Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony

Monday, October 9, 2017 to Monday, October 9, 2017

Gen. Carter F. Ham, U.S. Army retired

General Ham is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of the United States Army. He is an experienced leader who has led at every level from platoon to geographic combatant command. He is also a member of a very small group of Army senior leaders who have risen from private to four-star general.General Ham served as an enlisted infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division before attending John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. Graduating in 1976 as a distinguished military graduate, his service has taken him to Italy, Germany, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Macedonia, Qatar, Iraq and, uniquely among Army leaders, to over 40 African countries in addition to a number of diverse assignments within the United States.He commanded the First Infantry Division, the legendary Big Red One, before assuming duties as director for operations on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon where he oversaw all global operations. His first four-star command was as commanding general, U.S. Army Europe. Then in 2011, he became just the second commander of United States Africa Command where he led all U.S. military activities on the African continent ranging from combat operations in Libya to hostage rescue operations in Somalia as well as training and security assistance activities across 54 complex and diverse African nations.General Ham retired in June of 2013 after nearly 38 years of service. Immediately prior to joining the staff at AUSA, he served as the chairman of the National Commission on the Future of the Army, an eight-member panel tasked by the Congress with making recommendations on the size, force structure and capabilities of the Total Army.He resides with his wife, Christi, in Arlington, Virginia.

The Honorable James Mattis

Secretary of Defense

Jim Mattis became the 26th Secretary of Defense on January 20, 2017.

A native of Richland, Washington, Secretary Mattis enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at the age of 18. After graduating from Central Washington University in 1971, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.

During his more than four decades in uniform, Secretary Mattis commanded Marines at all levels, from an infantry rifle platoon to a Marine Expeditionary Force. He led an infantry battalion in Iraq in 1991, an expeditionary brigade in Afghanistan after the 9/11 terror attack in 2001, a Marine Division in the initial attack and subsequent stability operations in Iraq in 2003, and led all U.S. Marine Forces in the Middle East as Commander, I Marine Expeditionary Force and U.S. Marine Forces Central Command.

During his non-combat assignments, Secretary Mattis served as Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense; as Director, Marine Corps Manpower Plans & Policy; as Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command; and as Executive Secretary to the Secretary of Defense. 

As a joint force commander, Secretary Mattis commanded U.S. Joint Forces Command, NATO’s Supreme Allied Command for Transformation, and U.S. Central Command. At U.S. Central Command, he directed military operations of more than 200,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, Marines and allied forces across the Middle East. 

Following his retirement from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2013, Secretary Mattis served as the Davies Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, specializing in the study of leadership, national security, strategy, innovation, and the effective use of military force. In 2016, he co-edited the book, Warriors & Citizens: American Views of Our Military.

 

 Keynote Speaker:

 The Honorable James N. Mattis

 Secretary of Defense

 United States Department of Defense

 

 National Award Presentations

 

 General Creighton W. Abrams Medal

 GEN Eric K. Shinseki

 United States Army Retired

 

 Major General Anthony J. Drexel Biddle Medal

 Catherine C. Roache

 

 Lieutenant General Raymond S. McLain Medal

 MG Gus L. Hargett, Jr.

 United States Army Retired

 

 Major General James Earl Rudder Medal

 MG Marcia M. Anderson

 United States Army Retired

 

 Sergeant Major of the Army William G. Bainbridge Medal

 SGM Todd B. Hunter

 United States Army Retired

 

 The Joseph P. Cribbins Award

 Margaret A. Tyree

 

 The AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year

 SFC Eryn Seidl and Family

 United States Army Retired

 

 The AUSA National Service Award

 Patriot Guard Riders

 

 Presentation of Chapter and Division/Command Awards

 

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