WASHINGTON - Soldiers and leaders of the 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson traveled to Washington for the 2009 Association of the United States Army Meeting and Exposition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Oct. 5-7.
"AUSA is a great event; it's the crossroads of the Army," said Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general of 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson.
The event is a unique opportunity for Soldiers to experience the Army community and for some it is their first time in the nation's capital or at an Army event, he explained.
"The AUSA conference is a good time to celebrate the fraternity of being warriors, sharing successes, sacrifices and experiences with one another," Perkins said.
AUSA is a private, non-profit educational organization that supports America's Army - active duty, National Guard, Reserve, civilians, retirees and Family members.
The annual exposition is held in Washington every year, showcasing presentations, discussions and forums for key Army and Department of Defense leaders, in addition to numerous workshops and meetings, according to the AUSA website, http://www.ausa.org. The three-day event also includes industry and military exhibits and presentations hosted by senior Army leaders and DoD representatives.
This year's theme for the conference was "America's Army: The Strength of the Nation. Noncommissioned Officers: The Strength of the Army."
Military leaders including Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates; Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh; and U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., led discussions addressing contemporary topics that ranged from Afghanistan to force modernization and Army Families.
The Mountain Post sent its own compliment of leaders and Soldiers to represent the 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson team at the event, and manned a military spirit tent to showcase "Ironhorse Pride" during the Army's traditional 10-mile run near the Pentagon in Washington.
"It is great for NCOs to be here to represent the 4th Inf. Div and Fort Carson at the largest event for the United States Army," said Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey, the Mountain Post senior enlisted leader.
The 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson Family Readiness Groups also attended the AUSA Military Family Forums, "Army Families: The Strength Behind the Soldier;" "Thriving in the Midst of Challenge;" and "Forging a Stronger Future."
The FRG leaders attended the Army Family forums to meet with peers from around the Army and gather the latest information for Fort Carson Families and FRGs.
Fort Carson Soldiers began the trip to Washington, representing the Mountain Post at the 25th Annual Army 10-Miler Oct. 4.
The Mountain Post Men's Army 10-Miler Team finished third out of 37 teams with a combined team time of 3 hours: 50 minutes, 12 seconds in the Active-Duty Men Category. The team finished 11th out of 502 teams in the Overall Team Category.
The Fort Carson's Women's Army 10-Miler Team finished eighth out of 18 teams with an overall time of 5:04,12 in the Active-Duty Women Category.
Army 1st Lt. Darin Shearer, special projects officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., finished the race with a time of 54:42, placing 39th out of approximately 21,290 runners.
"I was really happy with the outcome," said Shearer, who was recently accepted into the Army's World Class Athlete Program in preparation for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. "It was a great event."
Shearer, a native of South Hamilton, Mass., said he is looking forward to representing the "Ivy" Division as a real contender at next year's Army 10-Miler.
The Fort Carson 2009 NCO of the Year Staff Sgt. Cedrick Stewart, a chemical operations specialist assigned to Headquarters Company, 43rd Support Brigade, said the event provided Soldiers a terrific opportunity to meet people and network with peers.
"This is a great event that brings NCOs together," Stewart said. "It gives them a chance to meet with Soldiers from their past and meet new Soldiers that are in their career field."
The AUSA conference schedule of events concluded Oct. 7 with the George Catlett Marshall Memorial Dinner and Medal Presentation.
The winner of the 2009 George Catlett Marshall Medal was Kenneth Fisher, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Fisher House Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian assistance to military service members during a time of need.