As a young engineer, the opportunity to work on cutting-edge technologies and ensure the U.S. military had the best systems and technologies available drew Larry Gunter to Army civilian service nearly three decades ago.
Gunter has spent his entire 29-year Army career at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, including the last five years as deputy director of U.S. Army Test, Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment Activity, and recently was named the new director of U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command Security Assistance Management Directorate.
“Larry Gunter is a proven leader of character – we have been lucky to have him in AMCOM and USATA and now even luckier to have him take the reins of SAMD,” said Maj. Gen. Todd Royar, AMCOM commanding general.
Royar also expressed his gratitude to SAMD Deputy Director Rick Story, who served as the acting director for several months.
SAMD serves as the Army’s lead for aviation and missile system foreign military sales and security assistance.
“It is our job to work with foreign allies and partners, [project management and program executive offices], and AMC entities to develop a complete package to meet their needs,” said Gunter. “This includes not only the major end item, such as an Apache or Patriot, but also ensuring they have the spare parts, maintenance capabilities and support items they will need to operate the system.”
Gunter said his attraction to working for the Army early in his career was a “no-brainer” because he was fortunate enough to participate in a cooperative program in college that gave him a glimpse into the military’s use of cutting-edge technology and projects not accessible to those in the commercial world.
That enthusiasm and passion for his work is as strong today as it was right out of college – perhaps more so given the nature of his new position and the responsibility that comes with it.
“I’ve always thought it’s important to challenge yourself, get outside of your comfort zone and learn new things,” said Gunter. “This position certainly hits all those marks. It’s a great opportunity to learn something new and lead a great organization with great people and an important mission.”
One of Gunter’s main priorities will be developing and maintaining the highly talented and experienced workforce he said he was lucky enough to inherit, as well as ensuring SAMD provides customers with the value and services they expect.
“I believe in continuous process and organizational improvement, so I plan on working with the team to evaluate where we are and working with our stakeholders to figure out where we need to be and going from there,” said Gunter.
Gunter began his career as an engineer with the former U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center and has worked with various organizations across Redstone Arsenal. He moved to AMCOM in 2001 after being named the lean implementation officer under the deputy commander for transformation (later named the deputy commander for system support). After leaving for a position at the program office formerly known as the Precision Fires Rockets and Missile Systems, Gunter returned to AMCOM in 2006 to serve as program manager for the G-3 missile demilitarization program. He would later move into the G-3 deputy position and eventually became the AMCOM G-3. After attending Senior Service College, Gunter was promoted to deputy director of USATA.
As for his time away from the office, Gunter said he enjoys mountain biking and scuba diving, which his wife and kids also love. Every member of the family is certified to dive and he said it’s a great family activity that allows them to not only relax, but meet people from all over the world.