Army hosts educational event for members of Congress, staffers
February 14, 2012
By Erika Wonn
WASHINGTON (Feb. 14, 2012) -- The U.S. Army's Office of the Chief Legislative Liaison hosted more than 400 congressional staffers Feb. 1 at the fourth annual Army Day on Capitol Hill.
During this event, the Army demonstrates to Congress the modern advances in the training and equipping of U.S. Soldiers. Staffers have the chance to view displays of Army equipment, weapons and robotics, but most importantly they have the opportunity to interact with Soldiers and hear the Army story.
"Speaking with Soldiers and hearing their personal stories and how they've used this equipment in the field was the most interesting aspect of this whole experience," said staffer Katie Hughes.
During the 2012 Army Day, staffers had the opportunity to understand a little of what it's like to be a Soldier by sampling food from a combat feeding exhibit and shooting actual pistols used by Soldiers overseas. In addition to the displays, Soldiers from the Old Guard and staff from Program Executive Office, or PEO, Soldier had the chance to tell members of Congress and their staff how decisions made on the Hill equip the Soldiers in the field.
"I was impressed by the opportunities the Army has to train and equip their Soldiers using these new innovations." said Hughes. "It was interesting to see how our Soldiers can use exactly what has been produced."
The Army's Office of the Chief Legislative Liaison communicates Army legislative issues to ensure a vital and enduring relationship between the Army and Congress.
"This event is one of the primary ways we can connect with staffers and members of congress," Chief of the House Liaison Division Col. Wilson Shoffner said. "We have a chance to show them what Soldiers do."
Although other services conduct similar days on the Hill, Army Day had a more interactive and personal touch.
"It's all about the people," said congressional staffer Darrell Owens. "Many other services have great ships and amazing airplanes, but the great people you meet with the Army reminds you that's what it's really all about."
"When you think about the Air Force or the Navy, you think about a ship or an airplane," said Shoffner. "But when you think about the Army you picture a Soldier."