AUSTIN, TEXAS - U.S. Army Futures Command staff toured the Long Center for the Performing Arts on July 10, in preparation for their "Thank You, Austin!" event.
Thank You, Austin! is a free event on July 22 with live music, performances by the Army Drill Team and Golden Knights parachute team, and a concert by the U.S. Army Field Band. The fun starts at 4 p.m.
Celebrating the city of Austin and the first anniversary of the United States Army Futures Command, the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus will present "This We'll Defend--Tomorrow is Worth Protecting," a powerful concert that puts audience members side-by-side with the soldiers defending our country.
Members of the AFC staff led a tour of the Long Center for Performing Arts for Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Crosby, the senior enlisted advisor at Army Futures Command, to discuss the layout of activities and schedule of events.
"This is huge," Crosby said about the event.
The AFC staff has been working for months to plan Thank You, Austin! and many factors were considered to create the best experience for Austinites. Some of those factors included an appropriate location and identifying which Army units were available to help showcase Army culture.
"A bulk of our efforts were spent coordinating with other units to find support," said Staff Sgt. Will Reiner, an event organizer for Thank You, Austin! "What we found was that everyone we talked to were happy to help AFC out."
"Because of their willingness to assist, we were able to use assets from 1st Cavalry Division, the Kansas Army Reserves, U.S. Army Recruiting Command, and the Military District of Washington - all right here in Austin."
Thank You, Austin! has a number of events planned to engage the Austin community. The Army Drill Team will put on demonstrations for attendees, Army Recruiters will have a rock wall and the Army Adventure Trailer which allows people to test their skills on a virtual shooting range.
As the Army seeks to modernize the force, recruiting efforts have sought new methods of attracting talented young Americans to serve.
"One of the things I'm most looking forward to is having the Army eSports Trailer here," said Reiner. "This is a non-traditional way for us to engage with a part of the public that might not come out to an Army Field Band show, but when they come to see the eSports team and end up staying for the concert, it will be a huge win for us to highlight all the different ways that people can serve in the Army."
While looking at ways to connect with the people of Austin, AFC's biggest consideration was finding a suitable date for an event of this scale that didn't conflict with other major events in Austin.
"It was picking a date that is not only conducive for us but for the citizens and people of Austin," said Crosby.
Crosby said the AFC picked the Long Center because it is a place where AFC can socially connect with Austin.
Overall, Crosby was pleased with the planning for Thank You, Austin! and what the event means for the partnerships developed between AFC and the community.
"This is an opportunity for the city of Austin to meet their Army and to connect with Futures Command," said Crosby. "To continue to support and leverage different opportunities that we offer to the city of Austin and we are looking to leverage opportunities that the city of Austin has to offer to us too."
Army Futures Command is the Army's first major Army command to stand up since 1973, merging several existing units and organizations within the Army requirements and acquisitions specialties. Its focus is to streamline the requirements and acquisition process to ensure the best in technological innovations and the most lethal, farthest reaching weapons get into the hands of Soldiers faster than ever before.
For more information on Thank You, Austin! and to get free tickets, visit www.ArmyFuturesCommand.com and click the banner.