General Gustave Perna Holds Town Hall at Fort Detrick
Army Materiel Command's Commanding General, Gen. Gustave Perna led a Town Hall Thursday, Oct. 25 at the Fort Detrick auditorium.
The visit gave Perna an opportunity to introduce himself and answer questions regarding the transition and realignment of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command from the U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) to AMC, effective Oct. 1.
Perna welcomed the audience by recounting his personal background and a few stories that helped define his path to join the Army. "In order to go to college to begin with, I worked on a garbage truck, I was a hotel maid, I did the accounting books at night, and I was a bouncer at a bar."
"I bring that to your attention, because sometimes people look at me and say, 'He doesn't know, he's a four-star general.' But I'm here to tell you that I do know. I've been there, done that, and I've worked hard to get where I'm at. And frankly, it hasn't been an easy path," he said.
While discussing his goals and his main focus areas, Perna stated, "Here is what I think about every single day. I go to bed thinking about this, and I wake up in the morning thinking about this: Are we ready to go to war? And if we are not ready, what are we doing to get there? This is what drives me. Every decision I make is about this."
Perna discussed his main priorities: Korea, supporting the current fight, ensuring our units are focused and ready and Europe. Perna also took questions from the audience and VTC lines from subordinate commands around the world on topics ranging from personnel development to the future of medical logistics to how he sees medical research supporting readiness.
"There are 122,000 people in the Army Materiel Command and we are located around the world, operating 24/7. You [MRMC] are a puzzle piece to the totality of the execution," he continued.
Perna's focus is on the Soldier and doing everything he can to support them at war. "I want to make sure that everything I am responsible for is ready for that fight. If we are not ready, there will be American lives lost. And I am not tolerable of accepting that there are lives lost because I didn't do my job."
"I need your great leadership to be part of our team and together we will be on the path of moving forward in order to support our great Army," he stated.
"You have a wonderful reputation," he continued. "We are the greatest Army the world has ever seen. There is no country that treats their Soldiers like we do and that starts right here. It's remarkable and you ought to be incredibly proud."