Army Gen. Gustave F. Perna, commander, U.S. Army Materiel Command, spoke to members of U.S. Transportation Command and its component commands March 30 in the Seay Auditorium.

Perna was the seventh guest in USTRANSCOM's 30-4-30 Distinguished Speaker Series, an initiative to celebrate the command's 30th anniversary in October 2017. Air Force Gen. Darren W. McDew, USTRANSCOM commander, has invited 30 four-star general officer, flag officer and equivalent strategic senior leaders to speak about how they view the globe, linkages between USTRANSCOM's and the leader's organization, and a vision for USTRANSCOM partnerships.

Perna is responsible for developing and delivering materiel readiness solutions to ensure globally dominant land force capabilities. AMC is headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, and impacts or has a presence in all 50 states and more than 140 countries. One of three Army commands, AMC oversees nine major subordinate commands and three separate reporting units, with a workforce of more than 64,000 military and civilian employees.

Perna opened his remarks by acknowledging the audience.

"Thanks for what you do around the globe, every day, for all the services, and what you do for the fight," he said. "Your proximity to the fight is not a direct correlation to your impact on the fight."

Perna further discussed the Army's lines of effort for readiness, modernization and sustainment.

"Invest now," he said. "Readiness is not about the future, it's today."

While here, Perna also met with Army Lt. Gen. Stephen R. Lyons, deputy commander, USTRANSCOM, and participated in a strategic roundtable with command senior leaders. Additionally, he met with Army Maj. Gen. Kurt J. Ryan, commanding general, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, and received an SDDC mission update briefing.

Perna assumed his present duties in September 2016. He attended Valley Forge Military Academy, earning an associate's degree in business administration. Graduating as a distinguished military graduate, he was commissioned as an infantry officer in the Army. He later earned a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Maryland.

Prior to his current assignment, Perna served as the Army's deputy chief of staff, G-4.

Some of Perna's key staff assignments include director of logistics, J4, U.S. Forces-Iraq, and executive officer to the Defense Logistics Agency director.

Perna's combat assignments include commander, 4th Sustainment Brigade, deploying the brigade in support of operation Iraqi Freedom, and commander, 64th Forward Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado, where he deployed the battalion to Iraq during OIF.