The American Logistics Association (ALA) traces its roots back 100 years to 1920 and the loose confederation known as the Quartermaster’s Association. The initial concept was a forum to discuss ideas, partnership and improve the marketplace and it would seem that good ideas are enduring. Evolving over the years to meet the transformation of the business channel, ALA became a trade association in 1974. Technically trade associations are categorized by the section of the Internal Revenue Code that applies, as such, ALA is a 501c (6) tax exempt, non-profit association. We have no other business other than improving business opportunities in the military marketplace for our Members.
The name 'American Logistics Association' evolved over the years as well. The military channel for most of the years of its existence was managed in the military’s logistics chain of command. It was a natural and easily understood identifier to use the word logistics in the definition of the association. The marketplace has modernized and transformed and now closely mirrors state of the art retail operations and in the modern marketplace you do not see the term "logistics" unless you are referring to a trucking company. Today, everything is robust where supply chain now enhances the speed to product to shelves and tracking bottom line efficiencies. ALA is proud of our heritage and we like to remember that our system has provided critical supplies from the Civil War to the Iraq War and everything in between.
1920 - Incorporated as the Quartermaster's Association (QMA)
QMA was composed of officers of the Regular Army, the National Guard, the Organized Reserves, key civilians in the federal government and leaders of industry. QMA disseminated professional information concerning all Quartermaster and related activities, and fostered and promoted a spirit of cooperation and friendly exchange of ideas among the members.
1961 - QMA becomes the Defense Supply Association (DSA)
The name was changed in response to the establishment of the Defense Supply Agency, as well as the increasing responsibilities being placed upon the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps to provide food, clothing and general supplies to all the Armed Forces under DoD’s single manager concept. The Association was composed of officers of the Armed Forces, key civilians in the federal government and leaders of industry.
1972 - DSA becomes the American Logistics Association (ALA)
To eliminate confusion with the Defense Supply Agency, the Association changed its name to the American Logistics Association and adopted the “eagle in the oval” logo. The new ALA carried forward the same objectives of the Quartermaster and Defense Supply Associations. According to an editorial in the July/August 1972 issue of ALA’s Review Magazine, the new name “was chosen to “show clearly who we are, what we do and how we intend to function. ‘American’ must always exalt the pride of patriotism…we believe in our country, in its customs, in its ideas and in its business efforts. ‘Logistics’ is defined as that branch of the military art which embraces the details of transport and supply. ‘Association’ is a union; a connection of persons or things, or a union of persons in a company or society for some particular purpose.”
1974 - ALA reorganizes into a national trade association
Led by a Board of Directors comprised of representatives from industry, the newly organized association was designed to serve industry and its related interests in military and other government activities.
Today, our mission is to promote, protect, and enhance the military resale and quality of life benefits on behalf of our members and the military community. We look forward to many years of continued service.
What’s In A Name?
According to an editorial in the July/August 1972 issue of ALA’s Review Magazine, the organization’s new name was chosen to “show clearly who we are, what we do and how we intend to function. ‘ American’ means we must always exalt the pride of patriotism. ‘Logistics’ is that branch of the military art which embraces the details of transport and supply. ‘Association’ is a union of persons in a company or society for some particular purpose.”