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General News

Libra Group’s George Logothetis in Conversation with General Andrew P. Poppas

NEW YORK – General Andrew P. Poppas, Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command, spoke about his family’s history and the role that his Greek heritage has played in shaping his personality in a discussion with Libra Group Executive Chairman George Logothetis at an event organized by the American College of Greece.

In particular, Logothetis and General Poppas, both children of Greek immigrants, discussed the key points of strong leadership and the influence their Greek origins have had on the success they have achieved in their careers in the U.S.

“He has a combination of toughness and sensitivity. The best leaders have both. You need both. He is the son of a Greek immigrant who suffered a lot. He takes his children to visit Arlington National Cemetery to show them the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. To appreciate today and look forward to tomorrow you must understand history. Where did we come from? How difficult was the life of those who came before us. Through the pages of history we find solace,” said Logothetis in his introduction.

For his part, General Poppas spoke about his family’s history and his father’s difficult journey from the ship that took him to the USA, when he was only 15 years old, to finding stability and social recognition. He mentioned that his father, who experienced the Occupation and the Greek-Italian war, left Patras knowing that some relatives would be waiting for him, but something that did not happen when he arrived in the country.

“Both my parents were immigrants. My father came after World War II. He was born in 1931, so he lived through all the challenges with the war, the Greek-Italian war, the Nazi Occupation in Patras and this leaves an indelible mark on a person. Then [he gets] on a boat, alone, at the age of 15. He arrives in New York and goes to Philadelphia. The family that was supposed to meet him – there were no cell phones then – didn’t show up. So while he was waiting for them to take him, his biggest fear was that if that didn’t happen they would send him back. So he ran away and found a Greek guy who owned a diner – what a surprise – he doesn’t speak English at all. He could sleep in the basement, but he would clean and work until the family came to pick him up,” General Poppas said.

At the same time, Logothetis and Poppas also spoke about creating the new generation of leaders, with special reference to the internship program from the Libra Group, which started during the financial crisis in Greece. It has evolved into a global program that has provided opportunities to hundreds of interns from across the world. Today, Libra Group interns represent over 50 countries. More information is available online: https://www.libra.com/.

General Andrew Poppas became the 24th commander of United States Army Forces Command, Fort Liberty, NC, on July 8, 2022.

General Andrew P. Poppas, Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command. Photo: U.S. Army Forces Command

As commander of the U.S. Army’s largest organization, he commands 216,000 active-component soldiers and 190,000 members of the U.S. Army Reserve, while also providing training and readiness oversight to the Army National Guard. In total, the Forces Command team includes more than 740,000 soldiers and 13,000 civilians.

A native of Wisconsin, General Poppas graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned in 1988. He spent his early years serving within the 3rd Infantry Regiment at Fort Myer, VA; the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC; as a foreign area officer in Thessaloniki, Greece; and on the Joint Staff in Washington, DC.

In 2005, he returned to the 82nd Airborne Division and Fort Bragg, where he commanded 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment and later 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, which he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He then served in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, KY, as its 1st Brigade Combat Team Commander and later as the division’s Deputy Commanding General (Operations). In both these roles, he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

General Poppas then returned to Washington, DC, where he served as Deputy Director for Regional Operations and Force Management on the Joint Staff, and Director of Force Management in the Headquarters, Department of the Army G-3/5/7. In 2017, he assumed command of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and again deployed with the division to Afghanistan.

Prior to assuming command of Forces Command, General Poppas served more than three years as a senior leader on the Joint Staff, first as Director for Operations, and later as Director of the Joint Staff. In this role, he assisted the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as advisor to the President and Secretary of Defense, coordinated and directed Joint Staff activities in support of the Chairman, and served as the Staff Inspector General.

In addition to his Bachelor of Science degree in National Security Affairs from the United States Military Academy, General Poppas holds a Master of Science degree in Occupational Education from Kansas State University. He is also a graduate of the Defense Language Institute, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and a fellowship at Harvard University.

He and his wife of 23 years, Beth, have three teenage children.

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