News: Michigan Army National Guard installation welcomes new commander
Story by Staff Sgt. Kimberly Bratic
GRAYLING, Mich. - Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center will hold a change of command ceremony for incoming installation Commander Col. Thomas Perison on the parade field, Aug. 12, at 10:30 a.m.
The presiding officer for the ceremony will be Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, the adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard and the director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
“Col. Tom Perison recently joined the Michigan Army National Guard from multiple assignments at the National Guard Bureau and the Pentagon,” said Vadnais. “In the short time Col. Perison has been with us, he has displayed the leadership, competence and vision to continue the marketed success of Camp Grayling.”
Perison began his career in the New York Army National Guard as a combat engineer platoon leader in Buffalo, New York. He subsequently commanded Bravo Company, 152nd Engineer Battalion as a second lieutenant then branch changed to armor and commanded Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 127th Armor Regiment, 42nd Infantry Division, Olean, New York. After serving in several infantry and armor operations and plans positions at the battalion, brigade, and division levels in New York, Perison transitioned onto Title 10 status in 2000 and moved to National Guard Bureau Headquarters in Virginia. His key Title 10 assignments include: Deputy director of training development for the U.S. Army Armor School, Fort Knox, Kentucky; Training Operations Branch chief, G-3/5/7, for the Headquarters Forces Command, Georgia; Headquarters Department of the Army G-3/7 action officer, District of Columbia; Military Assistant and Training Program Executive Group co-executive for the assistant secretary of the Army, Manpower and Reserve Affairs; and chief of Training for the National Guard Bureau, Virginia.
Perison holds an associate's degree in secondary education from Daeman College in Amherst, New York, a bachelor’s degree in quantitative economics from State University of New York in Fredonia, New York, a master’s degree in engineering management from New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey, and a master’s degree from the U.S. Army War College.
Perison’s deployment history includes a deployment in 2005 in Tikrit, Iraq, as the chief of operations for the 42nd Infantry Division and a 2007 deployment in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, as a counter improvised explosive device officer.
Perison is married to retired Lt. Col. Amy Calder. They have three children: 3-year-old Gavin, 23-year-old Elizabeth, and 25-year-old Bridget. They also have a granddaughter, Genevieve, who is 3 years old. Perison grew up in Boston, New York, and is a 1981 graduate of Eden Central High School in Eden, New York.
Perison took command of CGJMTC on Aug. 1, 2014, and replaced installation commander Col. Erich Randall.
Located in northern Michigan, Camp Grayling is the largest National Guard joint training center in the U.S. covering 147,000 acres crossing three counties and training not only active and Reserve components of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard, but also more than 100 law enforcement agencies and units from Canada, Latvia, the United Kingdom, Hungary and Serbia. Camp Grayling is host to many training scenarios and ranges to include: Pistol, shotgun, machine gun, mortar and artillery ranges, infantry squad and platoon battle course, urban assault course, live fire shoot house, air gunnery range, unmanned aircraft systems and unmanned aerial vehicles, light and heavy demolitions, and a combined arms collective training facility.
MEDIA ADVISORY: Media is invited to attend the change of command ceremony. Please arrive early for camera set-up. For more information and to RSVP, please contact the Michigan National Guard Public Affairs Office at 517-481-8141.