AUSA’s ‘Profile of the U.S. Army’ delivered to new Hill members

AUSA’s ‘Profile of the U.S. Army’ delivered to new Hill members

Monday, January 30, 2017

As we begin 2017, your AUSA Government Affairs team is getting our exercise on Capitol Hill.

We visited the offices of every new member of Congress, including 55 new members of the House of Representatives and seven new members of the Senate.

We hand-delivered a letter from retired Gen. Carter Ham, AUSA president and CEO, in which he welcomed each representative and senator to Congress and pledged AUSA’s support as a resource for them to rely on in performing their duties.

We also provided a copy of “Profile of the United States Army,” an excellent publication from our Institute of Land Warfare which will help the Military Legislative Assistants (MLA) in each office to familiarize themselves with our Army and the crucial role of landpower in U.S. national security.

You can download your copy of this publication at: ).

These visits to Capitol Hill are an important part of AUSA’s role as an educational association.

We build relationships with members of Congress so that they look to us as a “Voice for the Army” and a national security thought leader.

By helping new members and their staffs become better informed about our Total Army – Regular Army, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve – we help them make better choices when they face the tough decisions on resourcing, readiness and national security requirements in a constrained budget environment.

In addition to the new members of Congress, there will be many new members of the executive branch who will be taking their posts between January and next fall.

As the new Army secretariat and the Department of Defense political appointees arrive, there will be many opportunities for AUSA to build relationships and offer our perspectives.

We will seek out meetings at multiple levels so that the new leaders and their staffs realize that AUSA is available for them as a reliable resource.

As AUSA’s Director of Government Affairs, I am excited about AUSA’s possibilities and opportunities in 2017.

We will continue our fight to end sequestration because this mindless mechanism is the cause of many of the resource dilemmas our Army faces.

We will also advocate for adequate funding in fiscal year 2018 so that the Army can afford to balance the many competing needs of training soldiers, modernizing equipment, maintaining readiness and growing end strength.

When the new administration submits its budget request to Congress, we will analyze it and adjust our legislative strategy to help the Army receive the necessary resources it needs to fulfill its missions.

AUSA Government Affairs will also be monitoring the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to see what policy initiatives the members will pursue this year.

Two years ago, they passed a major reform on military retirement.

Last year, they legislated significant changes to the military health care system, including a highly unwise directive to consolidate the medical departments of each service under the Defense Health Agency.

Hopefully this year the members of these two committees will be less ambitious in initiating new changes – there is enough change currently underway without additional uncertainty produced by Congress.

See you on the high ground.