By Ms. Kari Hawkins (AMC)October 30, 2018
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Gen. Gus Perna honored one of his mentors during the Army Materiel Command's semi-annual Commander's Forum Oct. 24.
At the close of the forum, Perna held a special ceremony to induct retired Gen. Benjamin Griffin into the Army Materiel Command Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2018. The induction recognized his 38 years of military service and his significant contributions as commander of AMC during a time of growth and transformation.
"I am honored you recognized me," said Griffin, who participated in the forum at Perna's invitation. "This place has a special meaning to me. I owe any recognition I receive as commander to the people of AMC. This is a great organization. General Perna, you have built a great team here."
Griffin was AMC's 16th commanding general, serving in that capacity from Nov. 5, 2004 until Nov. 14, 2008, before retiring Jan. 1, 2009. It was a pivotal time for Army logistics and sustainment with support to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan.
During his command, Griffin established the Army Contracting Command and the Army Field Support Brigades. He integrated the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command into the AMC enterprise. Additionally, Griffin institutionalized a culture of continuous process improvement with participation in Lean Six Sigma and ISO certifications.
In 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended the movement of AMC headquarters from Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to Redstone Arsenal. Griffin participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for AMC's new headquarters, which occurred 10 years ago this month.
Even in retirement, Griffin continues to have a positive influence on AMC, having visited the headquarters several times to serve as a coach and mentor to Perna. Their relationship began when Perna was a battalion commander and Griffin was a division commander, and their paths crossed again when Perna was a brigade commander.
"I have trust and confidence in his leadership and his perspective," Perna said. "He cares first and foremost for our Army and then second for our Soldiers. That's a combination that is hard to find. It burns inside you and makes you special leader who leads by example, and who leads with a lot of passion and compassion."
Perna said many of the things he has done as a commander have been influenced by Griffin's leadership.
"I'm incredibly proud to be part of his leadership tree," Perna said. "I do attribute my success to his leadership."
Griffin is a 1969 Business Management graduate of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and received his master's degree in Business Administration from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, in 1981. He was commissioned as an infantry officer in July 1970 following graduation from the Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Griffin served two tours at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in the 82nd Airborne Division: in the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 508th Infantry as a rifle platoon leader and company executive officer, and in the 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 325th Infantry as a commander of Company C and a S-3 Air (Operations) officer. Griffin also worked as a G3 operations officer, Headquarters, 82nd Airborne Division.
His overseas assignments included a tour in Korea as a company commander and brigade S-2 in the 2nd Infantry Division. He served two tours in Germany in the 8th Infantry Division as secretary of the General Staff and Mechanized Infantry Battalion executive officer in the 2nd Battalion (Mechanized), 87th Infantry. He was also commander of the 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment.
Griffin's later assignments included: special assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Army in
Washington, D.C., and commander of the 2nd Brigade, 6th Infantry Division (Light) in Alaska. In August 1994, he served as executive officer to the commanding general at the Forces Command, Fort McPherson, Georgia.
Following his assignment in Georgia, Griffin took command of Joint Task Force 6, Fort
Bliss, Texas. He then served as the assistant division commander (Support), 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. In July 1997, he became the director of Force Programs, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans in Washington, D.C.
Griffin returned to Fort Hood from June 1999 to October 2001 to command the 4th Infantry Division. He served as the Department of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, before taking command of the Army Materiel Command.
Griffin's many awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (with three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Meritorious Service Medal (with four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (with one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Achievement Medal (with one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Expert Infantry Badge, and the Army General Staff Badge. He is an Executive Fellow with the Institute for Defense and Business, and a fellow of the Institute for Strategic and Innovative Technologies.
The ceremony was held in AMC's new auditorium, and was attended by leaders of AMC's major subordinate commands, headquarters senior staff and employees.