Our Army has faced significant fiscal challenges and transformational change in the aftermath of every major conflict since the Civil War.
As the Army transitions from Afghanistan and returns to garrisons across the country, we will transition to meet the needs of the American people and our Nation.
The concern of senior Army leaders throughout time during these transition periods is ensuring our political leaders understand the dynamics of reducing the size of the Army and the subsequent impacts it has on readiness, capability and capacity.
With the loss of each soldier and the reduction in force structure, effects are felt on every installation, every classroom and every individual and collective training opportunity.
Through this current transition period, I am confident in and proud of this most professional Army in our history, and the leadership teams across the Army that will guide us as we move forward.
Over the past 12-plus years, we have been successful in everything the Nation has asked of our Army, and I am sure that will continue.
But, the Army cannot do this alone.
We need the support of our partners, including businesses, leaders at all levels across the nation, and the military and veterans service organizations that play important roles of advocacy and reinforcement of our commitment to our Army team and the Nation.
Among those organizations, the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) plays a pivotal role.
Its staff and volunteers work tirelessly to educate and inform the American people and our elected officials.
AUSA has served as the "voice of the Army and support for the Soldier" since 1950 when Gen. Wade H. Haislip, then-Army vice chief of staff, formed it through an amalgamation of the Army’s different associations to ensure our needs were voiced consistently across the entire force.
Today, AUSA is a constant presence on Capitol Hill educating and informing members of Congress, speaking with one voice to ensure each of the 435 members of the House of Representatives and our 100 Senators understand the priorities of the Army, the needs of our soldiers and their families, and the promise to our Gold Star Families and retired soldiers.
I especially thank its volunteers: Active, Guard and Reserve soldiers, Family members, Army civilians, retired soldiers and countless friends of the Army, who support the 122 local AUSA chapters based all across the country and around the world.
Their efforts and the time they donate help our commanders and leaders at all echelons maintain a quality of life and support for soldiers and their families during this most-recent period of tightening budgets, evolving missions and organizational transformation.
Together, our Nation will continue to have the most professional Army in our history and the most capable in the world now and into the future.