HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The United States Army has to be ready to fight tonight -- and every day after that.

The future will take center stage as Army leaders focus on the theme, "Modernizing and Equipping America's Army for Today and Tomorrow," when the Association of the United States Army's Institute of Land Warfare Global Force Symposium & Exposition returns to Huntsville for the fifth consecutive year March 26-28. Held at the Von Braun Center, the three-day event will give attendees the opportunity to hear from Secretary of the Army Mark Esper, Under Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy and Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville, who will address what's next for the Army, including the new Army Futures Command.

"Readiness remains absolutely the prime imperative -- you've got to be ready today, but you've also got to think about readiness for tomorrow," said retired Lt. Gen. Patricia McQuistion, vice president, membership and meetings, for AUSA. "The world is changing. The Army sees those changes, and seeks to better understand them and determine how to best execute a new national security strategy and national defense strategy. Global Force gives Army leaders a forum to talk about today's readiness, while turning more attention and resources to thinking about the deeper future."

Esper will provide the keynote presentation Monday, March 26, providing the background for why the Army is doing what it's doing and why, setting the stage for McCarthy, who will delve more into the how and the what. McCarthy and McConville will then hold a Q&A with the audience.

"We expect this year's symposium to be the best yet, because senior Army leaders are using it as a forum and a medium to get their messages out about the Army," McQuistion said. "AUSA is a voice for the Army, and we're really pleased the Army would use this venue to get the message out to so many of its constituents."

Six of the symposium's seven panel discussions will focus on one of the Army's six modernization priorities: long range precision fires, next generation combat vehicles, future vertical lift, the Army network, air and missile defense, and Soldier lethality. Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey will be on hand for the Non-Commissioned Officer panel, "Training, Educating and Progressive Development of our Soldiers for Today and Tomorrow."

Attendees are encouraged to download the AUSA app to keep up to date on the agenda, which is subject to change. In addition to the panels and presentations, the symposium will include the Rocket City Bash social at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, a Young Professionals Networking event, and Our Community Salutes ROTC and Future Service Members Luncheon, all hosted and made possible by the local AUSA Redstone-Huntsville chapter.

"We appreciate very much all the effort and resources the Redstone-Huntsville chapter are putting in," McQuistion said. "The Our Community Salutes event is really a tremendous community outreach that tells people about the importance of serving our nation in uniform, and that this community cares and wants to acknowledge these young men and women."

The exhibit hall will also be "loaded with capabilities of interest to Army leaders," McQuistion said. The Warriors to the Workforce career fair will be held Tuesday, March 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Back by popular demand, and in a humorous nod to the amount of walking attendees typically do at the symposium, attendees can participate in a Walking Challenge, which will crown a winner daily, as well as overall. All attendees need to do is bring their fitness tracker to the symposium, let the staff at Registration know they are participating and record their daily step total.

For more information about the symposium, or to register, visit