AAFES’s Deputy Director, Logistics Checks Out the Supply Chain — From Beginning To End
Col. Brian Memoli, the new deputy director of Logistics (LG) for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), will work with Executive Vice President and Chief Logistics Officer Karen Stack and Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Alan French in overseeing distribution centers, trucking fleets, transportation and more.
Joining the Exchange in August, his AAFES position is just another one of many for the 28-year Army veteran, who has served all over the world, including in Europe, Africa, Central America and Southwest Asia. And wherever he went, the Exchange was there.
ONE END OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN TO ANOTHER
Memoli has benefited from the end of the supply chain on numerous occasions during his long Army career.
His first deployment was in Bosnia, and the Exchange was a mainstay at the base camps. On the way to Kuwait, his most recent deployment, his luggage was destroyed and he replaced it at the PX.
In Djibouti, where temperatures are often well above 100 degrees, he would walk from his tent through a series of air-conditioned tents and buildings, including the Exchange, which was the final stop before his office.
And then there were the chocolate bars. “It was always a big deal when the delivery van came in,” Memoli said. “And the bars would literally melt as you walked back to your office. So you would see people running with cases of chocolate bars. They’d run back in the heat to start handing them out in the air conditioning.”
After so many years benefiting from the end of the supply chain, Memoli, is now at the beginning of it.
As an Army officer, Memoli will be a liaison between the Exchange and the installations it serves. “When they need somebody to talk to the Army or to an Air Force officer or to a commander, I think putting a green suit to the organization helps build bridges and relationships,” he said.
Memoli grew up in Florida, where he earned his bachelor’s degree from Saint Leo University near Tampa and earned his master’s of science in Logistics Management from the Florida Institute of Technology near the Atlantic Coast.
While he was at Saint Leo, he thought about joining the Army Reserve to earn a little extra money. He saw a recruiter who recommended that he sign up for some ROTC classes.
“As soon as I started attending ROTC, I loved it,” Memoli said. “I originally was going to do one weekend a month, two weeks a year over the summer — and here I am, 28 years later.”
Memoli is third-generation Army: His grandfather, who died when Memoli was an infant, climbed telephone poles and ran communication lines under enemy fire during World War II. His father drove Pershing missiles in Europe during the Vietnam Era. He met his wife, a commissioned officer in the nurse corps at the University of South Florida, while they were in ROTC, and their oldest son was recently commissioned a second lieutenant.
“THE UNDERPINNING OF EVERY OPERATION”
While he was still in college, Memoli realized that there was a future in logistics should he ever leave the Army.
“It’s really the underpinning of every operation,” he said. “Napoleon said, ‘Logisticians are a humorous lot, because they know they’ll be shot if I lose the battle.’ But other famous quotes say, ‘Tactics are done by amateurs. Professionals use logistics.’
“Clearly we’re not the trigger-pullers, but we are definitely essential to getting troops the things they need to pull the trigger.”
Edited by Larry Lapka