Since 1950 the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) has been the Voice for the Army and Support for the Soldier. However, somewhere along the way a very gross misconception of who could belong developed. The false impression is that AUSA was just for Active Component Army and only Officers. This is not so, AUSA is for both Components; Active and Reserve. Also, all Ranks are eligible for membership.
Not too long ago at an AUSA Annual Meeting a now former Chief, Army Reserve stated that another way to think of the A’s in AUSA is that one A stands for ALL Components and the other for ALL Ranks.
Therefore, let it be said the AUSA has Army Reserve Soldiers (and their Families) “6”. The following are the ways that AUSA is protecting and supporting you.
- Resolutions AUSA Resolutions are member driven. The vast majority of Resolutions come from AUSA’s worldwide Chapters. It can be said that all AUSA Resolutions affect the total Army. However, in the 2012 Resolutions, more than 20 % addressed specific needs of the Reserve Component. AUSA Resolutions go directly to Congress.
- Chapter events/support There are 122 worldwide AUSA Chapters. The vast majority are very active in giving support to Soldiers and their Families. As many of the Chapters are not near large Army installations, the members make a concerted effort to reach out to members of the Army Reserve.
- Partnership with ESGR As the Nation is in its 11th year in the war on terrorism and the Army Reserve is an Operational Force, AUSA is very concerned that the Employers of Army Reserve Soldiers remain steadfast in their support. Therefore, AUSA remains dedicated in making sure that there are Resolutions which support the Employer of Army Reserve Soldiers. Also, many of the State representatives for ESGR are AUSA members.
- AUSA Family Program AUSA was highlighted in the Winter 2010 Army Reserve Family Magazine, “Family Strong”. Mrs. Kidd, Director of AUSA Family Programs, was quoted in this magazine, “We [AUSA] represent the interests of Army Families through our participation and attendance in Department of Defense and Department of the Army councils and advisory boards. We [AUSA] serve on working groups to both represent Families and learn more about their issues and concerns.” At the 2011 AUSA Family Program portion of the Annual Meeting, LTG and Mrs. Stultz spoke at one of the Family Forums.
- MSO/VSO Meetings The Army Reserve Communication branch meets with various Military Service Organizations (MSO) like AUSA, ROA, MOAA and SARCA and Veteran Servive Organizations (VSO) like VFW, DAV, American Legion on a quarterly basis. At these meetings, AUSA learns about those specific issues that need Congressional attention. Many times these meetings produce AUSA Resolutions specifically for the Army Reserve.
- Symposia According to an Army Manual, the American profession of arms has three dimensions: physical, intellectual, and moral. AUSA actively supports all three dimensions. However, the various Symposia AUSA hosts during the year emphasize the intellectual dimension. As an example, the AUSA October Annual Meeting and Exposition is a professional development meeting that has many Forums to discuss those issues of interest to every person in the Army; both Military and Civilian. Other advantages of AUSA Symposia are they offer a great way to network and meet old Army friends.
AUSA is your Association. Besides bringing before Congress issues that affect Officers, NCOs, Enlisted and Family members for both Active and Reserve Components, AUSA focuses on just Army issues. If you are not an AUSA member, I highly encourage and invite you to join. Your membership assists GEN Gordon R. Sullivan, current President of AUSA and former 32nd Chief of Staff, Army when he goes before Congress to make a case for your needs.