Dennis Via, the former director of the J-6 Directorate at the Joint Staff, took command of the Army Material Command on and also became the first signal officer to become a four-star general in Army history in a ceremony at the AMC’s headquarters in Madison, Ala.
As head of the J-6, Via was the Department of Defense’s principal advisor to the Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff on all Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems (C4). He held that position from 2009 until May of last year.
"Thank you for presiding at our promotion ceremony and I say our promotion ceremony because I clearly realize today is a shared celebration of personal investments made by many people in Dennis Via throughout my life and career of service in the United States Army," said Via at Tuesday’s ceremony.
Presiding over the ceremony, Gen. Ann Dunwoody, U.S. Army Materiel Command's outgoing commanding general, thanked all in attendance and described the event as a momentous occasion for the Army.
"He has a caring personal leadership style that brings out the best in everyone. From the youngest private to the most senior officers, he has an absolute commitment to the highest standards of this Army's profession, and has the wisdom and the vision to see how the future can be different and better," said Dunwoody.
General Via is a native of Martinsville, Virginia. He attended Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia, where he graduated in May 1980 as a Distinguished Military Graduate, and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Signal Corps. He holds a Master's Degree from Boston University. General Via is a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College, and the United States Army War College.
General Via began his career with the 35th Signal Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Principal assignments include Commanding General, CECOM Life Cycle Management Command and Fort Monmouth, NJ.; Commanding General, 5th Signal Command, and U.S. Army Europe & Seventh Army (USAREUR) Chief Information Officer/Assistant Chief of Staff, G6 (CIO/G6); Director, Global Operations, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations (USSTRATCOM); Commander, 3rd Signal Brigade and III Corps Assistant Chief of Staff, G6; Commander, 82nd Signal Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division); and Division Chief, Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Army G8, Headquarters, Department of the Army.
Military awards and decorations include two awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, two awards of the Legion of Merit, two awards of the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and five awards of the Meritorious Service Medal. General Via is also authorized to wear the Joint Staff Identification Badge, the Army Staff Identification Badge, and the Master Parachutist Badge.
The General and his wife, the former Linda A. Brown, have two sons.