A decorated Vietnam veteran who commanded Army Materiel Command during an era that surged its role as a supplier of materiel readiness for a wartime Army has been recognized by renaming AMC’s Executive Reception Room.
The Executive Reception Room was renamed the Gen. William G.T. Tuttle Jr., AMC Hall of Fame Room during a Sept. 20 ceremony. The room, located near AMC’s front entrance, has evolved over the years as the display area for the plaques of AMC’s Hall of Fame recipients, including Tuttle, who was inducted in 2016.
“Renaming this room as the Gen. William G.T. Tuttle Jr., AMC Hall of Fame Room is an appropriate recognition for an officer and leader who epitomized the Army values during times of great challenges to our Army and our nation, including the Vietnam War, Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Shield/Storm,” AMC Commander Gen. Ed Daly said.
“Gen. Tuttle was an innovator, problem solver and, above all, remarkable leader. He was a visionary who transformed logistics from the strategic level to the tactical point of need. His leadership as AMC’s commander in the last 1980s and early ‘90s during challenging times for the nation and our military set the foundation for AMC to grow to what it is today – the Army’s premier logistics, sustainment and installation management organization.”
Tuttle, who served in the Army for 34 years, died in November 2020 at age 84 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His last command was at AMC, where he led the organization through its support of the first large-scale military action since the Vietnam War. He then continued to support the military through his work as a leading expert in global military logistics operations.
“We are so grateful that AMC would choose to remember our father this way,” Tuttle’s son Jonathan said. “He loved his time at AMC and was always so proud to have had the opportunity to lead it. Mostly he valued his colleagues throughout the organization and their commitment to the mission and each other.
“To have his name on the room dedicated to the people of AMC is a great honor and we are sure would be special to him. We hope that AMC and the Army remember him as a Soldier who was dedicated to the service of his country, and as a devoted husband, father, son and friend.”
Tuttle embodied the critical mission and high values of the armed forces, and the important role the military has in protecting and securing peace both at home and abroad. He was known for effectively combining kindness, compassion, humility and concern for his troops and families with a firm commitment to integrity, professionalism and excellence.
“My father embraced the servant/leader model of leadership and believed that the best way to lead an organization was through developing and articulating a clear vision of the organization’s goals and objectives, and then supporting and developing the people in the organization to achieve them,” Jonathan said. “Consistent with those principles, he sought to lead by fostering a culture that was committed to excellence, respect, kindness and compassion.”
A native of Virginia and a 1958 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, Tuttle, an infantry officer, first served as a platoon leader with the 82nd Airborne Division, earning both the senior parachutist badge and the Ranger tab.
After joining the newly formed Transportation Corps in 1961, Tuttle served as a transportation officer in Vietnam and later as a staff officer in the Army manpower directorate programming the Army’s post-Vietnam troop reductions. His career included serving as an assistant professor of social sciences teaching economics and government at West Point; the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe as the chief of the Policy and Programs Branch, and as a representative to NATO’s Defense Review Committee. He also served in the Pentagon as the Army’s director of force management and had a major role planning the Army’s 1973 reorganization that created Army Forces Command and the Training and Doctrine Command.
Tuttle commanded the 503rd Supply and Transport Battalion and the Division Support Command, both of the 3rd Armored Division in Germany; the Eastern Area of the Military Traffic Management Command; the Army Operational Test and Evaluation Agency; and Army Logistics Center and Fort Lee, Virginia.
Tuttle’s last assignment was as AMC’s 10th commander from 1989 to 1992, making him the Army’s senior logistician. Within his first four months in command, Tuttle led AMC’s 100,000 Soldiers and civilians in support of Operation Just Cause in Panama, its first major military engagement since the Vietnam War. After leading AMC through its largest personnel reduction in history during the summer of 1990, Tuttle oversaw the organization’s support to Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Tuttle was also the AMC leader who conceived “Vision 2000,” a plan which eventually consolidated AMC’s equities and moved its headquarters to Redstone Arsenal. Tuttle relinquished command of AMC and retired on Jan. 31, 1992.
During his Army career, Tuttle received a master’s in business administration from the Harvard Business School in 1963 and continued his military education at the Armed Forces Staff College in 1970 and the Army War College in 1976. He was recognized with numerous awards, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal (with two oak leaf clusters), Navy and Air Force Distinguished Service Medals, Legion of Merit and Bronze Star Medal (with two oak leaf clusters). He also earned the Air Medal and the Gold Cross of Honor of the Federal Republic of Germany. In addition, his hometown of Portsmouth, Virginia, chose him as one of its “Notables” in 1987.
“I learned many things from my father that I use to guide my actions both personally and professionally,” Jonathan said about growing up in a military family that included his mother Helen, and his sister Lynn and brother Bob. “Professionally, my father was committed to doing what was best and right, even if that was the more difficult option. Personally, despite his demanding schedule and time away from us, we always knew that our family remained his priority.”
After his Army retirement, Tuttle, recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on global military logistics operations, joined the Logistics Management Institute, a not-for-profit research and analysis organization, as president and CEO from 1993 to 2002. He served as a consultant for the Defense Science Board, board chairman and lecturer at the Defense Acquisition University, and a lecturer at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, the Army Logistics Management College, the University of North Carolina LOGTECH Program and the University of Alaska Anchorage. He also served as a director and chairman of the Procurement Round Table, and a member of several defense and service organization boards.
In 2011, the Institute for Defense and Business in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, established the General William G.T. Tuttle Jr. Award for Business Acumen in Defense and Government. Tuttle shared his expertise in the field of logistics in his book, Defense Logistics for the 21st Century, published in 2005.