History of DLA Troop Support

Quartermaster CorpsDLA Troop Support's roots trace back to 1800 with the construction of the Schuylkill Arsenal in Philadelphia. The Arsenal began as a warehouse for ammunition and other military supplies. Local seamstresses were contracted to make uniforms by hand in their own homes.

The first opportunity for the Arsenal to serve the nation in an actual war came during the War of 1812 by supplying guns and ammunition, as well as clothing and textile materials. In 1818 the Schuylkill Arsenal gave up its ammunitions and arms mission to fully dedicate itself to manufacturing, storing and distributing clothing and textile materials.

Philadelphia Quartermaster DepotDuring the Civil War, more than 10,000 seamstresses and tailors were hired to make uniforms and clothing for Union troops. The facility and its workers proved their outstanding capabilities again during World War I. However, the enormous requirements of the war highlighted the need for a larger facility, so the operation moved between 1918 and 1922 to newly constructed buildings in South Philadelphia. Four years later the facility was renamed the "Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot."

The new buildings, including a clothing factory, were completed in early 1942, just in time for World War II, when the Army swelled to more than eight million soldiers. The depot continued to serve the military and the nation during the Korean War.

DSCP Command Building South PhiladelphiaIn 1965, the "Defense Personnel Support Center" was officially established and its mission was expanded to provide food, medicines and medical supplies, in addition to its already essential clothing and textile supply responsibilities. The Defense Subsistence Supply Center of Chicago and the Defense Medical Supply Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. moved to the South Philadelphia location. This concentration of all three directorates in one space provided an efficiency that was immediately tested by the Vietnam War.

DLA Troop SupportDPSC's employees continued their distinguished service during the Gulf War and during various humanitarian relief efforts and peacekeeping missions related to Hurricane Andrew, Somalia, Bosnia and Haiti. DPSC was renamed the "Defense Supply Center Philadelphia" on January 13, 1998. 

As a result of the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure Commission's decision, the Defense Industrial Supply Center was disestablished effective July 2, 1999. Material management responsibilities for DISC's assigned commodities- general and industrial items- were absorbed by DSCP effective July 3, 1999.

DLA Troop SupportThe creation of DISC began in 1947 when a presidential commission recommended centralizing management of common military logistics support under the General Stores Supply Office. The headquarters for the new organization was located at the Naval Aviation Supply Depot Compound in Northeast Philadelphia. In 1954, commodity-manager agencies were established. These agencies bought, stored and issued supplies, managed inventories and forecast requirements. During this time, the Navy managed medical supplies, petroleum and industrial parts; the Army managed food and clothing; and the Air Force managed electronic items.

The construction and equipment items that were purchased by DISC now make up DLA Troop Support's fourth directorate. The Construction & Equipment supply chain's merchandise includes: construction materials, heavy equipment, tactical gear, firefighting equipment, minerals and precious metals to wood products, imaging and information equipment and more. In 1962, the Defense Industrial Supply Center evolved as the result of a merger between the Military Industrial Supply Agency and the Defense Supply Agency. In its first year of operation, DISC had net sales of $107 million. For the next 37 years, DISC served the warfighter during wars, peacekeeping missions and humanitarian relief efforts on the global theater.

Then in 2012, two detachments that were co-located with DLA Troop Support, one from DLA Aviation and one from DLA Land and Maritime, were combined to form the Industrial Hardware supply chain. IH provided various consumable repair parts for 1,300 major weapons systems from 2012-2021 when the Class IX Hardware mission was divested to DLA Aviation and DLA Land and Maritime to increase efficiencies and realize future whole of government growth across DLA Troop Support. 

Today, DLA Troop Support enjoys a global presence. DLA Troop Support Europe and Africa is the warfighters' supplier of choice in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. DLA Troop Support Europe and Africa maintains 11 offices in seven nations. DLA Troop Support Pacific maintains 15 Offices in 5 countries in two states and one US territory. Support offices in Alaska, Japan, Okinawa, Korea, Guam and Hawaii provide rapid and flexible solutions to logistical challenges within the area.

Through the forward presence with its customers, strategic partnerships and enhanced readiness through focused logistics, DLA Troop Support ensures the combat readiness of America's fighting forces. The agency's success can be attributed to its uncompromising commitment to readiness, customer satisfaction, quality and innovation. As a global supply chain integrator, DLA Troop Support provides a seamless supply system that can be utilized in both peace and wartime operations.

Historical Highlights

  • 1800 - United States Arsenal is created; later renamed the Schuylkill Arsenal
  • 1803 - Arsenal outfits the Lewis And Clark Expedition to the Northwest; cost: $2000
  • 1860s - 10,000 seamstresses are employed to make uniforms for Union troops
  • 1921 - Schuylkill Arsenal renamed Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot
  • 1930s - 600,000 members of Civilian Conservation Corps are outfitted
  • 1947 - General Stores Supply Office, a legacy organization of Defense Industrial Supply Center, established
  • 1962 - Defense Industrial Supply Center evolves
  • 1965 - Defense Personnel Support Center established
  • 1998 - Defense Personnel Support Center renamed Defense Supply Center Philadelphia
  • 1999 - Defense Industrial Supply Center disestablished, and merged with Defense Supply Center Philadelphia
  • 2010 - Defense Supply Center Philadelphia renamed DLA Troop Support
  • 2012 - Industrial Hardware becomes DLA Troop Support's fifth supply chain
  • 2017 - Product Test Center Analytical realigned to DLA Troop Support
  • 2021 - Industrial Hardware mission divested to DLA Aviation and DLA Land and Maritime