Rock Island ArsenalCommunity
Change of command ceremony marks change in leadership, highlights transition in mission
Story by Paul Levesque on 08/30/2019
By Paul Levesque
ASC Public Affairs
Rock Island Arsenal. Ill. A ceremony held here Aug. 29 marked a change in leadership at the U.S. Army Sustainment Command and also highlighted the ongoing transition of ASC’s mission.
During a change of command ceremony which took place at Memorial Field on Rock Island Arsenal, Maj. Gen. Steven A. Shapiro took command of ASC from Maj. Gen. Duane A. Gamble. Gen. Gus Perna, commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, presided at the ceremony. AMC, which is headquartered in Huntsville. Alabama, serves as ASC’s higher headquarters.
In his remarks, Perna praised local leaders and citizens for “great community support” and praised the families of Shapiro and Gamble for standing beside them throughout their careers.
“The Shapiro and Gamble families represent the many thousands of families who are the true foundation of our Army,” Perna said. “Steve and Duane, you wouldn’t be here without the great support you received from your families.
“All of you came here to join me in bidding farewell to General Gamble and in welcoming a new and equally talented leader, General Shapiro,” Perna said, adding that the change in leadership was taking place in a time of change for the command and the entire Army.
“ASC has an enormous mission that just got larger,” Perna said, noting that the command was transitioning from providing logistics support to small-scale operations to supporting large-scale, multi-domain operations.
“The Army’s ability to carry out these operations starts and finishes in the strategic support area,” Perna said, “and ASC is a responsible for a large part of the strategic support area.
“Under General Gamble’s leadership, ASC repostured itself to support large-scale operations,” he continued, “and also carried out the largest reorganization in the command’s history. Through his leadership, General Gamble changed the culture of ASC.”
Perna said that Gamble shifted the command’s emphasis from a focus on resources toward a focus on mission accomplishment.
“He reinforced ASC’s brigades and battalions,” Perna said, “and he held the commanders of those units accountable. This made them better able to support combatant commanders in their areas of responsibility.
“General Gamble took the ball and moved it farther down the field,” Perna said, “and that’s what command is all about.”
Turning to Shapiro, Perna described him as “a very experienced logistician and outstanding senior leader.
“When I speak to cadets and junior officers,” Perna said, “I tell them that there are three things an outstanding Army officer needs: Commitment, competence and high character. Steve Shapiro exemplifies all three.
“Everywhere he’s been, he’s done everything we asked him to and more than we expected,” Perna continued. “I’m confident that he will take the ball from Duane Gamble and move it farther down the field.”
Gamble began his remarks by commending the local Quad Cities community and its leaders.
“From the bottom of my heart,” Gamble said, “I’m appreciative of all that you do for the arsenal.
“I believe that readiness is the hallmark of Rock Island Arsenal,” Gamble said, “and we’ve been producing readiness here since 1862. I also believe that people are our number one weapons system.
“Every day, about 7,000 people come to work at the arsenal,” he said, “all of them with that famous Quad Cities positive attitude, all of them producing readiness for our Army and all our warfighters.”
Gamble said that the change of command ceremony also served as an opportunity to highlight ASC’s mission and the members of the command team and partners who carry out that mission.
“I’ve followed Steve Shapiro in several assignments and he’s followed me,” Gamble said, “and I believe that ASC is trading up. General Shapiro is a superb soldier and logistician, and he’s got great people to lead with a great mission in a great community.”
Gamble described ASC as a “war baby,” noting that it was initially designed to provide logistics support for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Now, our command is reposturing for large-scale operations in a multi-domain environment,” he said. “We need to do this while juggling our other missions and remaining on a sustainable path as we prepare for the future Army.”
Gamble took command of ASC in July 2017. He will go on to a new assignment in Washington, D.C., as the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4 (Logistics).
In brief remarks, Shapiro said that it was good to hear the national anthem and honor the flag on American soil, adding that this was the 19th move for him and his family during his career. He noted that he had previously served within AMC for about seven years and was once assigned temporarily to Rock Island Arsenal, and said that he would continue the transition begun under Gamble.
“We must challenge the status quo within all of our processes,” Shapiro said.
As ASC commanding general, Shapiro will also serve as senior mission commander of Rock Island Arsenal.
Shapiro comes to RIA from Germany, where he served as commanding general of the 21st Theater Support Command. He was also preceded in that position by Gamble.
A native of New York City, Shapiro was commissioned as an officer in the Ordnance Corps in May 1985 following his graduation from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Along with the bachelor’s degree in political science which he earned there, Shapiro holds master’s degrees in management logistics from the Florida Institute of Technology and in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.
Shapiro’s past assignments include serving as AMC’s deputy chief of staff for logistics and operations; as assistant deputy chief of staff (G-4) at Department of the Army Headquarters in Washington; as commander of Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support in Philadelphia; and as commander of Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
Shapiro was deployed to Iraq and Kuwait during Operation Iraqi Freedom, to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, to Hungary during Operation Joint Endeavor, and to Southwest Asia during Operations Desert Shield / Desert Storm.