AUSA 2021: Different But With the Same High Quality

AUSA 2021: Different But With the Same High Quality

Annual Meeting
Photo by: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades for AUSA

With less than a month to go before the Association of the U.S. Army’s 2021 Annual Meeting and Exposition, planning continues for a safe, comfortable and high-quality event.

Scheduled for Oct. 11–13 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., this year’s in-person event will have the same key features of past meetings with a few adjustments.

“This year’s event may be different, but we will still deliver the same quality you have come to expect from AUSA,” retired Gen. Carter Ham, AUSA president and CEO, said in a Sept. 14 statement. 

Focused on the theme “America’s Army and its People, Transforming for the Future,” senior Army leaders including Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston will address the conference. Additionally, other leaders from across the Army also will participate, and there will be several contemporary military forums and military family forums.

There also will be more than 650 exhibitors in five halls on both levels of the convention center.

AUSA remains committed to the health and safety of everyone participating, Ham said. “We are continuously monitoring recommendations from Washington, D.C., health authorities, convention center leaders and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” he said.

Here’s a look at the latest.

Proof of vaccination

Proof of full vaccination will be required to attend the in-person event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. This decision was made in consultation with the Army and given the recent trends in COVID-19 transmission levels in the D.C. area. AUSA is partnering with Safe Expo to provide a safe event. Full details can be found here.


The District of Columbia requires everyone over the age of 2 to wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status. Participants at the AUSA Annual Meeting will be required to always wear masks, except when actively eating or drinking. Masks cannot include vents or valves, and gaiters, bandanas and scarves are not permitted.   

Social distancing

Social distancing is highly encouraged and will be implemented where possible. Seating at AUSA events will be spaced out so that everyone feels comfortable.

Food and beverage restrictions

The convention center is mandating that all food and beverage be consumed sitting down or standing at a table. Food and beverage cannot be consumed while moving around the convention center. If you are hosting events with food or beverage this year, please plan accordingly.

In addition, AUSA is adjusting events where food is traditionally served to large audiences to ensure the health and safety of everyone participating. Here are a few notable changes:

Oct. 11 

  • Moorhead Guard and Reserve Breakfast – Modified to a forum.
  • SMA Forum and Awards Breakfast – Modified to a forum and awards presentation only.
  • Community Partner Luncheon – Canceled, with awards presented at the AUSA Regional Breakfasts.
  • SMA Awards Luncheon – Modified to an awards ceremony.
  • President’s Reception – Canceled. 

Oct. 12

  • Warrant Officers Breakfast – Canceled. The Warrant Officer Forum will occur as planned.
  • Congressional Breakfast – Canceled. AUSA will provide shuttle buses from Capitol Hill to the convention center on Oct. 12–13. 
  • Eisenhower Luncheon – Modified to a presentation by McConville. Awards will be presented as scheduled.

Oct. 13

  • Army Civilian Luncheon – Canceled. Civilian forums continue as planned. 
  • National Partners Luncheon – Canceled.
  • Marshall Reception and Dinner – Modified to an award presentation. More information will be available soon.  

All other events will continue as planned with adjustments for social distancing, as well as food and beverage in some cases. If you have purchased tickets to any affected event, please stand by for additional guidance.


AUSA, in coordination with the Army, will livestream the main events, including the opening ceremony and contemporary military forums. If you’re not able to attend in person, the livestream will be available on the AUSA website beginning Oct. 11. Additional livestream viewing areas will be added to the convention center.

“As you can see, this year’s event will be tremendous,” Ham said. “We are committed to providing a high-quality and safe Annual Meeting. We look forward to seeing you next month.”

To view the latest program, click here.

To register, click here.