AUSA: The Army’s – the soldier’s – professional organization 

6/28/2013 

Sergeant Major of the Army
Kenneth O. Preston, USA, Ret.
Director, Noncommissioned Officer
and Soldier Programs

I send greetings to all of you from the Association of the United States Army.

I am honored to introduce myself as the new Director of Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier Programs.

As I write these words, all of us here at AUSA say farewell to a great soldier, a legend, a friend, and now my predecessor, Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmie Spencer, USA, Ret.

Jimmie is part of our institutional fabric with his 20 years of experience and dedication to AUSA and another 30 years of service to the Army.

No one loves being a soldier or loves soldiers more than Jimmie Spencer. I am humbled with the opportunity to follow Jimmie’s legacy, and I wish him and Susan the greatest success in the next chapter of their life.

My goal here at AUSA is to be a contributing member of the team.

I want to fully understand the mission for both AUSA and our Army – active, Army Guard and U.S. Army Reserve – so I can contribute in a positive way to recognize the contributions of our noncommissioned officers, soldiers and their families serving around the world.

Our Army consists of three components, – active, guard, and reserve. For those soldiers serving in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, we could not do all the things that our Army or our nation has asked us to do, without the contributions of you – our citizen-soldiers.

Collectively all three components make a dynamic team with our soldiers serving today in more than 80 countries around the world.

I’ve always been a boots-on-the-ground soldier, working directly with leaders to help them achieve mission success and take care of their soldiers.

As a sergeant major, I’ve always viewed myself as a force provider with a mission to help the command, all their subordinate leaders and their soldiers be a success at the missions they have been given.

I am honored to serve as a force provider once again.

AUSA has always been the voice of the Army – active, guard and reserve – and support for our soldiers, our Army civilians, retirees, veterans, and their families.

This role and inherent responsibility becomes even more critical this year under the fiscal challenges our Army and nation are facing and will continue to face.

Leaders at all echelons will have to make the tough decisions on what activities and missions the Army and our nation can and cannot support.

Our Army, our soldiers, Army civilians, retirees, veterans, and their families need AUSA’s strong voice to ensure our government leaders and Congress has a clear picture and understanding of their needs.

We have the greatest Army in the world, no doubt.

I had the honor, as sergeant major of the Army, to visit allied armies in more than 35 countries around the world – helping them emulate our Noncommissioned officer corps and establish a professional development system that would provide the broadening and educational experiences needed to grow their enlisted leaders to serve at progressively higher levels of responsibility at a variety of command and staff level assignments.

I am honored now to serve with AUSA and continue to help our Army, our soldiers, Army civilians, retirees, veterans, and their families again in ways that I could not while serving in uniform.

How do we at AUSA meet these challenges?

This year and for the foreseeable future, I believe AUSA’s strong and credible ties to government, industry, our nation, our retirees, our veterans, the Army family, and the men and women who serve, make our Association the lynchpin to help the Army leadership identify the priorities and needs of our Army to remain a strong and capable member of the joint team in the defense of our nation.

Also, supporting our Army’s leadership we will build and maintain an enduring team for all our Army members, through the Army’s Soldier for Life Program.

All of our women and men serving today as soldiers and Army civilians; all of those who are now retired or veterans of the Army – and all of our Army family members – want predictability and want to stay informed during these times of change and uncertainty.

Throughout our society, individuals working in established professions belong to a professional organization.

AUSA is the Army’s – the soldier’s –professional organization.

It is my hope to visit as many chapters and installations as possible to share experiences, knowledge and insights in those areas that concern our soldiers, our Army civilians, retirees, veterans and our families.

I am proud of you all.

Still Serving – Army Strong!