MS-SCM Integrative Field Project Allows US Army Captain to Make the Most of His Military Training

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Mikhail Jackson (MS, SCM, '17) has achieved much in his 12-year military career. He has risen to the position of Captain in the United States Army, and in his most recent job before school commanded a 160-soldier support company. He has built a solid expertise in logistics by managing the distribution of fuel, ammunition, water, and repair parts — over 1,300 pieces of rolling stock and commodity equipment valued at $45 million — for the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team.

However, after completing a tour of duty in Iraq from 2010 to 2011, attending officer training at Fort Lee in Virginia and earning a master's degree (2012) in Public Administration, Mikhail saw a need to supplement his already uncommonly diverse array of experiences and skills. Ultimately, Mikhail chose TCU's MS in Supply Chain Management to build on his background in military logistics.

For the past 2 years, Mikhail has commuted between Fort Hood and Fort Worth to complete his degree. Despite the logistical challenges this arrangement has presented, “the fact that TCU is a top-ranked school whose supply chain program ranks #14 on Gartner’s list of graduate schools made my selection easy,” he says.

Mikhail has consistently remained focused on deriving the greatest value from his experiences both in and out of the classroom. The MS SCM's integrative field project combines aspects of both theory and practice. As part of this experiential learning initiative, Mikhail assessed the utilization of civilian contractors in operating Fort Hood's 62nd Quartermaster Company warehouse.

"Army warehouses are fast-paced environments and soldiers on duty have to invest a lot of their time to guarantee successful operations,” Mikhail explains. “But multiple deployments can result in high rates of turnover, and training exercises can make it hard to meet the Army's efficiency requirements."

To address these issues, Mikhail worked hard to integrate his knowledge of troop movements and combat readiness with his new understanding of how leadership drives success in private industry.

Mikhail assessed overall warehouse performance and effectiveness through several different strategies, including simulated tests he conducted with the help of faculty member Dr. Patti Jordan.

With the assistance of Dr. Jordan and a team of faculty advisers, Mikhail presented his formal recommendations to his battalion's senior officers. With his plan for adding civilian contractors to the 62nd warehouse workforce, Mikhail was able to demonstrate how non-military personnel could not only improve the efficiency of existing operations but also help his organization capitalize on other benefits as well. 

“I learned very pointed skills that helped me determine more accurate logistical forecasting methods and warehouse procedures,” Mikhail says of the project. “These will certainly be effective tools for me to use in my continued military career.”

Summing up his TCU experience, Mikhail focuses on differentiators. “My teachers and colleagues at Neeley have introduced me to multiple non-military points-of-view, expanding my ideas about logistics and supply chain management and helping me to gain a global perspective."

Learn more about the unique student experience offered by TCU and how the  MS in Supply Chain Management program can be the right program for you by visiting the Neeley School of Business website.

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