FORT EUSTIS, Va. — Gen. David Perkins assumed command of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command from Gen. Robert Cone during a change-of-command ceremony, March 14, at Fort Eustis.
U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno hosted the event.
“Today, we have an opportunity to not only recognize two great leaders, but to celebrate TRADOC (U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command),” said Odierno. “Whether developing leaders, concepts or capabilities, TRADOC is dedicated to sustaining our Army and simultaneously moving [it] into the future.
Cone said he believed it necessary to have another exceptional leader take his place as he finishes his tenure in the Army.
“I loved commanding here at TRADOC, but it is necessary to bring [new ideas] to the force, and I am happy to see [Perkins] take the position,” said Cone. “TRADOC develops options for our total force, and I am gratified to pass that [responsibility] to an expert like [Perkins].”
Perkins said he knows the tasks before him thanks to his predecessors and hopes to continue the work Cone and the TRADOC team started.
“After accepting the [TRADOC] colors today, I understood the responsibility placed in my rucksack,” said Perkins. “As we design the Army, we also design the future of our nation, and that is a responsibility I will not take lightly.”
Perkins also explained his commitment not only to the American people, but to a Soldier on the front line who knew he was a part of TRADOC.
“During [a deployment], a young [Soldier] came up to me and said he hopes I’ll ‘get it right,’ because those instructions and orders keep him alive,” said Perkins. “I hope to meet the standards set by [senior Army leadership], but my true commitment is to that [Soldier] and all the others fighting each and every day.”
Perkins highlighted a few of the missions he hopes to improve.
“During the downsizing of our force, it is critical to develop our leadership effectively,” said Perkins. “Individual responsibility will be higher in a smaller Army, but that doesn’t mean we will do less. We will look at different ways to accomplish the Army mission.”
Perkins assumes command after serving as the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center commanding general. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a bachelor’s degree in science. Additionally, he received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College.
For Cone, who commanded TRADOC since April 29, 2011, the change-of-command completes his last assignment before his retirement.