Lean and Mean

In a dramatic experiment, the army is remaking itself using theories perfected by business. Can Lean Six Sigma build a better, faster force?

Colonel Douglas Evans sits in his modest office at Red River Army Depot, tracking the dozens of war-battered humvees from Iraq that arrive every week to be repaired. Spread across 36,000 acres in Texarkana, Texas, the World War II--era Red River facility is one of the Army's oldest and most important maintenance and storage bases. But Evans, a 24-year Army vet with combat tours in the Balkans and Iraq, says what soldiers need to understand these days is not only bombs and bullets but also diapers.

Changing babies, Evans tells everyone at Red River, is the best model for thinking about...

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