New boss charts path for leaders, organization

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Story by Lisa Simunaci on 02/10/2017
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Since taking charge of the U.S. Army Materiel Command late last year, Gen. Gus Perna has assessed the organization and charted its path forward. He shared that vision in a leadership forum here Feb. 7-8, with nine commanding generals, their deputies and key staff members who lead the major subordinate commands of the Army's materiel enterprise.

Perna stressed the Army Materiel Command's purpose is simple to develop and deliver land force capability. "That's it," he said, noting that everything the command does is focused on the Chief of Staff of the Army's priorities and Combatant Commanders requirements which land directly with the Soldier.

"It's not about workload at the depots. There's no individual organization," he said. "The collective capability that's going to develop and deliver readiness is all of us."

As the Army's materiel command, Perna said AMC is involved in every Army process and he told commanders their collective efforts matter. He said the leaders will achieve the mission by synchronizing and integrating capabilities to an output, and holding themselves and others accountable to do what's best for the Army.

"So when our sons and daughters and grandchildren are fighting, we can honestly say we did everything we could," Perna said.

After visiting subordinate organizations and evaluating the entire command, Perna clarified his business rules and delved into the details that will enable the command to meet the Army's priorities today, tomorrow and in future fights. Each commander provided updates on how they are operationalizing their organizations.

Perna also clarified the battle rhythm he established and set expectations for his follow on visits to the subordinate command.

"My intent is to demonstrate my presence and to be part of the solution - not micromanage you to an end state. I'm not here to run nine commands," he said, noting that future visits will be opportunities to assess progress.

Synchronizing the supply chain, divesting excess equipment and shaping the collective organizations to meet future needs were among the challenges Perna noted. Optimizing the Organic Industrial Base, configuring Army Prepositioned Stocks and building partner capacity were other items Perna said need to be addressed.

A former commander of Army Materiel Command, Gen. Benjamin Griffin, was among the forum attendees. Griffin, who led the organization from 2004-2008, said he was honored to take part. Perna said Griffin had provided him valuable mentorship over the years and presented him with a commander's coin.

As he wrapped up the two-day forum, Perna reminded the leaders of his expectations moving forward.

"We must see ourselves, hold ourselves accountable, instill a cultural change and manage and mitigate risks," Perna said, leaving no doubt that the commanders will be the ones who should determine the most efficient and effective ways to lead their organizations to the desired end states. "Developing and delivering materiel readiness is your job," Perna told the commanders. "At the end of the day, it is all about the Soldier."

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