Annual Meeting emphasizes soldiers, families 


2009 Annual Meeting 
Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Army chief of staff, speaks at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Luncheon at last year’s AUSA Annual Meeting.  Programs and forums focus on professional development.

"America’s Army: The Strength of the Nation" ™ – the theme of the Association of the United States Army’s 2010 Annual Meeting and Exposition – A Professional Development Forum – will set the tone for speeches, industry and military exhibits and special presentations from senior Defense Department and Army leaders on subjects relating to the Army’s fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – while transforming to the brigade-centric Modular Force.

The AUSA meeting will focus on panel discussions; educational, professional development forums; and special multimedia presentations and workshops that will reinforce, examine and showcase the Army, the soldier and the Army family.

Walter E. Washington Convention Center and hotels

Convened for the eighth year in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the AUSA Annual Meeting, Oct. 25 to 27, will have over 470,000 square feet of industry and military exhibits highlighting state-of-the-art equipment, technology and research and development initiatives.

Association officials said this year’s three-day forum will emphasize "AUSA’s important educational and professional role in supporting the warfighting and transforming Army – active, Army National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve – the men and women who serve, retirees, veterans, Army civilians, ROTC and U.S. Military Academy cadets, contractors – and all their families."

The meeting attracts over 33,000 members and guests annually.

Only AUSA members may purchase tickets for lunches, dinners and receptions in advance of the meeting. Non-members may purchase tickets to the functions on-site at the Convention Center – if available.

Anyone may pre-register for the meeting by visiting the AUSA Web site at – "Annual Meeting." There is no registration fee. (See ads on Pages 26 and 27.)

Lt. Gen. Roger Thompson, USA, Ret., the Association’s vice president for membership and meetings, said, "This meeting is a diverse and powerful professional development experience. It grows every year – the 2009 Annual Meeting had 33,500 attendees: military of all ranks, government civilians, industry representatives, family members and Army supporters. We are delighted with the increasing interest in the Annual Meeting and its professional development opportunities. 

"We look forward to supporting the theme of this year’s Annual Meeting, ‘America’s Army: The Strength of the Nation.’ ™ Our theme tells it all: This event will highlight the accomplishments and challenges of our Army which is fighting in our nation’s longest war with strength, resilience and selfless service."

Adding, "AUSA chapter representatives from all over the world attend to participate and learn. Their experience translates into marvelous support to their communities, soldiers of all components, Department of the Army civilians and families back home."

There will be over 400 exhibits – 300 from industry, 100 from the Army, officials said.

AUSA’s director of industry affairs, Michael Scanlan, said, "The growth of the Annual Meeting has been remarkable, and the change of location to the Convention Center has made that growth possible. In 2011, AUSA will occupy the entire Convention Center, which will allow us to grow even more."

Adding, "The Renaissance Washington DC Hotel, located within walking distance of the Convention Center, will be the meeting’s official headquarters hotel.

"All program activities, sessions and social events will take place in the Convention Center except the Guard and Reserve Reception and Dinner, the Chapter Presidents Dinner, the ROTC Luncheon, the Corporate Member Luncheon and the Army Civilian Luncheon which will be held in the Renaissance Hotel."

Program highlights

Gen. James D. Thurman, commanding general, U.S. Army Forces Command, has been invited to address the National Guard and Army Reserve Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 23.

Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., AUSA president, will host the chapter presidents at their dinner Sunday, Oct. 24.

The dinner’s principal speaker is Gen. Carter F. Ham, commanding general, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, who has been invited to brief the Association’s volunteer leadership.

On Monday morning, Oct. 25, members of the reserve components will attend the Guard and Reserve Leadership Breakfast and will hear from Gen. Walter Sharp, commander, United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/U.S. Forces Korea, (Invited).

Following this event, the meeting will officially open with a patriotic presentation staged by the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) and The United States Army Band, "Pershing’s Own," in the center’s ballroom. The secretary of the Army, John M. McHugh, has been invited to be the meeting’s keynote speaker.

Three luncheons will follow the opening session.

The Sergeant Major of the Army Awards Luncheon is the venue where the selection of the Army Noncommissioned Officer of the Year and Soldier of the Year will be announced.

NCOs and soldiers – to include the drill sergeants of the year, recruiters of the year and the winners of Army-wide competitions – will also be introduced.

The Army vice chief of staff, Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, has been invited to speak at this luncheon.

Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, who commands U.S. Army Materiel Command, has been invited to address the ROTC Luncheon for cadets and PMS personnel.

AUSA will host the Corporate Member Luncheon where Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff, has been asked to speak.

There will be a special reception for visiting international dignitaries – hosted Monday evening by the Association’s Industry Affairs Directorate.

Monday’s activities conclude with the President’s Reception honoring the secretary of the Army (invited), the Army chief of staff, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., (invited) and Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston.

On Tuesday, the Association will host the Congressional Staffers Breakfast, where McHugh (invited) and Casey (invited) will speak to the assembled Hill staffers and Army guests before they tour the exhibit hall.

At the Dwight D. Eisenhower Luncheon, Casey (invited) will deliver his "State of the Army" address to the membership, and the drill sergeants and recruiters of the year will be honored and receive awards.

The Army Civilian Professional Development Seminar and a luncheon for civilian employees are on Wednesday.

Under Secretary of the Army Joseph Westphal has been invited to address the Army civilians at their special luncheon.

Ash Carter, under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, has been invited to speak at the Sustaining Member Luncheon for the Association’s defense industry members on Wednesday.

Special events for NCOs and soldiers

Preston will convene the annual Sergeant Major of the Army Conference for sergeants first class and above on Monday morning. The session with staff sergeants and below will convene on Tuesday morning.

The NCO Professional Development Forum will be held at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 26, following the Sergeant Major of the Army Conference with staff sergeants and below.

This year’s topic is "The Soldier as a System (SaaS)."

During this session, NCOs will be briefed by Army Training and Doctrine Command senior noncommissioned officers’ integration efforts in systems engineering for soldier programs and products.

"This is a great opportunity for NCOs attending the AUSA Annual Meeting to provide input and feedback to help PEO Soldier. This allows more direct responses to both soldier needs and developmental innovations." Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmie W. Spencer, USA, Ret., director of AUSA’s noncommissioned officer and soldier programs, said.

NCOs and soldiers will also receive a special tour of Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknowns.

ILW forums

To emphasize the Annual Meeting’s focus as a Professional Development Forum, the Association’s Institute of Land Warfare will conduct an expanded series of Contemporary Military Forums throughout the three-day event.

(Editor’s note: All forums will be held in the Convention Center. Dates, times and room numbers will be posted on the "Annual Meeting Schedule" Web page as updated and received, and will appear in the Annual Meeting Program.)

ILW papers

ILW paper presentations are scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 9 to 11 a.m. Titles and authors of the papers will be announced at a later date.

AUSA books

AUSA’s book program is conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Naval Institute Press, Potomac Books, Praeger Security International, and Kentucky University Press.

Selected authors will speak about their books during the Authors’ Forum, Monday, Oct. 25, from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Check your Annual Meeting Program for details.

Books and authors to be presented include:

  • "Angel of Dien Bien Phu; The Lone French Woman at the Battle for Vietnam," by Genevieve de Galard. Publisher: Naval Institute Press (Oct. 15, 2010).
  • "Beetle: The Life of Gen. Walter Bedell Smith," by D.K.R. Crosswell. Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky (Oct. 28, 2010)
  • "Unparalleled and Unequaled: The 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam," by Maj. Gen. Ira Hunt. Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky (Oct. 28, 2010).
  • "The Way of Duty, Honor, Country: The Memoirs of Charles Pelot Summerall," edited by Timothy K. Nenninger. Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky (Oct. 4, 2010).
  • "Homer Lea: American Soldier of Fortune," by Dr. Lawrence M. Kaplan. Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky (Sept. 27, 2010).
  • "In the Gray Area: A Marine Advisor Team at War," by Lt. Col. Seth Folsom, USMC. Publisher: Naval Institute Press (Sept. 15, 2010).
  • "In the Final Defense of the Reich," by Stephen M. Rusiecki. Publisher: Naval Institute Press (Oct. 15, 2010).

They also will be available throughout the meeting at the AUSA Pavilion – Booth 407, Exhibit Hall A – for book signings.

All AUSA books will be sold at the pavilion, and Association members receive discounts of up to one-third off individual AUSA books.

AUSA family programs

AUSA’s Family Programs Directorate will present four Military Family Forums that will highlight important issues and programs which address the impact of frequent separations, repeated deployments and stress for soldiers and families.

Military Family Forum I, Monday, Oct. 25, from 2 to 5 p.m., "Army Families – Our Leaders." Topics include:

– Recognition of AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year by Sylvia Kidd, director, AUSA Family Programs.

– Secretary of the Army Opening (John M. McHugh invited)

– Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr. (Invited)

– "Hot Issues," speakers: Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commanding general, Installation Management Command, and Maj. Gen. Ruben D. Jones, commanding general, Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command.

– "Ready and Resilient," speaker: Col. Greg Bliss, chief, Soldier and Family Support Services Division, U.S. Army National Guard.

– "Military to Medicine Competition," speaker: Dr. Daniel Nichols, executive director, Military to Medicine.

Military Family Forum II, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 8:30 to 11 a.m.
"Army Families: Our Children." Topics include:

– Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli (invited).

– Overview of Research and Effects of Deployment on Children. Speaker: Kathleen Marin, assistant chief of staff, Installation Management Command.

– Panel of Researcher/Child and Youth Professionals. Speakers: Dr. Richard Lerner, director, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University; Dr. Amy Richardson, policy researcher, Rand Corporation; Dr. Angela J. Huebner, associate professor, Human Development, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Virginia Polytechnic University; Dr. Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, director, Military Family Research Institute, Perdue University; and M.A. Lucas, director, Child Youth and School Services, FMWRC.

Military Family Forum III, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 9:30 a.m. to noon. "America’s Families: Caring for Ourselves." Topics include:

– "Army Medicine: Bringing Value, Inspiring Trust," speaker: Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, Army surgeon general.

– "Oxygen for Your Relationship," speaker: Noel Mendor, executive director, Stronger Families.

– "Scream Free Parenting: The Five Truths Every Parent Needs to Know," speaker: Hal Runkle, president, ScreemFree Institute.

Military Family Forum IV, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 1:30 to 4 p.m. "America’s Families – Caring for Our Survivors." Topics include:

– Opening Remarks: Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commanding general, Installation Management Command.

– Overview of Survivor Outreach Services. Speaker: Brig. Gen. Reuben D. Jones, commanding general, Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command.

– Behavioral Health for Survivors.

– Addressing Long Term Grief.

– Helping Children Understand Grief and Loss.

– Update on Legislative Issues Impacting Surviving Families.

– Preparation for the Unexpected.

Seating is limited and registration is recommended, RSVP by e-mail to, or call 1-(800) 336-4570, Ext. 151.

Retiree activities

  • Retiree Seminar, Monday, Oct. 25. Representatives from Army Retirement Services and the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program have been invited to attend.
  • An SBP/Pre-Retirement Briefing, 9 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 27, will be conducted by the Department of the Army Retirement Services Office.

Questions on these sessions should be directed to AUSA’s Sgt. Maj. Leroy Bussells, USA, Ret., 1-(800) 336-4570, Ext. 678, or email:

Marshall dinner

Peter Geren, former secretary of the Army and a former Texas congressman who served on the House Armed Services Committee, will receive the Association’s highest award for selfless service to the nation, the George Catlett Marshall Medal, at the Marshall dinner on Wednesday night.

He will also address the dinner, the Annual Meeting’s closing event.

Annual Meeting information

For up-to-date information and "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)" on the 2010 Annual Meeting and Exposition – A Professional Development Forum – go to the AUSA Annual Meeting Web site at