REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- While a birthday celebration honors past achievements, the commander of the Army Materiel Command used the organization’s 60th birthday to thank employees for the professionalism, drive, dedication and commitment they bring to the mission every day.
“Thank you for everything you do that’s continuing to make a huge difference in the battlespace,” said Gen. Ed Daly at AMC’s birthday celebration held July 29 at the organization’s headquarters and delivered to its enterprise of 10 major subordinate commands via videoconferencing.
“We’ve shown in places like Ukraine that we are ahead of the need, that we are getting equipment there before we are even asked because we are playing to win. Keep trusting your instincts. Keep playing to win. Remember, you are empowered to make a difference.”
About 50 employees filled the Villar Training Room to join Daly, who cut the cake with G-3 (Operations) Sgt. Maj. Samara Pitre, representing AMC’s Soldier workforce; and G-8 (Resource Management) Deputy Chief of Staff Christina Freese, representing AMC’s civilian workforce. Daly’s comments also included a video feature of AMC’s 60 years in 60 seconds.
“Let me put this in perspective for you. In 1962, AMC became an institution. The scope of responsibility back then juxtaposed with what we are doing today, it is so different with many different challenges,” Daly said. “But our purpose has not changed. The relevance of this organization and the capability it brings to the warfighter is as important as it was in 1962.”
AMC’s focus from the beginning has been the life cycle management of materiel from concept through research and development; procurement and production; supply, distribution and maintenance; and disposal. In 1962, AMC had 190,000 personnel; more than 250 installations, activities, arsenals and laboratories; and seven major subordinate commands, including the Missile Command, Electronics Command and the Weapons Command.
At the time, AMC was providing support for the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam, and was involved with such projects as establishing the White House hotline between the U.S. and Russia, and the establishment of the program manager/program executive officer concept for developing new weapon technology.
Through the years, AMC was instrumental in developing and managing the Army’s Big 5 – the M1 Abrams tank, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Patriot air defense system, AH-64 Apache attack helicopter and the Black Hawk utility helicopter – and provided support to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Task Force Ohana in Hawaii, the Afghanistan retrograde and many other military operations throughout the world.
Today, the focus is on providing support to Ukraine while working to keep a peaceful balance in Asia and the Pacific. Ensuring Army readiness also means AMC has significant roles in the Army’s efforts to improve housing, permanent-change-of-station moves, child care and spouse employment for Soldiers and their families.
While the number of installations has been drastically reduced from the 1960s through consolidation and efficiencies, and AMC’s workforce has reduced slightly to 175,000 worldwide, AMC’s network of major subordinate commands has grown to 10 and includes the Army Contracting Command, Aviation and Missile Command, Financial Management Command, Security Assistance Command, Army Sustainment Command, Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, Communications-Electronics Command, Installation Management Command, Joint Munitions Command, and Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command.
“In terms of relevance, responsiveness and anticipatory perspectives, the difference AMC and its employees make is huge,” Daly said.
AMC has seven lines of effort through which it supports the Army Senior Leader priorities of People, Readiness and Modernization. Among its accomplishments, AMC has developed the Army’s Facilities Investment Plan; is modernizing its Organic Industrial Base; effectively set the theater in Europe and the Pacific to ensure combatant commanders have the right materiel in the right places at the right time to meet requirements; and executed billions of dollars in contracts and Foreign Military Sales to build partner capacity.
“We are continually getting better as an organization and we are staying head of the game in terms of our relevance,” Daly said. “You – our employees – are taking the AMC mission all the way forward to the tactical edge. You are foundational in everything we do.”
AMC’s success, Daly said, begins with its people. Department of Defense and Army senior leaders recognize that AMC employees provide the warfighter’s strategic advantage in battle through its logistics, ensuring the right equipment is in the right place at the right time.
Today, 60 years after it was institutionalized, AMC still achieves success by following the philosophy expressed by its first commander, Gen. Frank S. Besson, Jr., who said, "As we go about our business of seeing that our Army gets the best weapons this country can produce, let's never lose our sense of urgency.”
“I truly appreciate all that you do,” Daly said. “Every day, you lean in and give it everything you have, and it’s fantastic to watch.”