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    Commanding General from Army Material Command visits Fort Riley to review asset management and the force

    Timing is everything

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Victor Gardner | Gen. Gustave F. Perna, Commanding General, US Army Material Command, discusses...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Victor Gardner 

    1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade

    FORT RILEY, Kan. – Gen. Gustave Perna, Commanding General, US Army Material Command, alongside his senior enlisted advisor Command Sgt. Maj. Rodger Mansker, took time out of their schedules to visit the First Infantry Division on Dec. 5 at Fort Riley, Kan. While Perna took tours of several sustainment units, Mansker took a tour of the barracks to check on Soldier living conditions.
    During Perna’s visit of the various Supply Support Activity, SSA, sites, he asked questions that he already knew the answers to. During a question and answer session with various leaders from Ft. Riley Perna told the crowd what he really was attempting to accomplish during visits.
    “I get to go to a lot of divisions,” Perna said. “Truth in landing I already know all the answers to the questions I’m asking when I’m coming through the SSA. I’m trying to figure out how to make things better. What I’m really doing, truthfully, is I’m looking around. I’m looking at how equipment is parked. I’m looking at Soldier demeanor…I’m looking if people know their jobs.”
    Perna let the leaders in the room know that he is making his assessment and sending it to the higher command, Chief of Staff for the Army, because the Soldier is the most valuable asset the Army manages.
    “I’m look at if people are aggressive and want to be a part of what’s happening. In other words they aren’t hiding in the corner but upfront.”
    Earlier in the day Command Sgt, Maj. Mansker visited with the on post housing office to see what issues or concerns the community was facing. He also took a tour of the barracks to see how those Soldiers living conditions were. Perna briefly spoke about that aspect of his visit.
    “I’m listening to families talk,” Perna said. “Sergeant major went to walk through housing to figure out what’s going on there. What I owe the chief is a holistic review with what’s going on. Units can have very high standards and execute with discipline, or they can get by.”
    “My observation of this unit is, and I’ve been to other places not to the same level where I had to bend down and pick up the trash, the division is operating at high standards and discipline,” Perna said. “It’s a great reflection of everyone sitting in this room and you ought to be proud of that.”
    One of the aspects of excellence Perna believed he was pleased about was the focus of leadership and the Soldiers.
    “It’s exciting to hear leaders talk about initiatives and then have the Soldiers tell me about the initiatives because they’ve embraced them,” Perna said. “It’s exciting to look around and hear about training Soldiers. I heard about Soldiers taking what you have and making it work. I’ve heard about holding people accountable. I’ve heard about battle rhythms and making Warrant Officers execute and sergeants doing training and presentations being to standard.”
    Perna stated that if First Infantry Division had to go to war it would be with what they have right now.
    “This division, your brigades, your battalions, are going as is,” Perna said. “So this is what I gotta tell you, hold yourselves accountable; standards and discipline; you need everybody doing their jobs; you have to coach teach and mentor to get there; you all are doing that.”
    To close out this portion of the session, Perna gave the division one last bit of praise.
    “General Kolasheski asked me why I came back so soon,” Perna said. “I came back because I like being here. I knew what energy I was going to bump into. Even generals need to good things once in a while. And you all should be pretty proud of that because it’s very exciting.”



    Date Taken: 12.05.2019
    Date Posted: 12.16.2019 20:07
    Story ID: 355629
    Location: FORT RILEY, KS, US 
    Hometown: ROCK ISLAND, IL, US
    Hometown: WASHINGTON, DC, US

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