FORT LEE, Va. (March 7, 2013) -- Gen. Dennis L. Via, commanding general of the Army Materiel Command, visited CASCOM – the “think-tank” for military sustainment – Feb. 27 to learn more about current training initiatives and credentialing programs, and to discuss the future of Army logistics.

“Fort Lee has always held a lot of personal importance for me,” said Via, who is a native of Martinsville. “As a cadet at VSU (Virginia State University), this is where we’d come for our training and land navigation.”

Making note of how much the installation has changed over the years, he said the focus remains on training and leader development.

Maj. Gen. Larry D. Wyche, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general, hosted the visit to show how the sustainment community is “providing war-fighters with the decisive edge.” CASCOM is a major subordinate command of TRADOC and a multifunctional organization. The command develops, trains and educates more than 185,000 sustainment Soldiers and civilians annually; supports unit training; and designs, builds and synchronizes a mix of capabilities, formations and equipment for the Army.

During the visit, Via also presented commander’s coins to Master Sgt. Vodricka Epps, Basic Petroleum Logistics Division noncommissioned officer in charge; Anthony Clark, Quartermaster and Chemical Equipment Repairer course manager, Ordnance School; Sgt. 1st Class Jason Tellez, Water Treatment Specialist training developer, CASCOM; and Rory O’Brien, Army Logistics University Basic Officer Logistics Course tactics section supervisor, for their “game changer” service and dedication to training and developing military members. Their contributions range from streamlining an instructor certification process to designing training exercises that incorporate Army Learning Model principles.

Following the awards presentation, Via spoke to students at the Army Logistics University, which provides military and Department of Defense logistics leader education for about 32,000 individuals annually.

During the group discussion with students attending the Theater Logistics Planners and Sustainment Pre-Command courses, Via shared his command philosophy, which has been developed and refined over 33 years of service. The key areas he emphasized were positive leadership, teamwork, standards and maintaining the military’s reputation for excellence. He also encouraged the students to stay focused on the mission and lead from a foundation of trust.

“Focus on what you are doing to make a difference … and never pass up an opportunity to say thank you,” he said.

Via recently returned from a trip to forward-deployed locations where he visited AMC units and personnel. While at the Home of Sustainment, he toured AMC’s Directorate of Logistics facility to see how they are supporting Army and joint readiness. The DoL team provides supply, equipment maintenance, transportation and ammunition management at Army installations. He also visited the Fort Lee Fleet Management Expansion, which maintains the training equipment fleet.

After touring those facilities, Via received an overview on Ordnance School training and credentialing initiatives. While on the school’s campus, he learned about the Stryker Maintenance course and saw first-hand how Soldiers virtually troubleshoot problems with the vehicle using a hi-tech computer simulation. He also had the opportunity to see the Virtual Welder simulator and computerized lathe and milling machines, which provide students with realistic 21st-century training.

The AMC commander ended his day talking with CASCOM’s Technology Integration Branch and learning about application development and how gaming technology is being used to enhance and increase availability of learning opportunities.