Chief, Medical Logistics Division, Defense Health Agency – O6 Only

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If you are interested in this position, contact your Detailer:

Chief, Medical Logistics Division

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Facilitates standardization of the demand signal in order to optimize the purchasing of medical supplies, health care technology, and services
  • Executes MEDLOG Shared Services per approved Coordinated Concept of Operation (CONOPS)
  • Executes Defense Medical Materiel Program responsibilities per DODI 6430 .02
  • Chairs the Defense Medical Logistics Proponent Committee (DMLPC), the joint governing body for DoD Medical Logistics.
  • Co-Chairs the Defense Medical Logistics Supply Chain Council (DMLSCC) 06 Board which serves as a collaborative forum to facilitate and integrate the development of strategic and operational relationships, capabilities, performance standards, and system integration necessary for effective and efficient medical supply chain support across DOD.
  • Develops a shared strategic direction and vision for the DHA medical logistics functions and programs; Coordinates with Service Medical Logistic Chiefs from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps as well as the Defense Logistics Agency, FHP&R, and the Joint Staff for the management and development of tri-service medical logistics initiatives .
  • Oversees a headquarters staff of approximately 46 employees (total force); Interacts with other DHA functional areas as the medical logistics business functional representative; prepares and delivers senior-level briefings; Manages and coordinates development, implementation, and compliance oversight of DHA initiatives to improve efficiency and effectiveness of Military Health System (MHS).
  • Establishes reporting requirements for DHA Supply, Equipment , and MEDLOG Services Initiatives and prepares, analyzes, and makes recommendations regarding initiative performance to the DHA Director and DHA leadership .
  • Directs the DHA Medical Logistics staff engaged in the planning and execution of business process reengineering initiatives, management of enterprise actions collection, and analysis of initiative performance data.
  • In coordination with the Services, DLA, DMLPC Principles, coordinates the development and implementation of process improvements for medical logistics; Participates in development of DHA guidance necessary to implement OASD (HA) policies associated with standardization and purchasing of medical supplies; Participates in development of DHA strategies and guidance for management of authoritative data.
  • Coordinates with counterparts in the Services and other Federal agencies to establish a collaborative network that fosters unity of and optimization of DoD purchasing power; Coordinates with non-DoD medical logistics organizations to assess ‘best practices’ in medical logistics.
  • Advises the DHA Director on all aspects of medical logistics; Serves as DHA MEDLOG representative to DoD and Federal work groups and committees.

Experience and Required Grade:

  • Grade of O-6 (any specialty) but must have significant knowledge of knowledge of and experience with medical logistics and operations.
  • An advanced degree in a relevant field.
  • Eligible to obtain a Top Secret security clearance.



Fleet Seminar Program NAVADMIN Released

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There are many ways to get Joint Professional Military Education I (JPME I).  You can do it on-line, via CD-ROM, by attending a war/service college full-time (cheat sheet here), or by attending a distance learning program where you live.  This last option, run by the Naval War College, is called the Fleet Seminar Program.

In brief, you attend class once/week from September to May.  Once you are done with all three courses, you have JPME I.  And if you complete 9 additional credits in a concentration area you can get a Masters degree from the War College without ever having to attend it full-time.

Here is the application information:

2016-2017 Fleet Seminar Program NAVADMIN

FY17 O5 Promotion Opportunity Decreased to 65% for Medical Corps

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The FY17 O5 Staff Corps Promotion Board just concluded.  Here is the convening order and here is the board membership.

Of note, all CDR hopefuls should read the convening order because that is the document that explains what the board was looking for when selecting people for CDR.  The language is very similar to the O6 convening order that I already broke down in detail in this post, so I won’t do that again.  The major takeaway is that the promotion opportunity was down to 65%.  Here is the historical trend taken from Joel Schofer’s Promo Prep:

  FY08 FY09 FY10 FY11 FY12 FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16 FY17
LCDR 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
CDR 80% 80% 80% 80% 80% 80% 80% 70% 70% 65%
CAPT 80% 80% 80% 80% 80% 60% 60% 60% 50% 70%

Promotion opportunity.  This percentage is multiplied by the zone size to give the number of officers to be selected for promotion.  For example, if the promotion opportunity is 60% and there are 100 officers in-zone, then 60 will be selected for promotion.  This 60, however, may come from officers who are below-zone, in-zone, or above-zone.  For example, maybe 50 of the 60 are in-zone, and 10 are above-zone.  That is why the percentage of people in-zone who are selected for promotion is always lower than the promotion opportunity.  See below…

  FY08 FY09 FY10 FY11 FY12 FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16 FY17
LCDR Average of 94% (best data I could find) 97% 89% 90% 93%
CDR Average of 62% (best data I could find) 58% 66% 49% 53%
CAPT Average of 60% (best data I could find) 55% 43% 47% 39%

Actual percentage of in-zone candidates selected for promotion.

Up-or-Out Promotion Reform Stalls

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Assuming they haven’t been prior enlisted, the current up-or-out rules will force officers out of the Navy at the following points:

  • LT – separated if you fail to select twice
  • LCDR – 20 years
  • CDR – 28 years
  • CAPT – 30 years

If an officer has prior enlisted time, the length of time you can stay in the military if you fail to promote is a complicated calculation and your Detailer is the best person to talk to about it.

One of the promotion reforms that has been recently discussed is a change to this up-or-out system.  The argument in favor of the reform says that these rules force officers out of the military who both want to serve and possess valuable skill sets.  In my experience, this can be true.  I’ve seen physicians in undermanned specialties who wanted to stick around but could not due to these rules.

This article from Military Times gives you the details on how efforts to reform the up-or-out rules have stalled:

The Pentagon’s Up-or-Out Promotion Reform Stalls Amid Internal Divide

How Valuable is a Military Pension?

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Two recent events led to this post.  First, this article about becoming a multimillionaire in the military appeared on  Second, I was having a discussion with some other officers about this topic and they thought my opinion on the subject was different from what they had heard before.  Because of this, we’re going to examine the value of a military pension.

How Much of a Pension Do You Get?

Let’s look at two likely scenarios for a physician.  First, someone who stays in for 20 years and retires as an O-5.  Second, someone who stays in for 30 years and retires as an O-6.  Their pensions in today’s dollars based on this calculator would equal approximately:

20 year O-5 = $4,102.50/month or $49,230/year

30 year O-6 = $8,053.50/month or $96,642/year

Remember that your military pension payments are adjusted annually for inflation, a very valuable benefit.

How Much is This Worth?

The easiest way to answer this is to examine the pension and figure out how much money you’d need to have invested in order to pay yourself exactly the same amount of money inflation adjusted for the rest of your life.  Unfortunately, this is not a simple issue. Article “Can Military Service Make You a Millionaire?”

The aforementioned article states, “The Defense Department puts the value of the monthly check of an O-6 retiring today with 30 years of service at $2.2 million…The DoD made a number of assumptions, but the idea was to put a price tag or value on the monthly military retirement check a military retiree will receive.”  This article doesn’t go into the assumptions made, but let’s just take it at face value.

My MBA Finance Professor

In 2013 when I was taking my MBA, I asked my Finance professor this very question.  I asked him how he would value a 21 year O-6 pension, another common circumstance for a physician.  At the time this pension was approximately $53,400/year.  Here is what he said:

“If you looked at this as an ‘endowment’ where one would not spend the principal, then take the annualized benefit $53,400 ($4,455 x 12) and divide by a long-term rate such as the 30 year T-Bond rate (3% in 2013) $1,782,000.  In other words, if you had that $1,782,000 and put it all into 30 year T-Bonds at 3% you would get your $4,455/month.  Of course, the issue is whether the 3% is a good number for the long-term.  If, however, you were to look at this as an ‘annuity’ where you would spend down the principal until time of death, then you have all sorts of demographic stats issues (e.g., expected life after retirement, future interest rates, variability of the annuity investment, cost of living adjustments, etc.).  In a nutshell, it can get quite complex. There are a number of websites available often through reputable firms such as Fidelity, Vanguard, etc., that you can perhaps access that have such calculations available already (instead of having to create your own model).  You can plug in your what if’s and see what pops out.”

Using the 30 year T-bond (Treasury bond) rate from 3/18/16, which was 2.68%, here is the valuation with his methodology:

20 year O-5 = $49,230/2.68% = $1,836,940

30 year O-6 = $96,642/2.68% = $3,606,044

The problem with this analysis is that a regular 30 year T-bond is not inflation adjusted, so in my opinion you’d have to compare it to TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities).  A recent yield on a 30 year TIPS bond is 1.12%, which would value the two pensions we’re considering at:

20 year O-5 = $49,230/1.12% = $4,395,536

30 year O-6 = $96,642/1.12% = $8,628,750

Keep in mind that the lower the Treasury bond yields go, the more valuable your pension is because you’d have to invest more money to get the same payout.  Since today’s Treasury yields are at historic lows, these valuations are probably as high as they’ll ever get.

Annuity Websites

If you go to annuity websites and try to purchase an annuity for these two amounts, here is how much they would cost:

Fidelity Guaranteed Income Estimator:

For a 20 year male O-5 who is 50 years old, lives in Virginia, and wants to earn $4,103/month or $49,236/year with a 2% annual income increase (equivalent to the inflation adjustment of your military pension) the pension would cost $1,322,826.

For a 30 year male O-6 who is 60 years old, lives in Virginia, and wants to earn $8,054/month or $96,648/year with a 2% annual income increase (equivalent to the inflation adjustment of your military pension) the pension would cost $2,103,257.

The 4% Rule

The 4% rule is a commonly accepted retirement “rule” that says you can take 4% out of your retirement nest egg every year, annually adjusted for inflation, and never run out of money.  In other words, for every $40,000/year of income you need in retirement, you need to have $1 million saved for retirement.  Whether the 4% rule is valid in today’s low yield environment has been debated, but let’s just assume it is still valid (because I think it is).

If you divide the annual military pension by 4% it would give you the size of the nest egg you’d need to withdraw that amount:

20 year O-5 = $49,230/4% = $1,230,750

30 year O-6 = $96,642/4% = $2,416,050

Keep in mind that your government pension is guaranteed by the federal government but the assets used in the typical application of the 4% rule, like your retirement accounts and other assets, are not, making your pension a much safer bet that is probably worth more than the numbers above.

Unquantified Value

There is some value in the military pension that people tend to underestimate.  First, it is guaranteed by the US government, which makes it “risk free”.  The only option discussed above that would offer this same value is the valuation comparing the pension to Treasuries.  Even an annuity from an insurance company is not risk free because insurance companies do go out of business.  (I will admit, though, that this is a rare event, and you could diversity by purchasing annuities from multiple companies, so an annuity can be pretty close to “risk free”.)

Second, you can’t screw it up.  Investors are their own worst enemy.  They buy high, sell low, trade too frequently, don’t save enough, over estimate how high their returns will be, pay excessive investment fees, and other errors that can very easily screw up your well planned retirement.  You can not screw up your military pension.

Third, some states don’t tax a military pension.  You can find that info here on-line or here in PDF form.

Fourth, and this benefit is HUGE for me.  I see my military pension as equivalent to a massive pile of TIPS.  This allows me to take much more risk with the remainder of my investment portfolio and net worth.  How much risk?  Overall my asset allocation is 90% in stocks, which is a lot more risk than most people would recommend at my age of 40.  Because of my pension, though, I don’t think I’m taking too much risk.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, a military pension is risk free, inflation adjusted, and can be quite valuable.  Can you make more money as a civilian, save well, and accumulate even more than this?  Yes, but this is all determined by your civilian salary, discipline as an investor, and rate of return on your investments, which no one knows since they can’t predict the future.  A military pension is a very valuable and underappreciate financial asset that is probably worth somewhere between $1,200,000 and $2,500,000, depending on how long you stay in and what rank you achieve.  If you try to match the risk with Treasury bonds at today’s rates, it is worth a lot more.

Updated Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) Rules

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Here is an article that discusses the new physical fitness assessment (PFA) rules and policy that was release in a NAVADMIN this week.  The changes, effective immediately, include:

  • There is a new body composition assessment (BCA) procedure, which consists of a three-step process.
    • The first measurement uses the current height/weight tables.
    • If an individual fails to meet those standards, a single-site abdominal circumference measurement will be conducted.
    • The final opportunity for Sailors to pass the BCA will be a test using the previous system of neck and waist measurements to calculate body fat percentages.
    • Sailors will pass the BCA by meeting the Depart of Defense maximum allowable body fat limit of less than or equal to 26 percent for males or 36 percent for females.
  • If you are medically cleared to take the physical readiness test (PRT) you must participate in the test regardless of your BCA results.
  • You will face separation from the Navy if you fail two PFAs in a three-year period.
  • Commanding Officers are now empowered to conduct BCA spot check programs to ensure Sailors are staying within standards. This moves the Navy beyond a two-test-a-year system by giving commands the ability to identify Sailors in need of additional support without subjecting them to administrative punishments that result from an actual BCA/PRT failure.

Additional info can be found at this 21st Century Sailor site.

USUHS Associate Dean for Research – CAPT/CAPT(s)

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Here is the position announcement.  Contact your Detailer or Specialty Leader if interested.