The AUSA meeting – highlighting the ‘Profession of Arms’ – will focus on panel discussions, educational and professional development forums and special multimedia presentations and workshops that will reinforce, examine and showcase the army, the soldier and the army family.

Walter E. Washington Convention Center and hotels

This year the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition will occupy the entire Walter E. Washington Convention Center, for the first time in the nine years it has been held there. 

Both levels of exhibit space will be occupied, with displays from the US Army and the national defence industry, with more than 700,000 square feet of displays. 

AUSA officials said the Association has also added new international pavilions, with displays from Germany, Britain, France, Canada, Australia, Israel, Denmark and South Korea.

“This represents almost a 50% increase in exhibits over last year at the nation’s foremost defence industry expo,” an official said.

“The meeting attracts more than 36,000 members and guests annually.”

Association officials said this year’s three-day forum will emphasize “AUSA’s important educational and professional role in supporting the warfighting and transforming army – active, Army National Guard, US Army Reserve – the men and women who serve, retirees, veterans, army civilians, ROTC and US Military Academy cadets, contractors – and all their families.”

The meeting attracts more than 36,000 members and guests annually.

Only AUSA members may purchase tickets for lunches, dinners and receptions in advance of the meeting. Non-members may purchase tickets to the functions on-site at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center – if available.

Anyone may pre-register for the meeting by visiting the AUSA Web site at – ‘Annual Meeting’. There is no registration fee. Lt. Gen. Roger Thompson, USA, Ret, the Association’s vice president for membership and meetings, said: “This year’s meeting enhances the already powerful professional development opportunity.  We have an additional large exhibit area full of new and enhanced military and industry exhibits. It’s really a great way to learn about the product and service capabilities available to all soldiers and military organisations.  Last year’s meeting had more than 36,000 attendees and we expect more this year. Why? For the exhibits and very informative forum presentations for soldiers of all ranks and army components, Department of the Army civilians and family members. Almost 100 of our chapters are represented. They come from all over the world – their home.”

There will be more than 600 exhibits – 500 from industry, 100 from the Army, AUSA officials said.

Michael Scanlan, the AUSA’s director of industry affairs, said: “The interest in this year’s Annual Meeting and Exposition has exceeded all expectations.  We have seen a significant increase in industry and Army participation that has filled up the additional halls that we have added this year. 

“At this point, we are once again sold out of exhibit space even after adding more than 230,000 square feet. This is going to be an incredible meeting.”

The Renaissance Washington DC Hotel, located within walking distance of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, will be the meeting’s official headquarters hotel.

All programme activities, sessions and social events will take place in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center except the Chapter Presidents Dinner, the ROTC Luncheon, the Corporate Member Luncheon and the Army Civilian Luncheon, which will be held in the Renaissance Hotel.

Programme highlights

Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret, AUSA president, will host the chapter presidents at their dinner Sunday, 9 October. The speaker was not selected at press time.

On Monday morning, 10 October, members of the reserve components will attend the Maj. Gen. Robert G. Moorhead Guard and Reserve Breakfast. Gen. David M. Rodriguez, commander, US Army Forces Command, has been invited to speak.

Following this breakfast, the meeting will officially open with a patriotic presentation by the 3rd US Infantry (The Old Guard) and The United States Army Band, ‘Pershing’s Own’ in the center’s ballroom.

The secretary of the Army, John M. McHugh, will be the meeting’s keynote speaker.

Three luncheons will follow the opening session. The Sergeant Major of the Army Awards Luncheon is the venue where the selection of the Army Noncommissioned Officer of the Year and Soldier of the Year will be announced.

NCOs and soldiers – to include the drill sergeants of the year, recruiters of the year, the Advanced Individual Training platoon sergeant of the year and the winners of Army-wide competitions – will also be introduced.

The Army vice chief of staff, Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, will speak at this luncheon. Gen. Robert W. Cone, who commands US Training and Doctrine Command, will address the ROTC Luncheon for cadets and PMS personnel.

AUSA will also host the Corporate Member Luncheon on Monday. The invited speaker is Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, commander, U.S. Army Materiel Command. There will be a special reception for visiting international dignitaries – hosted on Monday evening by the Association’s Industry Affairs Directorate.

Monday’s activities conclude with the President’s Reception honouring the secretary of the Army, the Army chief of staff, Gen. Raymond T Odierno and the sergeant major of the Army, Raymond F. Chandler III.

On Tuesday 11 October, the Association will host the Congressional Staffers Breakfast, where McHugh will speak to the assembled Hill staffers and Army guests before they tour the exhibit hall.

At the Dwight D. Eisenhower Luncheon, Odierno will deliver his ‘State of the Army’ address to the membership, the drill sergeants, recruiters of the year and the Advanced Individual Training platoon sergeant of the year will be honoured and receive awards.

The Army Civilian Professional Development Seminar and a luncheon for civilian employees are on Wednesday 12 October. Under Secretary of the Army Joseph Westphal has been invited to address the Army civilians at their special luncheon.

The Sustaining Member Luncheon for the Association’s defence industry members will be held on Wednesday. The speaker has not been selected for this luncheon. Leon Panetta, the secretary of defence, will speak at a special session on Wednesday morning.

Special events for NCOs and soldiers

Chandler will convene the annual Sergeant Major of the Army Conference for sergeants first class and above on Monday morning. The session with staff sergeants and below will convene on Tuesday morning.

The NCO Professional Development Forum will be held at 9 am, Tuesday 11 October, following the Sergeant Major of the Army Conference with staff sergeants and below.

This year’s topic is ‘The Profession of Arms’.

During this session, NCOs will be briefed by the US Army Training and Doctrine Command on the Noncommissioned Officer Educational System and physical readiness training and testing.

“This is a unique professional development opportunity for soldiers and NCOs attending the AUSA Annual Meeting. The forum will provide input and feedback to Training and Doctrine Command that will offer more direct responses to both soldier needs and developmental innovations.” Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmie W. Spencer, USA, Ret, director of AUSA’s noncommissioned officer and soldier programmes, said.

NCOs and soldiers will also receive a special tour of Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknowns on Wednesday.

ILW forums

To emphasise the Annual Meeting’s focus as a Professional Development Forum, the Association’s Institute of Land Warfare will conduct an expanded series of Contemporary Military Forums throughout the three-day event.

ILW papers

ILW paper presentations are scheduled for Wednesday 12 October, from 9 to 11 am. Titles and authors of the papers will be announced at a later date.

AUSA books

AUSA’s book programme is conducted in cooperation with the Naval Institute Press, Praeger Security International and The University Press of Kentucky. Selected authors will speak about their books during the Authors’ Forum, Monday 10 October, from 12:30 to 5:30 pm. Check your Annual Meeting Programme for details.

Books and authors to be presented include:

  • ‘Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge,’ by John Rickkard. Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky (September 2011).
  • ‘Leadership in Dangerous Situations: A Handbook for the Armed Forces, Emergency Services, and First Responders,’ by Patrick Sweeney. Publisher: Naval Institute Press (August 2011).
  • ‘Grab Their Belts to Fight Them: The Viet-Cong’s Big-Unit War Against the U.S., 1965-1966,’ by Warren Wilkins. Publisher: Naval Institute Press (May 2011).
  • ‘Beyond Guns and Steel: A War Termination Strategy,’ by Dominic Caraccilo. Publisher: Praeger Security Studies (January 2011).
  • ‘The Quiet Professional: Major Richard J. Meadows of the U.S. Army Special Forces,’ by Alan Hoe. Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky (August 2011).
  • ‘Kontum: The Battle to Save South Vietnam,’ by Thomas McKenna. Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky (August 2011).
  • ‘Passing the Test: Combat in Korea, April-June 1951,’ by John Greenwood. Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky (September 2011).
  • ‘Black Ops, Vietnam: The Operational History of MACVSOG,’ by Robert Gillespie. Publisher: Naval Institute Press (September 2011).

They will be available throughout the meeting at the AUSA Pavilion – booth 407, exhibit hall A – for book signings. All AUSA books will be sold at the pavilion, and Association members receive discounts of up to one-third off individual AUSA books.

AUSA family programmes

AUSA’s Family Programmes Directorate will present four military family forums highlighting important issues and programmes that address the impact on military families of repeated deployments and continued stress. 

In keeping with the Annual Meeting theme ‘America’s Army: Strength of the Nation’ and recognising the contributions and sacrifice of army families, the theme for the military family forums is ‘America’s Families: Strength of the Army’.

  • Military Family Forum I: Monday, 10 October from 2 to 4:30 pm, “America’s Families: Our Leaders Speak.” Invited speakers include:
  • Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh
  • Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. and Mrs. Raymond T. Odierno
  • Director of Army National Guard Maj. Gen. and Mrs. Raymond W. Carpenter (Acting)
  • Chief of the Army Reserve Lt. Gen. and Mrs. Jack C. Stultz

This forum will allow army leaders to provide their perspective on the state of army families, to include key issues being addressed with the active army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve. 

Recognition of the AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year will also take place.

  • Military Family Forum II: Tuesday, 11 October from 8:30 to 11:00 am, “America’s Families: Ready and Resilient.”

Topics include:

  • Sustaining Soldiers and Families – Speaker: Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, assistant chief of staff, installation management, and commander, Installation Management Command.
  • Military Spouse Employment and Education.
  • Identifying, Preventing and Available Resources for the Prevention of Domestic Violence within the Army Family.

Teen presenters from the Backpack Journalist Programme – A two-day journalism, reporting and broadcast workshop for military youth ages 14-17 – will discuss the positive impact this programme has had for them by providing an outlet to address emotional issues caused by having a family member deployed, as well as the opportunity it provides to develop writing, journalism, photography and reporting skills.

The first runner-up AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year will also be recognised for their contributions to the military community.

  • Military Family Forum III: Tuesday, 11 October from 1:30 to 4:00 pm, “America’s Families: Honoring Our Survivors.”

Topics include: 

  • Update on Current Legislative Issues Concerning Surviving Families.
  • The Impact of a Service Members’ Death on the Military family:  A National Study of Bereavement by the Uniformed Services University Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress -Dr. Steven Cozza and Dr. Jill Harrington-LaMorie.
  • Survivor Outreach Services Lessons Learned.
  • Symbols of Honor and Recognition.
  • Video Presentation Featuring Surviving Army Family Members.

This forum will address key issues and concerns raised by survivors and also provide information to help army families be better prepared. Military Family Forum IV, Wednesday, 12 October, 9:30 am to noon, “America’s Families: The Community Embrace.”

Topics include:

  • Community Covenant – Beyond the Signing Ceremony.
  • Building Support Near Installations.
  • Building Capacity for Geographically Dispersed Families – Speakers: Rae Pike, Madison, Fla., and Julianne Sanford, Jacksonville, Texas.
  • Building Community Networks – One Community at a Time.
  • Inspiring, Advocating and Connecting.

This forum will highlight the Army’s Community Covenant shift to emphasize the establishment of local Community Support Networks (CSN), underscore local CSN lessons learned and bring attention to what the Army National Guard and Army Reserve are doing to inspire their local communities. 

“This year the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition will occupy the entire Walter E. Washington Convention Center.”

There will also be recognition of second runner- up AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year acknowledging their contributions to army families. A short video presentation of specific Annual Meeting events and interviews prepared by the students of the Backpack Journalist programmes will end the Family Forum series.

There will be a question and answer session following each Family Forum. Early registration for the Military Family Forums is strongly encouraged to help us provide the best seating options for all attendees.

For updated information on Military Family Forum presentations please visit or call (800)336-4570, Ext. 151.

Retiree activities

Retiree Seminar, Monday, 10 October, Representatives from Army Retirement Services and ‘My Army Benefits’ have been invited to attend. An SBP/Pre-Retirement Briefing, 9 to 11 am, Wednesday, 12 October, will be conducted by the Department of the Army Retirement Services Office. Questions on these sessions should be directed to AUSA’s Sgt. Maj. Leroy Bussells, USA, Ret., 1-(800) 336-4570, Ext. 678 or email:

Marshall dinner

Career Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, who was called out of retirement from the United States Foreign Service by President Obama to serve as ambassador to Afghanistan, will receive the Association’s highest award for selfless service to the nation, the George Catlett Marshall Medal, at the Marshall dinner on Wednesday night. He will also address the dinner, the Annual Meeting’s closing event.

Annual meeting information

For up-to-date information and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the 2011 Annual Meeting and Exposition – A Professional Development Forum – go to the AUSA Annual Meeting Web site at