Regimental Division,
Office Chief of Signal

United States Army Signal Center, Fort Gordon, GA
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Header insignia for Distinguished Member biography pageDistinguished Member of the Regiment biography for

MG (Ret.) David R. Gust (2002)

MG (Ret.) David Gust worked behind the scenes for innumerable Signal soldiers during his 34-year Army career. Many of the equipment systems Signal soldiers use today felt MG Gust's guiding hand in their development and acquisition.

 Drafted into the Army in October 1966, he graduated from Signal Officer Candidate School at Fort Gordon, Ga., in November 1967 and then attended the first class of the MOS 0220 Area Signal Center Officer Course at Gordon.

 His early Army assignments included serving in 74th Signal Company and in Headquarters 3rd Battalion, 3rd Artillery, 194th Armored Brigade, Fort Knox, Ky. In Vietnam, he was the battalion's communications-electronics officer for 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery, and he commanded both the Student Officer Company at Fort Gordon and 257th Signal Company, 1st Signal Brigade, Camp Humphreys, Korea. Other assignments included serving as the European Telephone System and AUTOVON officer from 1974 through 1977 in 5th Signal Command, Worms, Germany. He participated in the Training with Industry program in 1983 at McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company, Huntington Beach, Calif., then was assigned as a fielding officer in the Program Executive Office for Communications Systems at Communications-Electronics Command, Fort Monmouth, N.J.

Then began a series of five project manager assignments and two PEO positions. The first PM job was as project officer for microwave radio relay projects in the continental United States and Korea, working for the PM-Defense Communications Systems (Army) Communications Systems. The next PM assignment was as system project leader for the AN/UGC-74 teletypewriter in CECOM's Directorate for Systems Management. MG Gust's third PM assignment was as PM for the Modular Integrated Communications and Navigation System Data Link, part of the PM-Aquila Remotely Piloted Vehicle in PEO-Fire Support. As his fourth PM assignment, MG Gust served as acting PM for electronic warfare/reconnaissance surveillance and target acquisition in PEO-Intelligence and Electronic Warfare.

MG Gust's fifth and last PM assignment was as PM for mobile subscriber equipment in PEO-CS, to which he was assigned in June 1990. During his 2 Vz years as PM-MSE, he successfully prepared and fielded 30 MSE battalions, including units in V Corps, XVIII Corps, 32d Air Defense Command and I Corps. MSE configuration changes made during his PM-MSE tenure included the packet switch overlay and fielding of MSE switches in transit case configurations for four light-infantry divisions.

From December 1992 until July 1995, MG Gust served as PEO-CS. Highlights of his accomplishments as PEO-CS include: initiating the first Army triband satellite terminal project, with eight prototypes of C-, X- and Ku-band satellite terminals produced for units at Fort Gordon and Fort Huachuca, Ariz; competitively procuring Spitfire, the enhanced man-portable ultra-high frequency tactical-satellite radio; adopting commercial-off-the-shelf technology for Global Positioning System receivers to make them more cost-effective; changing acquisition strategy for the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System radio so that it was more competitively priced; and spearheading engineering modifications to the emerging Enhanced Position Location Reporting System radio so that its data throughput doubled.

MG Gust also had the vision to encourage integration for SINCGARS, MSE and EPLRS, which were separate communications programs run by three PMs within PEO-CS. As the Army's Chief of Staff began the campaign to digitize the Army, MG Gust persuaded his PMs that a "tactical Internet" was possible and that the Army needed it. He led the PMs in a Integrated Product Team environment as PEO-CS led the way in increasing the Army's digital pipeline systems to support growing Army automation-system traffic.

MG Gust not only led the way in integrating Signal Regiment systems, but as PEO for intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors, he worked to integrate Signal and military intelligence. He helped ensure the Ml customer's needs were articulated to the Signal Regiment, and he established liaison contract officers at Forts Gordon and Huachuca in this spirit of cooperation. MG Gust's initiative resulted in the first Trojan Spirit to Warfighter Information Network-Tactical migration plan, and the first Signal Center/Intelligence Center home-on-home conferences.

MG Gust retired from the Army in October 2000, joining Technical and Management Services Corporation and continuing communications support to the Army. He is involved in the Dragon communications system used in Kosovo, the Raptor system used in Afghanistan and Kuwait, and the Multi-Media Communication System employed by Army Materiel Command and Military Traffic Management Command.

MG Gust's Army awards include the Bronze Star medal, Purple Heart, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak-leaf clusters and Vietnam Service Medal with four campaign stars. He was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Signal Regiment in 2002.

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Last modified on:
April 04, 2012

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