MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Approximately 30 logistical experts from MCLB gathered at the Base Restaurant June 7 for a re-establishment luncheon for the local chapter of Society of Logistical Engineers.
Maj. Gen. Paul M. Lee Jr., commander, Marine Corps Materiel Command, served as guest speaker for the SOLE lunch.
SOLE is a nonprofit international professional society composed of individuals organized to enhance the art and science of logistics technology, education and management.
It was founded in 1966 Ôto engage in educational, scientific, and literary endeavors to advance the art of Logistics technology and management,Õ according to the SOLE newsletter.
ÒIndeed, logistics is an art,Ó Lee said to the audience, ÒItÕs a creation that each of you, everyday Ñ you professionals, achieve.Ó
ÒWhat a SOLE organization does, is that it prepares ... through education, through science and writing, the excellence in the professionals who have to do these many things, the ability to be artists in the area of logistics,Ó said Lee.
A profession refers to a position where advanced study and specialization are required, according to Lee.
ÒSamuel Huntingdon, who is an authority on the sociology of profession, identifies three characteristics necessary for the activity to achieve the status of profession,Ó said Lee. ÒThey are expertise, corporateness and responsibility.Ó
Expertise means to satisfy a particular need.
To do that, said Lee, a person must have a knowledge base.
ÒExpertise, absolutely, unconditionally, depends on your constant dedication to education and the study of your field,Ó said Lee.
ÒIt is the only way you are going to stay current in your profession,Ó said Lee.
Corporateness means a distinction from all those outside of that profession as a result of your expertise and the nature of the activity that you perform, said Lee.
ÒWe have in the logistics area, standards, and you all know those standards,Ó Lee said to the luncheon members.
ÒI encourage you to develop your expertise for yourselves, as well as for the organization,Ó said Lee.
A professional accepts responsibility Ñ he recognizes his obligation to develop his special expertise, not only in himself, but in his coworkers, according to Lee.
SOLE can provide the educational opportunities that will be the kind of education needed to succeed, in order to develop that expertise, said Lee.
ÒUnfortunately, we arenÕt aware of what it is we need without societies like SOLE,Ó said Lee.
Lee, who now holds the premiere logisticians billet in the Marine Corps, attributes his success to SOLE, which helped him to identify where he may have been deficient or unprepared.
Another important aspect of SOLE is that logisticians are linked worldwide, said Lee.
Therefore, different opportunities are recognized. ÒYou have a national professional referral service,Ó said Lee.
Currently, SOLE has more than 145 chapters in 33 countries throughout the world.
Chapters conduct technical meetings, symposia and workshops, all designed to provide the SOLE member with opportunities for professional advancement. Today, the wealth of information can be overwhelming, said Lee. ÒThis association (SOLE) helps to reduce that universe of information down to knowledge you can usefully use.Ó
ÒIt is literally critical to your personal success to better yourself,Ó Lee said about joining the SOLE program.
For more information, or to join, the next SOLE meeting will be in July.