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Navigating the Stack: An Intro to Army Logistics Forms

A large stack of papers sorted with colorful binder clips lay on a desk. Text overlay says, "Navigating the Stack: An Intro to Army Logistics Forms."

Anybody that has filed their own taxes knows the government relies on forms. This isn’t just to confuse taxpayers; forms are important to structuring data collection into a format that can be consistently read by people and machines.

Then it’s no surprise that the Department of Defense (DoD) and its military branches use many forms as well. After all, a significant portion of our tax dollars goes toward purchasing equipment and items for the defense of our nation and its allies. The DoD has detailed policies to manage these valuable assets.

Many of these policies direct military personnel to use forms for documenting asset lifecycle events and inventory transactions. While these forms are an excellent way to ensure proper management of important assets, they can be daunting to navigate. Like many things DoD, entering the world of property forms requires memorization of many abbreviations attached to numerical identifiers.

While Army logistics folks can likely recite these forms in their sleep, other personnel may not be quite so familiar. Yet federal agency personnel, government contractors, civilians, and “non-loggy” military service members often participate in asset management activities.

This article will introduce readers to several of the most common forms one may encounter when working with United States Army asset inventories.

Bookmarking this blog could save you and others from scanning through hundreds of pages in the AR 710-2 (AR – Supply Policy Below the National Level) or Department of the Army Pamphlet 710-2-1 (DA PAM – Using Unit Supply System Manual Procedures).

Common U.S. Army Inventory and Logistics Forms

Let’s learn what each form is used for, and how to use them properly.

DA Form 2062

The Army uses DA Form 2062 to issue assets to an individual. The 2062 is most commonly known as a “Hand Receipt” (or HR for short).

A Property Book Officer (PBO) will HR each unit’s property down to the Company Commander. The Commander can appoint primary hand receipt holders (PHRHs), who will in turn issue assets to other sub-hand receipt holders (sub-HRH) that need to use the items.

For instance, preparing an inventory list has different instructions than issuing a SKO (sets, kits, and outfits) and all its components. The DA Form 2062 serves as a way to record and track chain of custody. This holds end users accountable.

The Using Unit Supply System is your primary manual for use of the 2062 form. 

DA Form 2407

The DA Form 2407 serves as a request for maintenance support and provides information to those responsible for maintenance management.

A maintenance request may be submitted if the repairs required are beyond the unit’s capability, a modification work order (MWO) needs to occur, or fabrication and/or assembly of items is called for.

Units that are fully integrated into the use of GCSS-Army can digitally submit maintenance requests, but those still working manually will need to complete the 2407.

The DA PAM 750-8 TAMMS (The Army Maintenance Management System User’s Manual) is your source for instruction on using the 2407.

DA Forms 581, 2765-1, and 3161

The Army has a few forms that are used to request issue and/or turn-in unserviceable and serviceable items. The type of item and whether it will be a recurring order can dictate which form should be used. All the forms listed can be used for supply requests.

DA Form 581

The 581 form is used for issue and turn-in of ammunition and explosives. When preparing a request for issue, enough copies must be created to meet the local needs of the supply point accountable officer. Keep in mind: the completed issuance of 581s for Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDTE) must remain in the document file for as long as the ammunition is on-hand in the unit.

Upon turn-in, the 581 is used for ammunition packing material, components, empty cartridges, and unused ammunition. The ammunition Supply Support Activity (SSA) will denote the quantities turned in.

DA 2765-1

While the 581 has a few specific uses, the 2765-1 has one primary use. The 2765-1 is used to request a single line item with a National Stock Number (NSN) and to turn-in almost any item type.

The 2765-1 is either a four-part carbon or electronic form. Units can request expendable, durable and nonexpendable items for issue. The 2765-1 can be employed to modify an existing request and many turn-in situations. You can review the 710-2-1 to understand the turn-in scenarios with this form.

DA 3161 and 3161-1

The 3161 (and the continuation 3161-1) is used to manage requests for multiple line items. This could be Self-Service Supply Centers (SSSC’s), class III items, and expendable medical items. Items ordered on a recurring basis are covered by this form as well.

In addition to requests for items, the 3161 is used to transfer property book items between units, issue and turn-in between the PBO and HRH, issue and turn-in between HRH and the sub-HRH, and temporary HR.

DD 1149

DD Form 1149 is used to furnish nonexpendable and durable property to contractors as Government Furnished Property (GFP) when authorized by contract. The form is approved by the contracting office (CO) that manages the contract, or by a representative.

Upon termination or completion of the contract, the contractor may transfer accountability back to the CO or to a property administrator via a 1149.

Conclusion

What all these forms have in common is that they are complex; they are multi-use, with various instructions depending on the activity, do not include self-explanatory instructions for the user completing the form, and are tedious to fill out.

Many Army operations have graduated to using GCSS-Army to automate aspects of managing these forms. But limitations in GCSS-Army means a lot of supply depots and personnel down range still use paper, PDF, and/or spreadsheet versions of these forms.

In the modern computing era, it can feel silly to still be emailing documents that need to be printed, signed, then scanned. And considering that nothing gets done logistically in the Army without a form, this is an expensive way to manage the process. You would be surprised at how all that ink, paper, and time adds up.

For commands, units, and programs that are still using basic tools, the purpose-built asset inventory management system eQuip is an option that is currently in use by the Army. eQuip can auto-populate the form required, and capture e-signatures through email or by using a digital signature pad. Click here to learn how the Army uses eQuip to manage its inventory and the forms that go with it.

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