After many years at war, American soldiers and their families continue to face new challenges driven by the fiscal issues facing our country.
During these times of reduced resources and uncertainty, the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) is here to support you as we were here for you when you deployed.
Sequestration and budget pressures continue to place unacceptable pressure on our Army, its soldiers, families and civilian employees.
Military retirement and retiree health care programs are under attack by those who view the programs as "overly generous" and programs affecting the Army’s ability to train and equip its forces are whittled away.
With the physical and emotional burdens on our Army and its soldiers and families only increasing after years of war and now an uncertain future, 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 continue to ensure that our Army is properly equipped and manned to face the inevitable military challenges of the future, we must assist those who answered the call and will now transition to another profession.
For those who remain in uniform, we must be ready to step in and assist where assistance is needed.
Now, more than ever, professional soldiers and their families need AUSA’s help to ensure that their extraordinary sacrifices are not viewed as "Just a Job."
Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., AUSA president, has said "military personnel are not a faceless group – they are the one percent of this nation’s population who are willing to carry our colors into battle and to offer up their lives 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."
If you are still serving, retirement may seem a long way off – that it is nothing you have to think about now – but, as Gen. Sullivan has said: "Those currently serving will look at how current retirees are treated and if not treated properly and with respect, will vote with their feet. The retention of battle-tested soldiers will diminish and national security will suffer."
The Association of the United States Army has long been the leading voice among military associations for those serving or who have served – who all too often 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 end strength in the total force adequate to answer the next call, and for the arms and equipment needed to accomplish the mission.
AUSA – as a well-respected, credible and dynamic professional 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 2014 resolutions highlight initiatives supporting people, readiness, and transformation – initiatives important to you and our soldiers – active Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserve.
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 64 years, AUSA keeps you informed about current issues through its publications – ARMY Magazine and AUSA NEWS; its Institute of Land Warfare; and its web and social networking communications.
The AUSA Institute of Land Warfare (ILW) has developed a broad comprehensive program of activities 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 web page.
Col. John Davies, USA, Ret., director of regional activities, said, "AUSA members I talk to 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 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.
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 this meeting you hear directly from the senior leaders in the Army and Department of Defense, see the latest equipment and technology – and get to talk to representatives from the companies developing and producing this equipment. Nowhere else will you have this opportunity," Davies said.
If you can’t attend, AUSA, in partnership with the Army, makes 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," said Davies, "who bring to life our ‘Support for the Soldier’ motto."
Adding, "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. "
Last year, AUSA chapters raised more than $1,500,000 for these activities as well as for scholarships, Fisher House support, unit and individual donations and grants, and soldier recognition programs, to cite a few.
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 their soldier 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 component; or leader in the civilian community, your membership demonstrates a commitment to want to make this a better Army.
Your membership also makes it possible for those selfless volunteers to continue to support your soldiers and families. As the spouse of a soldier, your membership in AUSA’s new spousal membership category 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; it’s taking what is available for your professional development and using these resources to educate and inform subordinates and military leaders, or your employees, customers, and fellow citizens.
"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 freedoms secured by those who preceded you – 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’ve earned and secure for you the resources for success.
Visit www.ausa.org, or see your chapter representative and – JOIN TODAY.