Leadership: May 8, 2003


One of the many U.S. Army innovations of the 1980s was the formation of OFIG (Operational Forces Interface Group). This is basically a market research service for the military organizations that develop equipment for the troops. It was long been noted, at least by the troops, that the people developing their equipment did not appear to be getting much feedback from the users. OFIG changed that, as it was staffed by experienced NCOs and civilians who had been in the military. In addition to visits to units to conduct tests of new equipment, surveys were used to see how gear, that was already out there, performed. A hot line was established so that troops could quickly report unexpected problems with clothing and other equipment. A recent example of that was the problem with boot on the sharp rocks common to many parts of Afghanistan. After every war or large scale deployment of troops (like the Balkans peacekeeping in the 1990s) there are reports from the field of equipment that had a bad encounter with something unanticipated by the developers of the gear. But the most important function of OFIG is shortening the time it takes for a problem to get fixed. In many nations, problems with military equipment are often never fixed, especially if they are considered "minor." This often means that any problem that doesn't make headlines, or seriously interfere with combat capability, is considered something the troops can just live with.


Article Archive

Leadership: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close