The U.S. Army was established on June 14, 1775 and this year marks its 246th birthday. This year’s them is “Honoring the Courage of the American Soldier.” For more on events associated with this year’s birthday, check out the following links:
Update from Gary Dawson
The Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) has joined six other organizations to get congressional support for the Reserve Component, including expanded health care coverage, eliminating equipment shortfalls, and an increase in full-time personnel support.
Along with the Adjutants General Association of the U.S., Air Force Association, Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the U.S., National Governors Association, National Guard Association of the United States and Reserve Officers Association, AUSA wrote to leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees seeking support for legislative priorities that “directly correspond with the National Defense Strategy to restore readiness and build a more lethal force” and “will enhance Reserve Component operational readiness while continuing to promote the goals of the Total Force.”
The Associations are asking Congress to consider expanding the Tricare program to federal employees, who are now excluded and study the feasibility of eliminating premiums.
Additionally, the associations ask for an increase in authorized full-time National Guard and Reserve personnel that keeps pace with increases in the size and optempo of the Reserve Component. They also ask for continued congressional support for “robust funding” of equipment and platforms to ensure the reserve component keeps pace with active forces and funding to address equipment shortfalls and compatibility issues.
[From AUSA National: Wednesday, December 26, 2018]
A 2.6 percent across-the-board pay raise in basic pay and drill pay is set to appear in mid-January payroll deposits for Regular Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve soldiers, along with an average 2.55 percent increase in basic allowance for housing for those who receive this payment.
There is no increase in 2019 in basic allowance for subsistence payments.
The basic pay hike is the biggest increase in nine years. It matches last year’s average private-sector pay increase.
Military retirement, Social Security and veterans’ disability and survivor benefits increased 2.8 percent, effective Dec. 1. Those increases, based on the increase in consumer prices, will first be paid in January.
Negotiations over the 2019 federal civilian pay raise have not been resolved.
Happy New Year! As you may know, the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS) recently partnered with the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), so that for the next year, members of one are members of both.
So, welcome to the Delaware Chapter, Association of the U.S. Army. AUSA represents all components of the Army; Active, National Guard, and Reserve, and their families. AUSA is part of the military coalition in Washington that supports military pay and benefits, and funding for readiness, new equipment, and military construction.
The Delaware Chapter AUSA supports ROTC, Junior ROTC, and conducts “Our Community Salutes,” a program that recognizes and thanks, Delaware high school seniors who have chosen to join one of the military services after graduation. The seventh annual event is scheduled for 23 May 2018 at Cavaliers Country Club. See www.ocsde.org
We meet 2-3 times per year, send out a Newsletter regularly, and encourage attendance at the Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington each October. Visit AUSA at www.ausa.org, and our Chapter on Facebook.
When we think of 3-D printing, we often think of either those Mattel children’s toy printers, the goopy pen thing that allows you to “draw” in the air, or some sort of high-tech printing used in building components and manufacturing. What if we told you that it’s also making its way into veteran’s lives in a tangible way; making life easier with new prosthetics?
Walter Reed Hospital’s 3-D Medical Applications Center is providing wounded soldiers with custom printed implants and prosthetics. In fact, the five person team can print almost anything and is providing their services to other Department of Defense or Department of Veterans Affairs medical providers. DoD’s Armed with Science recently did an article about the team which you can check out here: Walter Reed’s 3-D Printing Innovations Help Warfighters Get Back to Life
[From AUSA National] March 22, 2017
By the end of September, the Army’s end strength will receive a boost of 28,000 soldiers above the original troop levels authorized for the current fiscal year.
The increase was authorized as part of the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and leaders say it is expected to markedly improve readiness. Leaders were informed of the increase in December.
“The No. 1 problem we have right now is that formations are manned at 95 percent,” Lt. Gen. Joe Anderson, deputy chief of staff for operations, told the House Armed Services Committee. Compounding that problem, he explained, are other variables in soldiers’ availability such as those who are nondeployable, retired, on permanent change of station or attending school, which bring formation levels down as low as 78 percent.
Across the force, the Regular Army will grow by 16,000 soldiers to an end strength of 476,000; National Guard levels will jump by 8,000 to 343,000 soldiers; and the Army Reserve will end the fiscal year with 199,000 soldiers, a bump of 4,000 troops.
To achieve the higher end strength by Sept. 30, the Army will raise its accession mission to 68,500 and boost training resources. Enlisted retention is set to increase with incentives, and officer accessions and retention is expected to increase officer strength by 1,000.
Soldiers will go to undermanned tactical units and fill other gaps following recommendations of ongoing Army analysis.
Delaware has a long tradition of signal readiness. With cyber and electronic warfare capabilities being a top priority for the Army’s new cyber directorate, this bodes well for our first state Soldiers.
To that end, BG (P) Patricia Frost who heads the new cyber directorate, spoke recently at the two-day symposium “Mad Scientist 2016: The 2050 Cyber Army” held at the U.S. Military Academy. Her charge is to oversee electronic warfare and cybersecurity and to optimize exploits in the two arenas. The Army has fielded 41 of the 133 defense-wide teams that Congress has mandated be established by 2018. Frost believes, however, there are offensive and defensive gaps that will need to be filled at a tactical level.
For more on the story, check out AUSA’s post “Giving Field Commanders More Cyber Muscle”
[From AUSA National]
The Army would get a $7 billion increase in its base budget for 2016 under the Obama administration plan unveiled Monday.
The increase primarily goes to operations, maintenance and weapons modernization programs.
The administration requests $147 billion for the Army in fiscal 2016, $2 billion less than the current budget in a reduction resulting from reduced funding for contingency operations.
For fiscal year 2015, the Army received $121 billion in the base budget and $28 billion in operating contingency funds. For fiscal 2016, the administration proposes boosting the base budget to $127 billion while cutting the contingency budget to $21 billion.
The 2016 budget was announced Feb. 2, at a time when the Army has 140,000 soldiers serving in 150 foreign countries, and with nine of the Army’s 10 active divisions having headquarters actively engaged in ongoing operations.
The modest boost for the Army is part of a decision by the administration to ask Congress for a 2016 defense budget that is $38 billion over spending caps set in the Budget Control Act, something that will require consent from lawmakers. While the Army would receive $7 billion more than current spending, the budget would provide a $16 billion increase for the Air Force and an almost $12 billion increase for the Navy, according to Defense Department briefing charts.
Forty-five percent of the Army’s base budget goes for personnel costs, with 36 percent for operations and maintenance and 18 percent for weapons programs. Spending on personnel is flat, even though the Army expects to be smaller in 2016, a result covering the cost of modest increases in pay and benefits. The budget includes a 1.3 percent basic pay hike, an average 1.2 percent increase in housing allowance and a 3.4 percent increase in subsistence allowance.
Active-duty personnel levels would drop from 490,000 today to 475,000 by Oct. 1, 2016, under the plan. Army National Guard strength, now 350,200, would drop to 342,000. Army Reserve strength would remain at 198,000.
There is $16.1 billion allocated to Army weapons procurement in the budget request, up from $13.9 billion in 2015. Increases are spread over aircraft, missiles, track vehicle and ammunition programs, but Army officials said a top priority is modernizing Apache, Black Hawk and Chinook helicopter fleets in support of the Aviation Restructuring Initiative, a controversial topic where an independent commission could end up deciding details and timing.
Ninety-four Black Hawks, 64 Apaches and 39 Chinooks would be purchased in 2016, an increase from the 87 Black Hawks, 35 Apaches and 32 Chinooks funded in 2015. Money also is included to buy 450 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles and upgrades for 87 Strykers.
For more headlines, click here.
[From AUSA National]
Unhealthy and unnecessary friction in the Total Force is a consequence of the larger budget pressures facing the Army. We need to make certain the suboptimal decisions foisted on the Army’s leaders don’t damage the overall cohesiveness of what is shaping up to be a much smaller active, Guard and Reserve force.
You can read the entire op-ed article published in Breaking Defense on January 19, 2015 here. Included you will also find links to MG (Ret) Gus Hargett’s comments for NGAUS’s perspective on the current budget crisis facing the Department of Defense and the Department of the Army in particular. Regardless, GEN (Ret) Sullivan is right in that the “most precious, capable, and flexible weapon system is people.”