By Ms. Elizabeth Behring (AMC)September 30, 2016
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Gen. Dennis L. Via relinquished command of Army Materiel Command to Gen. Gustave (Gus) Perna during a ceremony hosted by the 39th Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley at AMC Headquarters, Sept. 30.
Milley praised both leaders and the AMC workforce in front of more than 700 attendees.
"AMC has never, ever slowed down their pace," Milley said. "If you ask how an organization can do it during a crisis, at any moment, like Desert Shield or Desert Storm, it's because AMC does that every day, 365 days a year, every year, year in and year out."
Milley, who promoted Perna in a private ceremony preceding the change of command, said Perna is the right leader to serve as AMC's 19th commanding general.
"There is no doubt in my mind that [Perna's] experience and background is the absolute right choice to lead Army Materiel Command in the strategic environment that we have today and into the future," Milley said.
Perna returns to AMC after serving two years as the Army's deputy chief of staff, G-4, overseeing policies and procedures used by all Army logisticians worldwide. Prior to this position, he was AMC's deputy chief of staff for logistics and operations.
Perna said that AMC is poised for future success as the command focuses on providing readiness to Soldiers.
"I am convinced that if we focus our efforts and capabilities on what is important, and we hold ourselves accountable while working as part of the greater Army team -- the total Army team -- there will be no mission that we cannot accomplish," Perna said. "There is unlimited talent and energy in the 64,000 personnel that are in the Army Materiel Command."
The Army's new senior logistician finished his speech by recalling the day Via stood in his place on the AMC parade field in 2012.
"I remember clearly the day Gen. Via took command from Gen. Dunwoody, when he asked, 'How do I follow a legend?' I've been asking the same question. But I pledge to you that I will not let you down," Perna said.
Via leaves Redstone Arsenal after more than four years as AMC commander and as the first Signal Corps officer to achieve the rank of four-star general. He previously served as AMC deputy commanding general for nearly two years under now-retired Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody before assuming command Aug. 7, 2012.
"Today I stand in front of you, one last time, as part of your formation," said Via. "While leaving is a very difficult and lonely task, for sure, and certainly bittersweet, I do so proudly, knowing that I have been extremely fortunate and blessed to have served with some of our finest leaders, Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians our nation has produced."
AMC, one of three Army commands, is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness for the entire force. With a presence in all 50 states and 144 countries, AMC manages an annual budget of about $50 billion and employs 64,000 people, 12,000 of whom are scientists and engineers.