By Ms. Adriane ElliotJune 14, 2016
The new commander of the U.S. Army Security Command is no stranger to foreign military sales.
Maj. Gen. Stephen Farmen said serving 10 and a half months as the commanding general of Joint Munitions Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., doesn't make him an FMS expert, but it was a great foundation.
AMC Commander Gen. Dennis Via said "Major General Farmen is very familiar with USASAC's mission," during Farmen's June 2 change of command ceremony. "As JMC commander, he also managed a robust Foreign Military Sales Program -- $973 million in new business lines and $5 billion dollars of total letters of offer."
Farmen said the JMC assignment gave him perspective and taught him a lot about AMC. He also said that foundation will speed up the learning curve as he studies and begins to understand and command the vast landscape that is USASAC.
He said during his first 100 days, he will be an active listener, investing in relationships with people, conducting senior leader engagements and looking for opportunities for change, assessing and mastering the organization's many moving parts.
As for his command philosophy, Farmen said it centers around three tenets: character, readiness and honor.
"We must begin with a commitment to making character, combat-readiness and honor part of our DNA," he explained. "Simply put, we must continuously strive to become a unit that embodies the conscience and integrity (character) to make the hard-right choices/decisions, whose actions exude and empower the Warrior/Civilian Ethos (readiness) and the honor to live up to all Army Values -so we execute all missions with excellence as a habit and return with honor."
He said he expects the USASAC team to be a "professional, partner capacity-building machine and ethics-based team" that can stake its reputation on those attributes.
Farmen said USASAC has an impressive history of building partner capacity and generating trust and warfighting readiness, and he noted it is every team members' responsibility to honor that legacy and sustain those traditions.
He has also been impressed by the community.
"I have heard many good things about this area from people we know. When it was announced that we were coming here, they reached out to say how great it was going to be at Redstone Arsenal and in the surrounding area.
"(My wife) Debbie and I are looking forward to exploring and learning about Huntsville," said Farmen. "That's something we like to do wherever we live, get out and about and see what the area has to offer."
As for what Farmen wants the USASAC Family and the community to know about him, he said he's "approachable" and "all about the team."
He plans on staying close to home and getting to know the USASAC team first, before conducting senior leader engagements abroad.
Farmen is the 28th general officer to lead USASAC in its 51-year history.