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I joined Booz Allen in May 2017 after retiring from the United States Army. Throughout my military career, Booz Allen and its people provided exceptional support to the organizations I was privileged to lead, so it was an easy choice for my next chapter.
Now that I’m here, I’m using my perspective and experience to inform and inspire my colleagues as we help bring our defense clients into the future.
Dennis Via is a fellow for Defense Futures and a senior executive leader in Booz Allen’s Joint Combatant Command (JCC) business. He is a retired U.S. Army general and an expert in military readiness, capability development, and the U.S. defense enterprise. Within JCC, he leads security cooperation and contributes to growth across technology innovation, warfighter advancements, readiness and training, and health facility transformation.
As a fellow, Dennis helps defense, intelligence, and homeland security clients manage today’s evolving threat and budgetary environments. He also helps formulate the firm’s future business strategy for the defense market.
During his 36-year military career, Dennis commanded at all levels from captain to general, including several years as commanding general and deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC). AMC’s mission includes researching and developing weapons systems, as well as logistics support, maintenance, and parts distribution.
Before that, Dennis held multiple commander, signal, and chief information officer roles, working on everything from communications infrastructure and cybersecurity to global logistics and engineering. Receiving numerous honors and awards throughout his career, Dennis is the first commissioned Signal Corps officer in the Army’s 242-year history to achieve the rank of four-star general.
Dennis is a native of Martinsville, Virginia, and was commissioned in 1980 in the Signal Corps after completing his B.A. as a distinguished military graduate from Virginia State University. He has a master’s degree in management from Boston University and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. Dennis is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Association of the United States Army, and the Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association.
What inspires and motivates you? Leadership is my passion. I am inspired and motivated everyday with the opportunity to lead, inspire, and develop others, and help them achieve their personal dreams and success.
Why do you have the career you have? I was privileged to serve our nation as an officer in the U.S. Army, retiring as a four-star general after a 36-year career. I was very pleased to join Booz Allen as a senior executive advisor shortly thereafter. My decision to join the firm was based on three reasons: the opportunity to begin the second phase of my career with a values-based organization; Booz Allen’s genuine embrace of the client’s mission—what I refer to as the “gold standard”; and the opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest people in this business.
What are a couple of highlights of your career? There are so many. Being stationed in Naples, Italy, early on in my career is one. Commanding the Signal Battalion in the 82nd Airborne Division and jumping out of airplanes while in flight; standing up the Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations, the foundational organization for cyber defense operations for Department of Defense, while assigned to the Defense Information Systems Agency; serving on the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon; and ultimately, commanding the U.S. Army Materiel Command. However, the single most important highlight in all of these organizations and locations were the special people and their families that my wife, Linda, and I met and served with along the way.
What was your first job? I’ve served in leadership positions since I was 22 years old. My first assignment was as a platoon leader, responsible for the leadership, training, and welfare of 40 soldiers who were from across the U.S.
What is your greatest accomplishment? My single greatest accomplishment is—and will always be—my family.
What’s something not many people know about you? I get great joy out of being able to work with my hands and do some of the things that my father taught me. During one of my first days at Booz Allen, I noticed a colleague in the parking garage had steam coming out of her car engine. I went over and asked if I could take a look. I quickly recognized the problem: The radiator hose had become disconnected from the radiator. I reconnected it and told her to add a gallon of antifreeze. That would allow her to drive the car to the dealership for a more permanent repair. I believe this eased her anxiety and frustration. However, even today, I’m not certain she realized who I was, and that’s OK. The opportunity to help that morning, especially working with my hands, really made my day.