We are about a month away from the highlight of AUSA’s year – the Annual Meeting – and excitement is building.
As many of you know, this is a challenging period for our Army given the continuing commitments in Afghanistan, the never-ending crises throughout the world, and ongoing budget concerns, all of which combine to make our annual gathering perhaps more important than ever.
I recently had a very important meeting with the Honorable John McHugh, Secretary of the Army. He informed me that the Army will continue to support and participate in the Annual Meeting as it always has. This means our meeting will continue to be an important event in the life cycle of our Army and will enable your Association to fulfill its role as the voice for the Army, its Soldiers and their families.
While some facets of Army participation will see changes reflective of the national financial situation, we look forward to a very productive and important series of professional development, congressional, and industry-focused activities – as well as family-specific events and speeches by senior Army and Defense officials in keeping with past meetings.
So this year’s meeting will provide, as it always has, an opportunity for our uniformed, civilian, industrial and commercial, volunteers, congressional and media representative to learn and prepare themselves for the Army journey into the future. The Army will have the opportunity to talk about its preparation for the missions of the future, while the displays of our industry and service partners and the seminars will provide professional development opportunities for our Soldiers.
This will be our tenth year in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington, D.C. We start Sunday with the Army Ten-Miler with more than 30,000 runners. Monday October 22nd will see Secretary of the Army John McHugh keynote the Opening Ceremony along with the superb pageantry of the Old Guard Soldiers and Pershing’s Own Band. Also you may recall we will be presenting our AUSA National Awards Medals including the AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award.
Monday afternoon will see the kickoff of our two successful seminar series – The AUSA Military Family Forums and the Institute of Land Warfare Contemporary Military Forums. Both will run right through Wednesday afternoon.
Throughout the meeting, there will be events that pertain to the wide-ranging constituencies of AUSA – Active Duty personnel, National Guard, Army Reserve, Army Civilians, Chapter Leaders, and Military Families, as well as over 500,000 square feet of exhibit space filled with the latest in military hardware and software.
The capstone of the meeting will be our annual Marshall Dinner during which the Marshall Medal will be presented to former Secretary of State James Baker.
To get deep into the details of the Annual Meeting, go to the AUSA website www.ausa.org/meetings . Until then, however – See You at Annual Meeting, October 22-24. AUSA Strong for Army Strong!