Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony

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

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

General Carter Ham

Gen. Carter Ham, U.S. Army retired, was president and CEO of the Association of the U.S. Army from June 2016 to September 2021. He served nearly 38 years in the Army, beginning as an enlisted infantryman and concluding with his final assignment as commander of the U.S. Africa Command. Before that, he served as commander of U.S. Army Europe, director of operations on the Joint Staff and commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division. In retirement, he chaired the congressionally mandated National Commission on the Future of the Army. He was among the first group of 50 soldiers selected in 1974 for what is now called the Green to Gold Program and was a Distinguished Military Graduate of John Carroll University, Cleveland.

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