In the 2007 revision of the “Maintenance of Supplies and Equipment: Commanders’ Maintenance Handbook,” the Army sets out a vast array of detail about the daily maintenance needs for every category of equipment. Featuring six chapters and an ample appendix, complete with tables and a glossary, DA PAM 750-1 opens with basic definitions of terms, especially the Army Maintenance Standard. After a short discussion of the purpose of Army maintenance, the pamphlet treats subjects like leadership, and how to administer a self-test for technical competence. The chapter concludes with a look at Army programs that are designed to enhance the maintenance function.
Chapter 2 delineates the various responsibilities for personnel at all levels, examines command emphasis checkpoints, crews, operators, supervisors, and related support command. Chapter 3 gets right down into minute detail about specific policies like how to deal with tire retreading, and what to do about items that are in a poor state of repair but can be salvaged. The chapter’s overall focus, even with all the detail, is the Army maintenance structure.
Chapter 4 gets to the heart of the document in its discussion of both supply and maintenance procedures at the unit and organizational level. There is a long section that deals with management information systems as they impact the overall maintenance function. One sees how the Army mirrors many private manufacturing firms in its treatment of supply, salvage, and repair. This section of the pamphlet shows the interconnection between refurbishing of repairable supplies and inventory control.
Preventive maintenance is one of the main topics featured in Chapter 5. The entire process of checks and services as it pertains to preventive maintenance is discussed, along with the importance of technical manuals and literature. The chapter wraps up with a full outline of the Army management information system as it relates to and augments other essential functions.
The last portion of the pamphlet, Chapter 6, picks up some topics that were, by necessity, omitted from previous sections. This final grab bag of topics includes a treatment of safety issues, especially safety management. An entire sub-section deals with technical publications while another explains the tool improvement program. The Army’s oil analysis program gets its own sub-chapter as well while warranty programs and shop layout round out the offerings of Chapter 6.
DA PAM 750-1 is a short document considering its wide-ranging impact on virtually every level of Army function. After all, supplies permeate the daily life of every service member. Maintaining a quality inventory of supplies is a vital function of any healthy organization.
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Author Larry Bell is a professional writer, comedian, and automotive enthusiast whose work can be seen at www.myperfectautomobile.com and many other online publications. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the Thunderbird School of Global Management.