The Association of the United States Army is gathering in person once again, with its 2021 Annual Meeting and Exposition set to take place Oct. 11-13 at Washington D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Informally, the event kicks off Oct. 10 with the Army Ten-Miler.
“We’re using ‘welcome back,’ as a theme this year,” said retired Brig. Gen. Jack Haley, who in July was appointed AUSA’s vice president of membership and meetings. “There’s an excitement and appetite for people to get together.”
The group had a virtual meeting last year due to COVID-19. Haley said the convention center has implemented no-contact screening and check-in, as well as enhanced air and surface sanitation. Event organizers will also follow all local mask and vaccination policies. Registration is free, and badge holders have full access to non-ticketed events and the exhibit halls.
Haley described the meeting as a forum for Army leaders to get their ideas out. For example, Secretary of the Army Christine E. Wormuth, the first woman to hold the position, will have an opportunity to lay out her vision for the Army at the President’s Reception, which is a ticketed event. She is also scheduled to be a panelist at the Military Family Forum III: Army Senior Leaders’ Town Hall.
Reserve and National Guard soldiers are set to be celebrated at the Maj. Gen. Robert G. Moorhead National Guard/Army Reserve Breakfast, a ticketed event the first morning. Haley said the Contemporary Military Forum will include lessons learned from the Army’s pandemic response, and the Homeland Security Seminar: Enhancing National Resilience always involves the National Guard, Haley said.
Soldiers looking ahead to post-Army life will find guidance should check out Your Next Mission, hosted by the American Freedom Foundation. Haley said attendees can have their resume screened and talk to potential employers. There are also several retirement planning seminars on the docket.
Haley, who served 30 years before retiring in 2017, originally joined AUSA as a lieutenant. He hopes younger soldiers will head to Washington to see what the group has to offer them and their families.
For more information on program and travel information, visit AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition. Online registration is open until Oct. 5; on-site registration begins Oct. 8.Read comments