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Army Leaders Seek Help Keeping Momentum

Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy addresses the Congressional Breakfast at the  2019 AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition at the Washington Convention Center on Oct. 15, 2019.
Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy addresses the Congressional Breakfast at the 2019 AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition at the Washington Convention Center on Oct. 15, 2019.
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Pete Marovich for AUSA
Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Army needs continued, bipartisan help to maintain the aggressive pace of improvements across the force, its leaders said Oct 15.

Speaking at a congressional breakfast during the Association of the U.S. Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said the Army is on a solid path of both increasing readiness and making leaps forward in modernization, but these efforts could dry up without continued financial and policy support.

“We need your help,” McCarthy said, noting that the Army requires stable budgets, but it faces uncertainty because a temporary government funding bill expires in six weeks.

Concern about funding beyond Nov. 21 is just the most immediate concern. The Army needs to have steady, reliable and adequate funds for several more years, he said, estimating that modernization programs are “two or three years away from irreversible momentum.”

The breakfast was held as Congress was returning from a break. “Please let us know how we can help to get the FY 2020 budget deal front and center,” McCarthy said. “The Army has been making tremendous progress.”

McConville said the Army’s big Cold War buildup in the 1970s was a period when bipartisanship worked to resolve national security and economic problems, he said, adding that the same effort is needed today.