REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The phrase “People First. Winning Matters. Army Strong.” echoed through Army Materiel Command headquarters July 2 as the organization honored the long-held traditions of a change of command ceremony for two well-known Army leaders.Gen. Gus Perna, known for his direct approach, mission focus and logistical expertise, relinquished command to Gen. Ed Daly, who has established himself as a fast-forward, hard-charging leader, at AMC’s Executive Operations Center at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and need for social distancing, the ceremony was attended by a small group of family, friends and community leaders while hundreds of employees and well-wishers watched virtually.“General Perna has always put people first, gotten the mission done and built incredible teams at Army Materiel Command and throughout our Army,” said Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville, who officiated at the ceremony. “This command is blessed to get General Daly. There’s no surprise he is here. He has the skills and experience needed, and he cares about people. He is the right man at the right time. AMC will continue to excel expeditiously and lead through the challenges because Gen. Daly is here.”A change of command, McConville said, is about more than the two commanders involved. It’s also an opportunity to recognize a command’s achievements and the employees that make the command great.“Every Soldier, every civilian, every contractor in this organization – over 190,000 in all 50 states and in more than 150 countries – deliver logistics support, sustainment and materiel readiness from the installation to the forward tactical point of need. Our Soldiers are ready to deploy, ready to fight, ready to win because of you,” McConville said. “Your hard work has made this command and this Army great.”Those sentiments were acknowledged by both Perna and Daly, who credit AMC’s workforce for responding to the mission challenges of the past four years and for their commitment to ensuring Soldiers have the equipment and supplies they need.“During ceremonies like this, we often use words like ‘command’ and ‘organization’ to describe the command,” Perna said. “But I have never met a command or an organization. I have never served with a command or organization. I have met and served with people. It's the people who make this organization run and the Army run.”In his comments, Perna thanked Army leadership at all levels and the AMC command team for the opportunity to lead AMC through four years of reshaping, reorganizing and realigning mission capabilities.“I was honored and humbled to have been selected to lead this command. But more than anything else, I was excited and ready to get to work. There was a great foundation in place, but I wanted to keep moving forward an organization that has such a critical impact on our Army.”His commitment from the beginning, Perna said, was to be laser-focused on Army priorities and combatant commander requirements.“Every time I asked AMC employees to stand up to the next mission requirement, you did so flawlessly, and with determination and persistence. You understood that winning matters and that we are not there for second place. You understood our purpose and why we exist. You knew the work you do makes a difference to Army readiness,” Perna said.During his AMC tenure, Perna established seven focus areas key to readiness of the Strategic Support Area – Soldier, Civilian and Family Readiness; Installation Readiness; Industrial Base Readiness; Munitions Readiness; Strategic Power Projection Readiness; Supply Availability and Equipment Readiness; and Logistics Information Readiness.“This command is different than it was four years ago,” Perna said. “We led ourselves through restructuring and reform. And change-after-change, employees adapted with innovation and professionalism. You accepted and embraced our role as the command responsible for readiness of the Strategic Support Area, and you embraced and internalized my words: the difference between being ready and reacting is measured in lives lost.”Perna expressed his pride in the AMC workforce and all it accomplished during his command, and his confidence in Daly’s leadership as AMC’s next commander.“I can think of nobody, absolutely nobody, better prepared to take AMC to the next level naturally,” he said.Daly reiterated Perna’s comments about the AMC workforce, which he has come to know during his three years as AMC’s deputy commanding general. He also said AMC is “putting our foot on the accelerator” to move forward in the direction set under Perna’s command.“We will continue to deliver logistics support, sustainment and materiel readiness from the Strategic Support Area to the tactical point of need in a multi-domain environment anywhere in the world,” he said. “We will continue the irreversible momentum in critically impacting our Army Soldiers and their families, as well as the joint force from fort, depot and arsenal to the foxhole on any battlefield in any region.”Daly thanked McConville for being selected to lead AMC, saying “I am 100 percent committed” to his new assignment, and to follow in the footsteps of Perna and other senior leaders.“Your inspirational and visionary leadership has charted a definitive course for our Army over the next several years,” Daly said of McConville. “Secretary (Ryan) McCarthy and your priorities are absolutely, unequivocally, and without a doubt, clear – People First, Readiness, Modernization and Reform…Winning matters…and our Army serves to defend the nation.”He also thanked Perna and his wife Susan.“You are the gold standard for selfless service, commitment, character and competence,” Daly said to Gen. Perna. “You are one of best Soldiers and leaders I’ve served with. You are a generational leader who has taught people to be better than themselves. As an Army, we are indebted to you for all you have done to stand guard of freedom’s frontier.”Although Perna’s initial plans were to retire after he relinquished AMC command, he has now been tapped by President Donald Trump to serve as the senior logistician for Operation Warp Speed, a special effort to quickly develop, produce and deliver a COVID-19 vaccine. During the ceremony, he thanked his wife, Susan, for her partnership during his 37-plus year career and for her support of his next assignment. That gratefulness was also expressed by his senior leader.“Our nation needs you and when you were asked, you answered the call. Thank you for the sacrifice of the next year,” McConville said.