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This month in historyU.S. Army Materiel Command

This composite image displays TACOMís unit insignia from 1967 and today. The image of the first insignia was printed in the January 1967 issue of The Detroit Arsenal News.

U.S. Army Materiel Command developed this shoulder sleeve insignia in 1962 for Soldiers to wear to show other members of the Army that they work for AMC.

Editor’s note: The following article is part of a series of stories and graphics reprinted from TACOM or Army Tank Automotive Center (TACOM’s predecessor) newsletters in 1967 in honor of the command’s 50th anniversary. The terms “ATAC” and “TACOM” are interchangeable throughout this series. This story ran in the August issue of “The Detroit Arsenal News.”
The U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC), engaged in developing, producing, supplying, and maintaining weapons, equipment and other materiel for the Army, consists of a nationwide network of 87 military installations and 89 activities.
AMC was established 8 May 1962 and assumed operational status 1 August 1962. It is responsible for the materiel functions formerly performed by six of the Army’s seven Technical Services (Ordnance, Signal, Quartermaster, Engineer, Transportation and Chemical), including research and development, procurement and production, storage and distribution, inventory management, and maintenance and disposal.
The U.S. Army Materiel Command is commanded by General Frank S. Besson, Jr., and operates with a $21.4 billion inventory and an annual expenditure of more than $14 billon. It directly employs approximately 14,000 military and 167,000 civilian personnel.
With headquarters in the Washington, D.C., area AMC operates through eight major subcommands and directs the activities of depots, laboratories, arsenals, maintenance shops, proving grounds, test ranges, and procurement offices throughout the continental United States.
AMC headquarters furnishes overall policy direction for its far-flung operations. The major subordinate commands serve as the “mid-management level.” The individual installations and activities accomplish the actual execution of the Army’s materiel program. AMC also makes maximum use of “vertical management” techniques, using project managers to expedite development, production and delivery of 56 selected major or critical weapons (equipment) systems.
The eight AMC major subordinate commands include seven commodity-type commands which are responsible for research, development, production and procurement in their assigned commodity areas.
They are:
  • U.S. Army Aviation Materiel Command (AVCOM), commanded by Major General John Norton, with headquarters at St. Louis Mo. This command is responsible for Army aviation design, research, development, product-maintenance engineering, stock and supply control, and technical assistance to users of all Army aviation and aerial delivery equipment. It consists of more than 7,300 military and civilian personnel. The command directs the Aviation Materiel Laboratories (AV-LABS) at Fort Eustis, Va.; the Army Aeronautical Depot Maintenance Center at Corpus Christi, Tex.; the Army Aviation Test Activity at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; and various plant activities. It also is responsible for all aeronautical missions at Atlanta, New Cumberland, Red River and Sharpe Army Depots.
  • U.S. Army Electronics Command (ECOM), commanded by Major General William B. Latta, with headquarters at Fort Monmouth, N.J. This command is responsible for communications systems, electronic warfare systems, combat surveillance systems, automatic data processing, radar, avionics, meteor ology, test equipment and power sources. It consists of approximately 13,000 personnel at 10 locations.
  • U.S. Army Missile Command (MICOM), commanded by Major General Charles W. Eifler, with headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. This command has management responsibility for research and development, procurement, supply and maintenance of assigned rocket, missile and related programs. It consists of approximately 10,000 military and civilian personnel. Small liaison offices are maintained at missile facilities and industrial locations throughout the United States and overseas, but a majority of the command mission is accomplished at Redstone Arsenal. The command does not manufacture weapons systems but maintains the scientific capability to monitor research, development and production efforts of American industry.
  • U.S. Army Mobility Equipment Command (MEC), commanded by Brigadier General E. Donley, with headquarters at St. Louis, Mo. This command is responsible for integrated materiel management, production and maintenance engineering, basic and applied research, design and development of materiel, design test and evaluation, and procurement for assigned categories of equipment. Types of equipment involved are barriers and bridging; water purification equipment; mail, marine and amphibious equipment; power generators; materiel handling equipment; industrial engines and turbines; and environmental control equipment. More than 5,000 personnel are employed. They work mainly at St. Louis headquarters and, also, at the Army Engineer Research and Development Laboratories at Fort Belvoir Va.; the Marine Field Offices at Hampton Roads, Va.; at five mobility support offices throughout the U.S., with one each in Europe and the Pacific; and at five mobile rail shops for railroad support items in the United States.
  • U.S. Army Munitions Command (MUCOM), commanded by Major General Frank G. White, with headquarters at Picatinny Arsenal, Dover, N.J. This command is responsible for ammunition and chemical, radiological and biological systems. It consist of approximately 29,000 personnel and about 34 active and inactive installations activities including Frankford, Picatinny, Edgewood, Pine Bluff and Rocky Mountain Arsenals, Fort Detrick, the Ammunition Procurement and Supply Agency, and additional Ordnance plants and works.
  • U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command (ATAC), commanded by General William W. Lapsley with headquarters at Warren, Mich. This command is responsible for integrated management of vehicles and repair parts in use around the world by the Army, Navy, Air nations; procurement of materiel ranging from nuts-and-bolts to tanks; applied research, development and engineering of tank-automotive vehicles and components for the Army and other Defense Department-wide technical doctrine, policies and procedures for operation, servicing and maintenance of tank - automotive materiel. A military and civilian work force of approximately 7,000 is employed.
  • U.S. Army Weapons Command (WECOM), commanded by Brigadier General W.J. Durrenberger, has its headquarters at Rock Island, Ill. The command is responsible for all artillery and infantry weapons, combat vehicles, gun-type armament for aircraft and fire control equipment for weapons. The combat vehicle area of mission responsibility includes tanks, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled howitzers, tank bulldozers, armored cars, and flame-throwing and battlefield recovery vehicles. Additionally, WECOM is responsible for common-type tools and for shop and diagnostic equipment primarily used in Army maintenance shops. The command consists of approximately 12,000 personnel and encompasses its headquarters, Watervliet Arsenal, N.Y.; Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.; and Springfield Armory, Mass.
The eighth MAC major subordinate command is:
  • U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (TECOM), commanded by Major General L. G. Cagwin, with headquarters at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. This command is responsible for engineering and service tests of Army materiel, test and evaluation support for the commodity commands, and participation in preparation for troop tests conducted by the U.S. Continental Army Command (CONARC). It consists of approximately 19,000 personnel and 15 installations/ activities in the CONUS, Alaska and Panama. 
In addition, AMC headquarters directly controls more than 60 installations/activities, including approximately 20 Army depots, nine central research and development laboratories, three Army Service schools, and other specialized activities.
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