REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (July 11, 2018)--Army Contracting Command now has a two-star general at its helm.
Maj. Gen. Paul H. Pardew received his second star during a frocking ceremony at the U.S. Army Materiel Command headquarters. Gen. Gus Perna, the AMC commander, officiated the ceremony.
"We do not select people based on what they've done," Perna told the standing-room-only audience. "We select people for promotion based on what they are going to do. We assess the person in total. We take a look at what they have done. We determine whether or not they can move forward.
"It is clear, looking at this great Army family, that the potential is here," he said.
He asked the Pardew children--Josh, Virginia, Samantha and Marshall--to join him one-by-one, and told a brief story about each of them.
Perna then asked Pardew's wife Kelly to join him and Pardew, where Perna turned his remarks to the spouse's support. He said spouses are "our number one fans. The ones who take care of our families when we're not there, which is, oh by the way, a majority of our life, our married life." He presented Kelly Pardew with his personal coin.
He said Pardew is "absolutely a Soldier first, a magnificent leader and a great officer." He explained that only 50 percent of Army brigadier generals can be selected for promotion to major general. He spoke of Pardew's selection to command ACC. Pardew assumed the position on May 31.
"We--the senior leaders of the Army--knew that he could do this," Perna said, pointing out that Pardew has been a commander at every level. "He understands what contracting does in total, whether it's for installations, whether it's for commanders out in the field, or whether it's for major programs. He knows how to integrate and synchronize all the capability to produce the requirement or the output for the Army. It takes a commander's operational thinking to make the best decisions."
Pardew said he is passionate about the Army and passionate about people.
"When I talk about Soldiers I get choked up," he said. "When I talk about my family I get choked up.
"This is a completely humbling day for me," Pardew continued. "As I look around the room, there are a lot of people I've worked for, worked with. I fully recognize I'm not the smartest guy in the room. I've had a lot of help."
He told of a time early in his career when his supervisor said "Lieutenant Pardew was good in the field but a train wreck in garrison."
"I was a flat-bottom boat out in the ocean. I was lost," he said. "Then I met Kelly. She has been the keel of this ship ever since."
He looked at his wife and children sitting on the front row and said. "You don't get here without that, and that's never been lost on me."
"Some of you know that I was this close to getting out at certain points," he said, holding his thumb and index finger close together. He then told about a family vote when he thought of ending his Army career. He expected a split vote but it was 100 percent to stay in.
"I am blessed with a fantastic Army family," he said.
A Virginia Military Institute graduate, Pardew said he is a product of the Army. His family traces its history of military service back to the Continental Army and the Civil War. During World War II, his paternal grandfather fought in Europe and his maternal grandfather and an uncle served in the Pacific theater. His father is a Vietnam veteran. Kelly Pardew is an Army veteran.
The family tradition of military service is set to continue. Josh is a recent VMI graduate and is waiting to become a warrant officer and Army helicopter pilot. Daughter Virginia will be a freshman at VMI this fall and has an Army ROTC scholarship.