He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1980 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Armor. In 1988, he received a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan. Perkins completed both Ranger and Airborne Schools.
He commands United States. Army Training and Doctrine Command. He then served in armor assignments from platoon leader to battalion and brigade staff positions. He commanded 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor from 1996 to 1998.
The battalion served in Macedonia, and took part in a United Nations mission to monitor Macedonia"s borders with Albania, Kosovo, and Serbia.
In 1999, Perkins received a master"s degree from the Naval War College. In 2003, Perkins commanded 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division during the invasion of Iraq.
His unit was the first across the border, and first to enter the downtown government areas of Baghdad. Perkins is featured prominently in the book Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad.
Perkins received the Silver Star for his part in the invasion.
In 2004 and 2005, Perkins was executive assistant to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. From 2005 to 2007, he commanded the Joint Multinational Training Command in Germany. From 2007 to 2008, Perkins was the G-3 (Plans, Operations and Training staff officer) for United States Army Europe and Seventh Army.
In 2008, he became the director for strategic effects (CJ-9) for Multi-National Force-Iraq.
In this capacity, he coordinated and implemented political, economic, and communications activities on behalf of MNF-I, and served as the organization"s spokesman. From 2009 to 2011, he commanded the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson.
From 2011 to 2014, Perkins was commander of the Combined Arms Center and commandant of the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. On March 14, 2014, Perkins assumed command of United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) from Robert West. Cone.
Perkins is married to Ginger Perkins.
They have two children, Cassandra and Chad, who are both in the United States Army.