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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany


Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Yellow belt course mandatory for Marines, Civilian-Marines

By Marti Gatlin | | May 31, 2012

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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s Continuous Process Improvement Program complies with all Department of Defense and Marine Corps requirements and it supports improvements to Marine Corps combat readiness and warfighting excellence through a commitment to perform business processes better and at the lowest possible cost, according to Base Order 5220.1, CPI.

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany Marines and Civilian-Marines are required to complete yellow belt training, regardless of any previous training, Tina Lee, Business Manager, Strategic Workforce Analysis Division, Business Performance office, said.

The next yellow belt training will be held June 12-13 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Defense Distribution Albany, Ga., Building 1221. For registration assistance, MCLB Albany Marines and base Civilian-Marines may call Lisa Simpson, Operations and Training Division, at 229-639-6701.

The CPI program is used to look at how various entities here conduct business - whether it is done proficiently or efficiently, Lee said.

“CPI ensures we will be better positioned to meet the evolving needs of the warfighter in supporting global requirements,” she said. “The primary focus is speeding support to the warfighter by eliminating overhead costs, paperwork, transaction times and lengthy decision-making efforts.”

A Marine Corps certified black belt and the command’s implementation leader, Lee manages the CPI Program for the base. She is one of the certified instructors who conducts the yellow belt training.

Offered through Navy Knowledge Online, the first level of training is white belt, which is a high-level introduction to the program and should be completed by all employees, Lee said.

Following white belt is yellow belt training, a two-day course, which provides deeper insight and hands-on application of the basic improvement methodologies used to support CPI efforts, Lee said.

“It provides an introduction to process management and the basic tools of Lean, Theory of Constraints, and Six Sigma, which will hopefully provide our staff a stronger understanding of CPI and equip them with the knowledge to provide meaningful assistance in achieving the command’s objectives,” she said.

“We have taught 13 classes since May 22, 2012, with 303 people graduating,” Lee added. “Our first class of 2012 was held March 21-22 with 23 people graduating the course.”

Sgt. Maj. Conrad Potts, MCLB Albany sergeant major, described the yellow belt training as “one of the first building blocks in the Lean, Six Sigma, Continuous Process Improvement process. It gives the Marines the introductory information that is needed to go on to other advanced belt training such as green belt, and/or black belt training. “The belt process is like any form of training, using the ‘crawl, walk, run’ method,” Potts said. “We, as Marines, especially need to get it that way, because we are not as familiar with these processes in the Corps as our civilian counterparts.

“It gives us another tool in our proverbial tool box as a Marine, to use in our careers and how to make processes more efficient and cost effective,” he added. “Anytime you can do processes more efficiently and cost less, you are accomplishing something greater for the organization and the Department of Defense.”

Potts, a yellow belt and green belt training graduate, noted the training “is well worth the time and investment for all to attend. The instructors and periods of instruction are first class and definitely well worth the time and investment all attending would get out of going. These classes should be taken advantage of and utilized by all in the command.”

Kent Morrison, MCLB Albany executive director, CPI executive steering committee chairman and yellow belt graduate, also emphasized the importance of the yellow belt training.

“We decided to make the training a requirement for many reasons,” he said. “The first and most important is to send a strong message that every employee is important in providing Continuous Process Improvement ideas and suggestions. By allowing all employees to attend training, they can learn the processes for improving every aspect of our operations. They will feel they are a part of the team and their viewpoints are important. I tell every class that they are empowered to take what they learn in yellow belt and go apply it in their respective workplaces if for no other reason than to know (they) are improving the quality of work life for that employee to their left or right.”

For information about CPI and the levels of training options, call Lee at 229-639-8756.


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