TopVet: William G. "Gus" Pagonis

William Pagonis

Lessons learned during his 29-year career in the Army, from which he retired in 1993 as a lieutenant general, have served William G. Pagonis well.

The three-star general, known as Gus, joined Sears, Roebuck and Company later that year as Senior Vice President of Logistics. A year later he was named Executive Vice President for Logistics. He has responsibility for all of the company’s logistics, including vendor relations, transportation, home delivery services, and the integration of logistics information systems.

General Pagonis gained attention as General Norman Schwarzkopf’s logistics commander during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He was responsible for all logistics—food, shelter, fuel, ammunition, transportation and contracting during the Gulf War. His experiences resulted in the book Moving Mountains: Lessons in Leadership and Logistics from the Gulf War, published by the Harvard Business School Press.

General Pagonis, a native of Charleroi, Pennsylvania, completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at Pennsylvania State University, from which he earned his M.B.A. in operations and research analysis.

During his military career, he headed logistics in tours of Vietnam, Panama, and Germany, as well as during the Persian Gulf. He also served two tours in the Pentagon, one as a legislative liaison officer responsible for coordination with Congress, the other in charge of transportation, energy, and troop support for the Army. Among his awards and decorations are the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with “V,” and three Air Medals.

General Pagonis serves on the Board of Directors of RailAmerica, North America’s leading operator of short-line railroads.

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