Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT January-March 2017 Contents about the typical length of our articles are tremendously valu-
able to us, if not the easiest thing in the world to address:
• Long, drawn-out methodologies or excessively detailed case
histories are NOT helpful. A short, crisp history or methodol-
ogy would be better. Get to the point and tell me how this will
help me do my job better!
• I realize the length is partially driven by the magazine being a
quarterly publication, but its length seems to deter all but the
most stalwart readers committed to further learning about the
• The only challenge I have is that sometimes the articles are a
bit lengthy. Shorter reads help get to the point and provide a
quick snippet of useful information.
• One problem I have is time to read the articles. I think there’s
useful information in the magazine; however, I don’t have
time to read lengthy articles. Shorter versions or summaries
would be nice to see, as long as it doesn’t impact the content
You may recall the quote, “If I’d had more time I would have
written a shorter letter,” which has been attributed variously to
Benjamin Franklin, Woodrow Wilson and many others. Short
is hard—this article is a testament to that—but that doesn’t
mean we won’t take up the challenge.
More than any comment like “great magazine” or “it is com-
pletely useless to me,” these responses are news we can use. We’ve
already made changes to address article length since our last
magazine survey in 2014, but clearly we haven’t done enough.
Look for more changes in upcoming issues.
CAREER AND FINANCE
Some respondents wanted more insight on the planning, pro-
gramming, budgeting and execution process, with particular
emphasis on finance. Indeed, one respondent wrote, “There is
nothing related to budgeting, POM, financial management” in
the magazine. He or she went on to say that “I believe that this
is necessary, as I think PMs are least knowledgeable in this area.
Without any leadership emphasis, they continue to disregard fis-
cal and appropriations law.” That is a fascinating comment, and
one we will do our best to follow up on.
Another topic high on the list of respondents’ suggestions was career-
related information. All of these suggestions are worth pursuing:
• Articles on how to handle difficult situations with your
• Organic workforce requirements throughout the life cycle and
why we need them/plan for them.
• Acquisition workforce professional development and career
path to [product manager, project manager and program
executive officer] positions.
• More up-to-date courses in acquisition workforce training.
• Talent management and opportunities for progression for
newer employees are always interesting to me.
• Leadership and opportunities for low-ranking civilians.
• Future of the civilian workforce.
• Acquisition perspective from interns, DCS [deputy chief of
staff] and employee concerns.
• Focus MORE on how contracting officers can improve, maybe
a specific lessons learned section for them. Dos and don’ts.
Some of those may not be possible, but all of them are worth
You may think this sounds corny, but if you’re a member of the
Army Acquisition Workforce, Army AL&T is your magazine.
We make it our job to make Army AL&T such a useful and
important magazine that it becomes a must-read in your job.
It would take years to implement every suggestion we received
in our 2016 survey, but we will address those that we feel are
feasible and necessary, even mission-critical, such as those men-
tioned, in whatever ways are available to us.
We intend Army AL&T magazine to be a continuous dialogue.
It is incumbent upon our readers to do just what they have done
in this survey: Be honest—brutally so, if necessary. Your active
participation is critical to the success of the magazine, and the
success of the magazine is best measured by the success of you,
our readers, in doing your jobs meeting the needs of the Soldier.
If there is something we can do better, please let us know.
MR. STEVE STARK is senior editor of Army AL&T magazine. He
holds an M.A . in creative writing from Hollins University and a
B.A . in English from George Mason University. In addition to more
than two decades of editing and writing about the military, science
and technology, he is, as Stephen Stark, the best-selling ghostwriter
of several consumer health-oriented books and an award-winning
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