On 9/11 Anniversary, Ham Recalls Courage and Focus

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Flag unfurled over the Pentagon.
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On 9/11 Anniversary, Ham Recalls Courage and Focus

Twenty years ago, terrorists in hijacked airliners changed America—and the military—forever.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. Shortly afterward, at 9:37 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the west side of the Pentagon, shearing through three of the building’s five rings.

AUSA Honors the Fallen at Pentagon 9/11 Memorial

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AUSA staff members lay a wreath at the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial.
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AUSA Honors the Fallen at Pentagon 9/11 Memorial

Members of the Association of the U.S. Army’s headquarters staff, led by retired Gen. Bob Brown, the association’s executive vice president, marked the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by laying a wreath at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Virginia.

“The Association of the U.S. Army is honored to have the opportunity to recognize our fallen heroes on the 20th anniversary of 9/11,” said Brown, who will become AUSA’s president and CEO on Oct. 1.

DoD to Require COVID Shots for Troops by Mid-September

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soldier getting vaccine
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DoD to Require COVID Shots for Troops by Mid-September

The Pentagon will make the COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for service members by mid-September, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Aug. 9 in a memo to the force.

Shots could be required sooner if the vaccines receive full approval from the Food and Drug Administration, according to the memo.

Pentagon Moves Closer to Pre-Pandemic Normality

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The Pentagon
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Pentagon Moves Closer to Pre-Pandemic Normality

Beginning July 9, health protection restrictions inside the Pentagon will be further relaxed to allow up to 90% occupancy in most workspaces. 

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said this is not a complete return to “pre-COVID-19 normal,” but it is getting closer. 

“We are going to continue force health protection levels to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our workforce,” he said July 8. 

Army Intel Prepares for Complex Environment

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Army Intel Prepares for Complex Environment

The Army’s intelligence corps is focused on people, readiness, modernization and relationships with allies and partners as it prepares to compete in an increasingly complex environment. 

“In the 31 years I’ve been in the Army, the strategic environment has never been more complex or, quite frankly, ... harder to assess,” Lt. Gen. Laura Potter, the Army deputy chief of staff for intelligence, said March 10 during The AUSA Noon Report, a webinar hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army.

Norquist Backs Market-Based Pay for DoD Civilians

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Norquist Backs Market-Based Pay for DoD Civilians

David Norquist, the Pentagon comptroller nominated to become deputy defense secretary, is a former Army GS-9 program and budget analyst who believes in fiscal and structural reform and is a strong supporter of the military’s civilian workforce.

Testifying July 24 before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Norquist said the biggest challenge facing the Defense Department’s civilian workforce is competing for talent with other private and public employers.

Esper Confirmed as Defense Secretary

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Esper Confirmed as Defense Secretary

Army Secretary Mark T. Esper has been confirmed to be the next defense secretary, giving the Pentagon its first Senate-confirmed leader since Jan. 1 and leading off a series of major changes in Army leadership.

The Senate on July 23 voted 90-8 to confirm Esper for the top Pentagon job. Senators are expected to soon also vote on Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where, if confirmed, he will succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, who is completing his four-year term as the nation’s top military officer.

Esper Promises DoD Focus on Troops and Families

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Esper Promises DoD Focus on Troops and Families

Defense secretary nominee Mark Esper, a retired Army officer with 21 years of service, says he’ll have a “particular focus” on the well-being of service members and their families if confirmed for the top Pentagon post.

Currently serving as Army secretary, Esper is a 1986 U.S. Military Academy graduate who served 10 years in the Regular Army followed by 11 cumulative years in the Army Reserve and Army National Guard.

Esper Says He’s Ready to Be Defense Secretary

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Esper Says He’s Ready to Be Defense Secretary

Army Secretary Mark Esper told a Senate committee that his “broad and diverse experience” has prepared him to be secretary of defense.

Appearing July 16 before the Senate Armed Services Committee just 18½ hours after his formal nomination, Esper cited his 21 years as a soldier, experience working in staff jobs for Congress and the Defense Department, time in the private sector working on defense and foreign policy issues, and almost two years as Army secretary as reasons why he’s prepared.