Redstone Arsenal Community
AMCOM Commander relinquishes command; assumes new position at MDA
Story by Traci Boutwell on 02/15/2019
By Lisa Hunter
AMCOM Public Affairs
Maj. Gen. Doug Gabram relinquished command of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Thursday, during a ceremony hosted by Gen. Gus Perna, the commander of Army Materiel Command.
“Doug [Gabram] has an incredible amount of operational experience. [He served in] Desert Shield/Desert Storm, two deployments to Bosnia, two deployments to Afghanistan and four deployments to Iraq,” AMC commander, Gen. Gus Perna said during his comments at the ceremony. “So, Doug knows what it means to be at the tip of the spear. He brought that experience to AMCOM. And, he focused on what our Army needs to maintain the spear tip and that is readiness.”
AMCOM develops and delivers readiness to Soldiers and joint warfighters around the globe. AMCOM and the units under its operational control ensure that Army aviation and missile capabilities which support nearly every Army operation across the global landscape are available to meet the Chief of Staff of the Army’s priorities and the combatant commander’s requirements, wherever and whenever needed.
Gabram has served as the commander since Feb. 18, 2016. As the commander, Gabram led more than 18,000 military and civilian personnel in enabling readiness of the Army’s aviation and missile systems.
During his tenure as the AMCOM Commander, Gabram led a team that has worked tirelessly to improve readiness of Army aircraft and missile systems by building supply chain depth, developing critical relationships with original equipment manufacturers and other supply chain partners, and focusing on the top readiness drivers for each aircraft and missile system.
“As a result, a critical piece of readiness supply availability has steadily increased to 75 percent in missile requirements and 84 percent in aviation,” Perna said.
Gabram was commissioned in 1984. Before assuming command of AMCOM, Gabram served as the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7 for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
He also served as the Deputy Commanding General (Support), 1st Cavalry Division “America’s First Team,” Fort Hood, Texas; Deputy Commander for the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort Rucker, Alabama; and Chief of Staff for the 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Gabram served as the brigade commander of the, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; and as battalion commander of the 1st Battalion 101st Aviation, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Gabram often referred to the work at AMCOM as performing as the “art of the probable,” the art of finding more effective, longer lasting and less expensive ways to deliver sustainable readiness to warfighters. He brought energy to AMCOM, often using sports analogies and movie quotes to illustrate his point. In many engagements, Gabram would ask of his staff, “Who’s going left?” referring to the line in the movie, “Saving Private Ryan,” where the commanding officer played by Tom Hanks asks his soldiers who will take the much more dangerous left flank as they prepare to attack an enemy machine gun position.
Perna, in his remarks, referred to a memo explaining the magnitude of command written by Gen. Bruce Clarke, a 44-year Army veteran, who fought in World War II and later served as the Commander in Chief of U.S. Army Europe.
“In the memo, General Clarke laid out 19 basic questions he believed Army officers should ask themselves before seeking command,” Perna said. “Among them, Are you willing to devote all hours of the day and night, seven days a week, to your command?’
“Those 19 questions are all about sacrifice, responsibility and leadership,” Perna said. Not everybody has what it takes for the job. Most people don’t even want it. I am proud to say that Maj. Gen. Doug Gabram has what it takes to lead the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command. And, he continues to have what it takes to lead elsewhere.”
Many from the community attended the ceremony, including former AMCOM commanders and other retired senior officers, members of the Senior Executive Service Corps, elected and appointed officials, family, friends and AMCOM soldiers and civilians. In his comments, Gabram thanked the many people who have mentored and supported him throughout his career.
“In the end, whether Soldier or civilian, all we do must translate into combat power and mission ready units,” Gabram said in his comments. “I have learned an incredible amount about the complexity of building readiness for the Aviation and Missile enterprises. Ultimately, everything we do is all about putting capable, reliable, effective and safe weapon systems in the hands of our Soldiers. And, maybe, more importantly, sustaining those systems to stay in the fight.”
Gabram said a special thank you to his family. Gabram’s wife, his two children, his mother and mother-in-law were all on hand for the ceremony.
“To my wife, Lori, a million thank yous would never be enough Thank you for always supporting me,” Gabram said.
Gabram also thanked the AMCOM Deputy to the Commanding General, William Marriott, who will serve as the AMCOM Executive Director until the new commander assumes command in June.
“I have been privileged, blessed and honored to have Mr. Bill Marriott as my deputy. Bill has been outstanding in every aspect,” Gabram said. “Thanks for your friendship, mentorship and devoted leadership. The formation is lucky to have you at the controls.”
Gabram received several accolades upon his departure. He was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal. Gabram was also awarded the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara by the Air Defense Artillery Association and the Order of St. Michael Gold(the highest level of the award) by the Army Aviation Association of America. Lori Gabram was awarded the Order of Molly Pitcher Award for her voluntary contributions to the Air Defense Artillery community.
“Serving in AMCOM has been an awesome, humbling and rewarding experience because of the people we served with. Keep pushing, work hard and never quit!” Gabram said.
Gabram assumed his new position as the Director of Test at the Missile Defense Command, here at Redstone Arsenal, yesterday.