After many years at war, America soldiers and their families face new challenges driven by the fiscal issues facing our country.
During these times of reduced resources the Association of the United States Army – AUSA – is there when you need us as we were there when you were deployed.
Their respect and generosity, even in difficult and challenging economic times, remain as one of the strengths of our country.
Despite this backing, military retirement and retiree health care programs are under attack by those who view the programs as "overly generous."
With the physical and emotional burdens on our Army and its soldiers and families only increasing during more than 10 years of war, we must be vigilant and vocal if we are to secure a respectable future for those who have given so much for our liberty and freedom.
While we must continue to ensure that our Army is properly equipped, armed and manned to face the inevitable military challenges of the future, we must also assist those who answered the call – many called to serve in harm’s way – and will now transition to another profession.
For those who remain in uniform we must be ready to step in and assist where the government can no longer.
Now, more than ever, professional soldiers and those who support them, need the help of this association to make sure that their extraordinary sacrifices are not viewed as "Just a Job."
Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., AUSA president, continues to say: "Military personnel are not a faceless group – they are the one percent of this nation’s population that are willing to carry our colors into battle and to offer up their life in the process.
"When they retire from the front line, they should be given the respect and dignity of a reliable benefits package that will not be changed."
The Association of the United States Army has long been the leading voice among military associations for those who are seen as "an easy target … a constituency that is trained to serve and sacrifice rather than complain."
AUSA also fights for the Army’s appropriate share of the defense budget, for maintaining Army end strength to address your concerns over too frequent deployments and a force adequate to answer the next call, and for the tools and equipment you need to accomplish the mission.
AUSA – as a well respected, credible and dynamic educational association – speaks out on these issues on Capitol Hill, to the administration, in the media, and at the local level ensuring that the best interests of all soldiers and the well-being of families are in the forefront.
AUSA’s 2013 resolutions highlight 202 separate initiatives supporting people, readiness and transformation. These 202 powerful initiatives are important to you and to all soldiers – active Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserve – and to all retirees and veterans.
Visit AUSA’s website at www.ausa.org to review these resolutions.
AUSA membership is important to you and your professional development for a variety of reasons.
As the Army’s professional association for 63 years, AUSA keeps you informed about current issues through its publications – ARMY Magazine and AUSA NEWS; its Institute of Land Warfare; and its website and social networking communications.
The Institute of Land Warfare (ILW) has developed a broad comprehensive program that includes publishing professional research papers, newsletters, background briefs, Torchbearer special reports, essays and the very informative "NCO Update."
All of these publications are available at "Publications" on the AUSA webpage.
Col. John Davies, USA, Ret., director of regional activities, said, "Many of the AUSA members I’ve talked with over the years always mention the wealth of information AUSA provides and how they’ve used this in officer and NCO professional development sessions."
In addition to the publications, AUSA’s series of symposia and expositions held throughout the United States and overseas, offers other professional development venues and opportunities to educate our members and the public on soldier and family issues.
The highlight of AUSA’s year is the Annual Meeting and Exposition held in Washington in October.
Even in the face of constrained conference participation, this three-day comprehensive professional development forum is praised by senior officer and noncommissioned officer military leaders, their civilian counterparts, and Family Readiness Group leaders as an outstanding learning experience.
At the meeting you hear directly from the senior leaders in the Army and Department of Defense, see the latest equipment and get to talk to representatives from the companies developing and producing the equipment and technology.
"Nowhere else will you have this opportunity," Davies said.
Adding, "If you can’t attend, AUSA, in partnership with the Army, made the sessions available on-line and your membership helps make that happen."
At the local level, many of AUSA’s chapters offer professional development opportunities for their members through programs, projects, seminars and activities involving both the military and civilian communities.
"At the heart of our chapters are dedicated volunteers," Davies said, "who bring to life our ‘Support for the Soldier’ motto."
"Like our military and civilian leaders, they care deeply for the soldier, family and civilians and can be found at departure and welcome home ceremonies, providing resources to military families in need, adopting deployed units, and ensuring that those who gave their all are not forgotten, " he added.
Last year, the chapters raised more than $1,400,000 for these activities as well as for scholarships, grants, and soldier and family recognition programs, to cite a few examples.
This does not include donations and in-kind contributions from our generous corporate and sustaining member companies, and grants from other agencies secured by chapters to support soldier and family programs.
As a leader in, or supporter of, America’s Army, your membership means even more.
Whether as an officer, warrant officer, or NCO in the active or a reserve components; or leader in the civilian community, your membership demonstrates a commitment to make this a better, stronger, well informed Army.
Your membership makes it possible for those selfless volunteers to continue to support your soldiers and families.
As the spouse of a soldier, your membership will help AUSA’s Family Member Program bring to the Army’s attention issues previously raised in the Army Family Action Plan conferences.
"Membership is a resource; its taking what is available for your own professional development and using these resources to educate and inform your subordinates for the military leader or your employees, customers, or fellow citizens for the civilian leader.
"It also affords the leader an opportunity to influence what the Association says as the ‘Voice for the Army’ and what it does to ‘Support the Soldier,’" Davies said.
Will you benefit from AUSA’s efforts and successes regardless of whether you join?
But you didn’t stand off to the side to enjoy the benefits secured by others who preceded you or serve alongside you now in military service – you stepped forward to make the Army and the country stronger, and we are asking you to step forward to make your association stronger.
Together we can protect what you have earned, and secure for you the resources for success.
AUSA – Needed Now More Than Ever!!