USAWOA | The Quiet Professionals

EBS-Convergence Panel

USAWOA Newsliner Article - Focus On EBS-Convergence


Robert J. Thurston
Director, Enterprise Support, G-46
Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, HQDA

Mr. Robert J. Thurston directs and manages Army-wide Defense Business Systems information technology and data management capabilities for the logistics domain. He ensures systems are secure, auditable, operationally effective, and cost efficient for garrison and wartime logistics operating at the strategic, operational and tactical levels across the Active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve. He is responsible for policy, planning, programming and oversight for the Army’s logistics business systems in order to build Total Army Readiness and support Large-Scale Combat Operations.


  • 2020 - Present: Director, Enterprise Support, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, Department of the Army, Washington, DC
  • 2019 - 2020: Acting Director, Enterprise Support, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, Department of the Army, Washington, DC
  • 2016 - 2019: Division Chief, Major End Items, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, Department of the Army, Washington, DC
  • 2008 - 2015: Division Chief, Logistics Enterprise Systems Support, Combined Arms Support Command, Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Lee, VA
  • 2006 -2008: Senior Project Officer, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, Department of the Army, Washington, DC
  • 1986- 2006: U. S. Army (Retired at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer Four)


  • Master of Science in Strategic Studies; Air War College, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
  • Master of Science in Management of Information Systems; Bowie State University, Bowie, MD
  • Bachelor of Science in Western Language, Literature, Spanish; Excelsior College, Albany, NY


  • Defense Senior Leader Development Program – Cohort 2015
  • Joint Land, Air and Sea Strategic Special Program – Air War College
  • Army War College – Fundamentals in Strategy


  • Information Systems Analyst
  • Lean Six Sigma (Green Belt)


  • Department of the Army, Superior Civilian Service Medal (2)
  • Department of the Army, Civilian Service Achievement Medal
  • Legion of Merit


  • Thurston, Robert. ‘Leadership and Logistics - Meeting the Army’s Expeditionary Requirements of Today and 2025’. Research Report. Air War College, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL. 2016

CW5 Gregory Besaw
EBS Convergence Senior Chief Warrant Officer - HQDA G4

CW5 Gregory W. Besawis currently assigned to Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA), detailed as Senior Chief Warrant Officer of the Enterprise Business Systems Convergence (EBS-C) Multi-Functional Capabilities Team (MFCT). His 31 years in logistics includes 7 years as a grocery manager and over 25 years of Regular Army service, working in a myriad of logistical assignments.

His previous assignments include service as an enlisted Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division (Schweinfurt, Germany) and 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Fort Polk, LA). As a Warrant Officer he has served as Brigade Property Book Officer, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, (Fort Campbell, KY); Senior Instructor/Writer, Property Accounting Technician Warrant Officer Basic Course (Fort Lee, VA).; HQDA G-4 Liaison Officer for Global Combat Support System-Army (duty at Fort Irwin, CA); Senior Property Accountability Technician, 593rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and Command Asset Visibility Officer, 7th Infantry Division, (Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA); Senior Logistics Staff Officer, Property Accountability Division, HQDA G-4 Supply Policy Directorate (Pentagon).

CW5 Besawdeployed to Bosnia with the Implementation Force (IFOR) 1997; Kosovo with Operation Joint Guardian 1999 and 002; Iraq with Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003-2004 and 2005-2006, and Afghanistan with Operation Enduring Freedom 2007-2009.

CW5 Besawholds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Transportation/Logistics Management, and a Master of Science Degree in Management (Logistics Concentration) from Florida Institute of Technology. He is certified as a Demonstrated Master Logistician (DML) from the International Society of Logistics (SOLE). He has completed all levels of Warrant Officer Professional Military Education, and was the Distinguished Logistician of the 2009 Theater Logistics Studies Program (TLog).

His significant awards and decorations include: two Bronze Star Medals; three Meritorious Service Medals; eight Army Commendation Medals; four Army Achievement Medals; the Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation, and Army Superior Unit Award; multiple Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan Campaign Medals; four NATO medals; and the Army Staff Identification Badge.

CW5 Besawis married to TamisaGriffin Besaw. They have two children, Dylan (ten), and Andra, (nine).



Mr. Bill Parker-Combes
EBS Convergence Systems Engineering Lead

Mr. Bill Parker-Combes currently serves as the EBS Convergence Systems Engineering Lead. He began his career with the Army in September of 2000 following eight years in the private sector as a computer programmer with Prudential and IBM Global Services. His first assignment was working at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey, in the Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) Logistics Readiness Center’s Technical Publication branch, where he was responsible for implementing CECOM’s Interactive Electronic Technical Manual solution. In 2006, he was accepted into CECOM’s Executive Development Program (EDP) with only nine other applicants, which consisted of two years of rotational assignments, numerous leadership training courses, and professional coaching. In 2007, Mr. Parker-Combes took a promotion to CECOM’s Software Engineering Center (SEC) working in the Business Systems Directorate, which managed SEC resources supporting theLMP and Joint Computer Aided Logistics Support system.

In January 2010, he was assigned to the LMP Product Management Office (PMO), where he has served in several roles, including lead for a variety of special projects and various programmatic support and management roles for both Increments 1 and 2. He successfully led the effort to receive Increment 2 Full Deployment decision in 2016. Increment 2 expanded the LMP production baseline to approximately 14,000 users across the AMC and addresses shop floor automation, automatic identification technology (AIT), expanded ammunition (AMMO) requirements, strategic Army business transformation goals, and specific Department of Defense (DoD) directives, such as item unique identification (IUID). Mr. Parker-Combes then transitioned to be the Systems Engineering Division chief in January 2018. In this role Bill is responsible for the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and has a key supporter of efforts to standardize SDLC processes and tools across the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems that the Army Shared Services Center (SSC) does/will support. Over the summer of 2018 Mr. Parker-Combes stepped up to be the LMP acting Deputy Product Director for 4 months, and then in October of 2019 Mr. Parker-Combes was appointed as the LMP acting Product Director for 5 months.

Mr. Parker-Combes graduated Magna Cum Laude from Monmouth University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. In June 2016, he graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School with a Master’s Degree in Engineering Systems. He is Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Level III certified in Systems Planning, Research, Development and Engineering (SPRDE), and Level III certified in Program Management and a member of the Acquisition Corps. In September 2008 he completed CECOM’s rigorous 2 year Executive Development Program. He also has earned several awards, including the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service (2007) and Achievement Medal for Civilian Service (2007), and was named Logistician of the Year by the Greater Washington Area Chapter (GWAC) of SOLE -The International Society of Logistics (2016).

Mr. Chris Lindstrom
EBS Convergence BPR Lead - ASSC

Chris Lindstrom is a BPR Professional for the U.S. Army’s Business Process Reengineering (BPR) Center of Excellence (CoE), responsible for increasing BPR capabilities through a broad range of curriculum offerings and improvement projects. The BPR CoEimplements a standardized methodology for BPR and provides support services for reengineering the Army’s business processes.

After joining the Army as a civilian in 2018, Lindstrom has supported the BPR CoEin evaluating hundreds of Defense Business Systems (DBS) in meeting the Army’s BPR compliance criteria and developed, enhanced, and trained the BPR training curriculum to over 500 military personnel and civilians. He has also lead and supported the Combat Readiness Center in their BPR efforts in modernizing the Army’s Safety & Occupational Health (SOH) management system. He is currently detailed to Project EBS-Convergence, primarily focused on defining and leading the program’s BPR efforts in modernizing the Army’s Enterprise Business System (EBS).

After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering, Lindstrom joined National Cash Register (NCR) as a components engineer, where he was introduced to Process Engineering and Total Quality Management (TQM). He later earned an American Society for Quality (ASQ) Six Sigma Black Belt certification and Master Black Belt.

Lindstrom worked in industry as a consultant and operations executive with companies in aerospace, telecommunications, software development and deployment, continuing education curriculum development and training delivery. At AT&T, Chris supported a re-engineering project that evaluated the consumer products division, a $2B business that was losing money. In five months, a new strategy was developed, leadership was replaced, and new processes and metrics were designed that set the stage for an 18 month turn-around. While at AT&T Wireless, Lindstrom led the improvement program that reduced the service activation costs by over 50%. At Infospace(a software as a service company), he re-engineered the Sarbanes-Oxley control system reducing administration costs by 50%, and saved over $2M per year in Service Level Agreement (SLA) penalties through a number of Kaizen events focused on improving I/T Operations. He has developed curriculum and training for BPR, Lean, Six Sigma, Theory of Constraints (TOC), and organizational change delivered to professional and college classes.

As a volunteer for the ASQ, Lindstrom has served on the leadership board managing programs, supporting educational opportunities, and leading the Seattle section. He has developed a personal engagement style which integrates a high level of respect for people and a keen understanding that the leader / manager / coach / supervisor’s role is to help all associates develop problem solving and interpersonal skills, enabling them for identifying issues and creating and implementing solutions.

Mr. Lindstrom has two adult daughters and enjoys touring the country on a motorcycle with his wife.



Ms. Jodi Narel
EBS Convergence Enterprise Architecture Lead - HQDA G4

Ms. Jodi Narel serves as the Chief Enterprise Architect of Enterprise Business Systems –Convergence (EBS-C) detailed from HQDA, G-46 Enterprise Support, Logistics Enterprise Support Agency (LESA) which supports the Army's Enterprise Business System Multi-Functional Capabilities Team (EBS-MFCT), a coalition established for planning and implementing the Army’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) modernization effort by 2027. Over the coming years, the EBS-MFCT team will develop enterprise requirements for a converged ERP solution, identify and conduct business process reengineering, and establish corresponding business process and data architectures. EBS-C is charged with the creation of the acquisition strategy, as well as development and deployment of the Army's modernized/converged ERP system.

Ms. Narel recently served as the Chief for the Architecture Division of HQDA G-46 responsible for the development and maintenance of the Army logistic segment of the Army Business Enterprise Architecture. Ms. Narel entered the United States Military Academy and graduated with a degree in Systems Engineering. She was commissioned into the Quartermaster Corps and assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) where she performed duties at the 801st Main Support Battalion, Division Support Command Headquarters, and the Division Material Management Center. She exited military service and joined industry as a manufacturing manager for fiber optic manufacturing product lines -receivers, transmitters, and transceivers for dense wave multiplexing telecommunications equipment manufacturing plant, and then joined the ranks of consulting to the federal government. As a consultant, she focused on extensible markup language (XML), ISO 15000-5 Core Components Standards, business data, and business taxonomy standardization. While consulting, she completed a Master’s of Science in Information Sciences from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

For her professional excellence, Ms. Narel has been awarded the U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal.

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