Perna tells SROTC and JROTC cadets: ‘Know your job’

Perna tells SROTC and JROTC cadets: ‘Know your job’

Monday, May 7, 2018

Joining ROTC was a life changing moment for the Army’s senior logistician.

Gen. Gus Perna, commander of the Army Materiel Command, closed out the 2018 Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare Global Force Symposium and Exposition by sharing words of wisdom at a ROTC luncheon with cadets from two universities and JROTC cadets from more than 10 local high schools.

At an ROTC luncheon during the Global Force Symposium hosted by AUSA’s Redstone–Huntsville Chapter, Gen. Gus Perna, commander, Army Materiel Command, said to the cadets, ‘Be committed, be competent and be of high character.’ (AUSA News photo by Luc Dunn)

He told students that ROTC changed his life. The program at Valley Forge Military Academy gave him the discipline to focus, created a family and support system around him and allowed him to determine what he wanted to do in his life.

“Not everyone here will become a soldier. You have to figure out what your own purpose in life is, but what ROTC does is provide you opportunity,” he said.

To be successful, Perna encouraged the cadets to follow three tenets: be committed, be competent and be of high character. No matter their career choice, Perna said the cadets should be 100 percent committed and strive to be the best.

“Whether you are a soldier, a doctor or a police officer, you will be judged on your competence,” he said. “People will know you by how well you know your job.”

Having high character is easy to say but hard to do, Perna said. “Do not take the easy road in life,” he said. “The example you set will better yourself, the people around you and the country as well.”

While the Army has changed a lot in 243 years of existence, one thing has not – the soldier, Perna said. “From the Revolutionary War to today, our soldier has been at the core of the U.S. Army. That has not changed,” he said, adding, “You represent that core and illuminate all we are as an Army. You will take the mantle and that is why we are here today, because we are excited about your future.”