the maintenance shop floor,” said Laird.
When asked what his favorite part of the program was, Laird said the answer was two-fold. Spending time with Army Depot Commanders from the Army Material Command, as well as the other Service
Representatives allowed him to gain a better understanding of customer expectations. Additionally, he enjoyed the private industry residencies with UPS in Louisville, Ky., and at General Dynamics – Land Systems in Anniston, Ala. “It allowed me to observe world-class operations and take the concepts we were taught in an academic setting and see how they were being applied in a real-world environment,” he explained.
Laird spent more than a decade with the Unites States Army. As a commissioned officer, he served in both command and staff roles. He entered civilian service in 2000, beginning his career as an information technology specialist in the Navy’s Fleet Material Support Office, part of the Navy Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Enterprise. He spent the majority of his time in FMSO as a senior project manager responsible for implementing state-of-the-art hardware/software architectures. He was a key integrator for Navy’s Enterprise Resource Planning implementation and oversaw the multi-million dollar production operation of numerous U.S. Navy logistics application systems. Prior to leaving, he served his final years in NAVSUP as the chief of Strategic Planning division, working across the Enterprise to plan and integrate large scale supply chain efforts.
Serving as deputy directory of Distributions Future Plans Directorate, Laird currently directs the analysis and adaptation of short and long range plans, strategic level programs, and subordinate command objectives. He makes informed recommendations to senior leadership and ensures the best possible support to customers while integrating DLA Distribution’s capabilities into combatant command and military service plans.
Laird said his career diversity, as well as DAELP has afforded him the opportunity to become a better leader and a better person. He further explained that after working with multiple service representatives, as well as U.S. Transportation Command and other Defense agencies, it is evident that the public recognizes the much-valued service DLA provides to the warfighter.
DAELP consists of five in-residence periods, three academic residencies on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one touring residency focused on benchmarking, and a two to four week internship with a world-class private or public sector organization. Additionally, each DAELP participant completes a Lean Six Sigma Champion Certification program delivered by North Carolina State University with in-residence and online instruction that serves as an integral part of the program.