The Association of the United States Army’s Young Professionals Subcommittee met during the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C., to set its goals for the coming year.
Members, representing each Association region in the United States and overseas, held a series of discussions over the course of the three-day professional development forum to make recommendations and advise the association’s leadership on how best to encourage young men and women to join and engage with AUSA.
This would lay the groundwork to share best practices regarding the creation and implementation of chapter programs designed to attract young professionals.
Recognizing the important work the Young Professionals Subcommittee is doing now and will continue to do in the future, Lt. Gen. Roger Thompson, USA, Ret., AUSA’s vice president for membership and meetings, told Association chapter presidents at their special dinner that recognizes their volunteer efforts, "It is past time for millennials, who make up a significant portion of the Army, to have their voices heard. The Association of the United States Army’s Young Professionals Subcommittee will be the champions for their cause."
The most important work of the Young Professionals Subcommittee occurred on Oct. 12 during a three-hour workshop hosted for subcommittee members, region presidents, and members of the AUSA national staff.
Throughout the meeting, the subcommittee provided guidance as to how AUSA national could support ongoing chapter-level initiatives targeting young professionals while promoting region-wide involvement.
Those participating in the subcommittee emphasized that targeting younger members for AUSA would not come at the expense of ignoring AUSA’s established members.
Instead, the Young Professionals Subcommittee emphasized its desire to collaborate with experienced members in a give-and-take relationship to ensure that all generations of members move the Association towards the direction of progress.
Leaders at all levels of AUSA were impressed by the motivation of the subcommittee and many signaled their commitment to sustain the young professionals’ initiative throughout their respective chapter and region geographical areas.
Sandy McLeod, Second Region president, called the subcommittee a "win-win initiative" and agreed to do whatever he could to support its goals within his region.
McLeod said, "The [Young Professionals] Subcommittee is a win for millennials because it allows their voices to be heard and a win for the Army because the young professionals will better represent their generational interests."
By the end of the Annual Meeting, subcommittee members agreed the time was well spent, but acknowledged there was much work remaining.
The spring 2016 AUSA region meetings were identified as the next forum from which subcommittee members could promote their work to the chapters within their respective regions.
Before leaving Washington, and heading back to the Redstone-Huntsville Chapter, Third Region’s representative, Kate Hester, summed up AUSA’s need for an Association-wide young professionals initiative saying, "The Association needs to offer young people something that is tangible in their communities. If a chapter’s young professionals program is beneficial to a young person’s career or professional development, the value of an AUSA membership will be apparent."
Coordinator, Young Professionals Subcommittee