August 07, 2007
Press Releases

As General Dwight D. Eisenhower famously noted, “Wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics.”  That mentality is the impetus behind a newly-formed partnership between the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT-CTL) and the United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), which provides air, land and sea transportation for the Department of Defense.   The relationship began when USTRANSCOM joined the Center's Supply Chain Exchange.  Now the two organizations have joined forces to create a fellowship program that will generate military leaders with an MIT education in supply chain management and logistics.

The year-long fellowship sponsored by the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) is part of the the military’s United States Army War College’s (USAWC), Senior Service College Fellows (SSCF) program, in which top officers are selected to attend a masters or fellowship program at colleges and universities across the country.  While SCC fellows have attended MIT in the past, this is the first such fellowship through the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics.

The SDDC fellowship will loosely parallel that of MIT-CTL’s one year Master of Engineering in Logistics (MLOG) program.  Joining the more than 30 other global business professionals slated to begin MLOG in fall 2007, the military fellow will participate in the program’s curriculum, which focuses on developing both strong analytical skills and change management leadership and includes an in-depth research project.

In addition to taking in MLOG classes, the fellow will also participate in events for MIT-CTL’s Supply Chain Exchange, the center’s corporate outreach program which is comprised of more than forty corporate sponsors.  The fellow’s membership in the Exchange will give him access to MIT-CTL’s four-day executive education course in January 2008, as well as to the 5 or 6 conferences and symposia planned throughout the 2007-2008 academic year.  

“We want to provide the SDDC Fellow with the unique opportunity to benefit from both the academic aspects of the MLOG program as well as the professional interaction of the Supply Chain Exchange,” said MIT Professor Yossi Sheffi, Director of the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics.  “And as a result of joining the Exchange, the fellow will be able to continue interacting with leading edge supply chain professionals from the private sector long after he or she completes the program.”

As its first fellow at MIT-CTL, the SDDC and Department of the Army selected Lieutenant Colonel (Promotable) Stephen E. Farmen.  Farmen recently completed a three year tour in Germany as Commander of the 28th Transportation Battalion and Commander of Logistics Task Force 28 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He has earned a BA in History at University of Richmond, Virginia, and an MA in National Securities and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

Lt. Col. Farmen sees this fellowship as an excellent opportunity to build on his more than 20 years of experience in military transportation and logistics.  “As a commander, leader, and manager of an organization that is part of the overarching Department of Defense supply chain – that is, sea lines of communication, enroute infrastructure, and shipping of cargo, material, and supplies – this fellowship will allow me to learn and understand how supply chains are fundamentally planned, designed, and operated, so I can better apply the right technical solutions and concepts to the challenges we face and gain the right efficiencies to enhance effectiveness in our daily missions,” said Farmen.

After he completes the SDDC fellowship, Farmen is slated to take command of the 598th Transportation Group in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where he will be responsible for the port and surface distribution operations for a region that includes Europe, the Mediterranean, western Africa, and the Azores.

Farmen says the fellowship and the continuing partnership between USTRANSCOM/SDDC/USAWC and MIT-CTL will serve to help the military supply chain become more agile flexible, and capable of sustaining momentum in uncertain conditions.  “In order to fight and win our Nation’s wars, we must have a viable and vibrant supply chain. To keep this constant, we must continually assess our pipeline and leverage evolving technology to keep our edge in this regard.”  And Farmen believes will provide that edge for him, for future SDDC/SSC Fellows, and for USTRANSCOM and the Army.

Farmen begins his fellowship in August 2007 and is slated to finish in June 2008.

For more information about the SDDC/SCS fellowship or the MLOG program, please contact Chris Caplice, , Executive Director, MLOG.