“Understand The Problem And Figure Out Your Strengths”: Winning In Baghdad

General David G. Perkins


General David G. Perkins graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1980 and became an Armor Officer. He served in a variety of Company Grade positions in 1st Battalion, 13th Armored Regiment, in the 1st Armored Division in Germany, before returning to West Point to teach Mechanical Engineering. During his time at West Point, the Gulf War occurred, and while he missed that deployment, he commanded a battalion, the 1st Battalion of the 63rd Armored Regiment, in Macedonia. In March, 2003, he commanded the 2nd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) and conducted the “Thunder Run” to Baghdad, Iraq. Currently, General Perkins commands TRADOC, the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command. In this Interview, General Perkins discusses his experience commanding Armor units at various levels and teaching at West Point. He describes in detail his experiences leading the “Thunder Run,” and explains why the “Green Zone” in Baghdad was set up the way it was. Finally, he identifies the attributes he looks for in young leaders, and talks about what West Point means to him.


conflicts Iraq War
topics Leadership Character Teamwork West Point History
interviewer David Siry
date 17 November 2016


name General David G. Perkins
institution USMA
graduation year 1980
service Armor
unit 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division & TRADOC
service dates 1980