[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.”
Coach Krzyzewski, Duke’s renowned head basketball coach, received the George Catlett Marshall Medal for his support of Soldiers and their families during the Marshall dinner at the AUSA annual meeting. The Marshall Medal is the highest award presented by AUSA.
The Administration’s contention that military pay has drastically increased is accurate, but there is much more to the story. Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, military pay was capped by Congress below private-sector wage growth which resulted in a 13.5% gap between military and civilian pay and was a serious retention and recruiting crisis by the early 2000s. Why would good soldiers remain in uniform if they were earning less that comparable jobs in the civilian sector? Over the last decade, Congress has worked hard to fix the pay gap, ensuring it kept pace with the private sector. But now, history is repeating itself. The Fiscal Year 2015 administration budget submission keeps pay caps in place for not just a second straight year, but for six straight years! Therefore pay would remain stagnant for military jobs that often require, long hours, hazardous duty, and overseas deployment.
It has taken Congress 10 years to make military pay competitive with the civilian sector again. It would be a travesty to undo that.
Wilmington University has invited us to join in honoring our nation’s Heroes!
On March 26, 2014 from 11:00am-1:00pm, Wilmington University will host a Spring Military/Veteran Appreciation Day at the Pratt Student Center (New Castle Campus, 320 N. DuPont Hwy, New Castle DE 19720).
The event is designed to recognize and honor our Servicemembers, Veterans, and their families. It will include attendance by Government Officials/Representatives, Senior Leadership from Wilmington University, our Military/Veteran Student Organization, and Vendors from the community. Activities will be available including a massage table, acupuncture table and a special “Rifle Spinning” demonstration performed by the ROTC Drill Team from William Penn High School! A light lunch, cake, and prizes will also be provided for attendees.
- 1100 – Event Begins: Sign in, networking/vendor tables/activities
- 1200 – Remarks/Recognition: Jim Webb, Military Affairs Coordinator
- 1210 – Rifle Spinning Demo: William Penn ROTC
- 1220 – Continue networking/vendor tables/activities
- 1300 – Event Ends
Supporting military vendors include: DAFB Airman & Family Readiness Center, Employer Support for Guard & Reserve (ESGR), MyHealtheVet, United Service Organizations Inc. (USO), Vet Center: Wilmington, Military One Source, DE Army National Guard, and the DE Air National Guard.
The Association of the U.S. Army Director of Family Programs recently distributed an update on their family activities.
Here are a few items that you might find helpful:
1. Blue Star Families 2013 Lifestyle Survey on what military families say is most important to them: http://bluestarfam.s3.amazonaws.com/42/6b/b/1583/OnePager2013.pdf
2. Upcoming locations of Hiring our Heroes Job Fairs: http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/events Note: there are three pages that run all the way through March of 2014 so don’t forget to scroll through all of them
3. Military Family Research Institute provided the newest information on what research is showing us about military children: See http://blog.militaryfamily.org/2013/06/26/how-are-military-families-doing-what-researchers-are-discovering/
4. AUSA is launching a Spouse membership initiative. It is scheduled for a soft launch in late September/ early October! How will it work?
a. Spouses will click on to a spouse membership link that will take them to a page explaining the new membership category
b. Spouses will be asked if their spouse is currently an AUSA member
i. If “yes”, spouse will type in their spouses email for verification and then will be taken to a page that allows them to join at the $14.oo rate (sans magazine)
ii. If “no” spouses will be able to join at the rate equivalent to their husbands rank or DA civilian position
c. FIRST 100 spouses to receive FREE Ann Hand AUSA membership pin (see photo)
5. The AUSA Family Programs Directorate represented the association in the following meetings since the last Update (Links to the events have been included:
a. OSD-Military Family Research Institute Launch of “How to Help Military & Veteran Families” materials: (FREE for download: https://www.mfri.purdue.edu/publications/how-to-help.aspx )
b. “Celebration of Our Military Kids’ Star Power” http://www.ourmilitarykids.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Star-Power-Press-Release-2013.pdf
c. Military Family Readiness Council (NMFA is a sitting council member- their report here: http://www.militaryfamily.org/feature-articles/military-family-readiness.html )
d. Presented at AWAG in Germany: http://www.awagonline.org/Seminar-Speakers.html
e. Blue Star Families Lifestyle Survey launch
f. Exhibited at TAPS National Military Survivor Seminarhttp://www.taps.org/
g. United through Reading Senior Spouse Roundtable: http://www.unitedthroughreading.org/
h. Military Families Research Institute Symposium: https://www.mfri.purdue.edu/newsroom/view-news.aspx?newsitemid=95
i. National Child Traumatic Stress Network Advisory Council Meeting (I represent not only AUSA but I am the military family rep) http://www.nctsn.org/
After the Army announced that it is reducing end-strength and reorganizing brigade combat teams, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., said, “As damaging as they are, these cuts don’t begin to reflect the crippling damage sequestration will do to our Armed Forces and National Security. The Committee will carefully examine the implications of this initial restructuring, but we all must understand that this is only the tip of the iceberg, much deeper cuts are still to come. America learned the hard way that our pre- 9/11 military was too small. Now, even before sequestration, we are reducing the force to that same size and foolishly expecting history to teach us a different lesson. What lessons will we learn when sequester doubles these cuts in just a few months’ time?”
The Army plans to reduce the authorized end-strength of the Active Army from 570,000 to 490,000 and the Army National Guard from 358,000 to 350,000 and will inactivate a total of 12 BCTs. In a press conference last week, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said, “The reduction of 80,000 Soldiers or 14% from the Active Component will be completed by the end of fiscal year 2017. Let me be clear, we are taking these actions as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011. This end-strength and force structure reduction predates sequestration. If sequestration continues into Fiscal Year 2014, Army reductions to end-strength, force structure and basing announced today will be only the first step.” Later in the press conference, Odierno reiterated, “I want to emphasize that these reductions do not reflect reductions due to sequestration. Full sequestration could require another significant reduction in Active, Guard, and Reserve force structure as much as 100,000 combined.”
AUSA President Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan said that “Congress must quickly find an alternative to sequestration. Everyone needs to be reminded of history’s lessons, of the dangers of a hollow Army that is called to fight the first battle of the next war – but without enough manpower, training or weaponry to do the job – of an Army which then pays the price in the blood of too many Soldiers killed or wounded while they train the hard way – during war, not before it.”
Registration is now open for the 2013 AUSA Annual Meeting, October 21-23, along with the Military Family Forums. The AUSA Annual Meeting is the largest land power exposition and professional development forum in North America. The Annual Meeting consists of informative presentations, panel discussions on pertinent military and national security subjects, workshops and important AUSA business meetings.
The Family forums within the Annual Meeting are designed to engage and inform both the military community and the greater civilian community around them. AUSA Family Programs staff are excited to connect with military families, share resources, and gain insight from their scheduled speakers and panelists. The forums this year will feature the Army’s top leaders and in-depth discussions about holistic approaches to self-care and the growing variety of community resources. Register today!
Welcome to the new web site for the AUSA Delaware Chapter!
Our mission is to support Soldiers and the civilians and families who work alongside of them in Delaware. Membership in AUSA is open to all components of the Army, families, government civilians, companies and concerned citizens who care about Soldiers and their families.
AUSA works diligently on Capitol Hill ensuring that our Soldiers and their families are taken care of. AUSA is also a watch dog for government civilian’s issues.
We are glad you could join us and hope you find our site useful.