AUSA Warrior's Corner - Reconnecting to the Golden State

By Philip SongSeptember 28, 2023

Mr. Mario Diaz, Deputy Under Secretary of the Army meets with members of California's 40th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade. (Left to right - LTC J. Alan Nydegger, MAJ Lisa L. Renner, CW5 Richard W. Huber, CW5 Joseph A. Rosamond) Army leaders highlighting the important work our Army National Guard partners do in local communities every day is a vital part of reconnecting with the Golden State.
Mr. Mario Diaz, Deputy Under Secretary of the Army meets with members of California's 40th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade. (Left to right - LTC J. Alan Nydegger, MAJ Lisa L. Renner, CW5 Richard W. Huber, CW5 Joseph A. Rosamond) Army leaders highlighting the important work our Army National Guard partners do in local communities every day is a vital part of reconnecting with the Golden State. (Photo Credit: Ms. Alia Awadallah) VIEW ORIGINAL

The Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting will be held from Oct. 10 to Oct. 12. U.S. Army professionals from around the world will gather to discuss a wide range of topics including professional development, modernization, accessions, and other pressing issues.

Mr. Mario Diaz, the Deputy Under Secretary of the Army, will host a Warrior’s Corner session on “Reconnecting to the Golden State.” The DUSA will be joined by Lorenzo Rios, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) for Central California, and MG Antonio Munera, Commanding General of U.S. Army Cadet Command.

The panel will introduce the Army’s California Commitment project, highlighting California’s importance to the U.S. Army, and outline how the Army plans to create a closer relationship with the nation’s most populous, diverse, and dynamic state.

California is home to over 39 million people and boasts a gross domestic product of $3.6 trillion, making it the 5th largest economy of the world. The state is also a wellspring for young, healthy, talented young Americans, including growing populations of Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. In addition, California is a national hub for industry, innovation, culture, and entertainment. Moreover, California is the start of the strategic support area of the Indo-Pacific region. The state’s three strategic seaports in the Bay Area, Los Angeles/Long Beach, and San Diego provide ready access to the Department of Defense’s highest priority theater.

The Army’s California commitment seeks to increase Californians’ knowledge on what the Army does at home and abroad while also giving young Californians and their influencers opportunities to see themselves in the Army. The Army will pursue these goals by prioritizing and expanding its activities and outreach efforts in the state. Specifically, this initiative will emphasize building and maintaining relationships with community groups and leaders throughout the entire state of California.

In addition to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division, California is home to four U.S. Army Recruiting Battalions, 12 Army Senior ROTC programs across 64 college campuses, 78 Army Junior ROTC programs in California high schools, nine CASAs, seven Army Reserve Ambassadors, 150 Army officers at the Naval Post Graduate School, and four U.S. Army Recruiting Battalions.

Moreover, the California Army National Guard at approximately 14,000 Soldiers and the U.S. Army Reserve at 16,000 Soldiers serve as Citizen Soldiers who are prepared to answer the call, both at home and abroad. These forces are a critical part of natural disaster response in the state, including annual support to wildfire and other crises, such as the 1994 Northridge earthquake. These Army Soldiers continue to stand ready to support Californians in their times of need.

Army leadership will work to enhance coordination and mutual learning across these numerous Army stakeholders and their partners. Through a concerted effort with California-based Army activities and senior level Army leadership, the Army will also continuously engage with federal, state, and local officials and community groups to re-connect with the state.

The discussion panel will be held Tuesday, Oct. 10 from 9:50 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in Hall D of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.