COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce hosted a Military Affairs Luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Colorado Springs. Lt. Gen. Richard P. Formica, commanding general, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/ Army Forces Strategic Command served as the guest speaker for the event.

Formica's remarks were centered on what a great community the Colorado Springs area is for military, and how closely the chamber of commerce military affairs committee works with the military leaders in the community.

"Close bonds are especially important in a city with such a diverse military population. I think the number is 21 percent of the jobs in Colorado Springs are military or government related," said Formica.

Earlier this year, Soldiers from the command were included in the chamber's Outstanding Enlisted Member Competition, where a Soldier from the 1st Space Brigade, Staff Sgt. Benjamin L. Sharp, won for Outstanding Enlisted Member of the Year, mid-grade category. The commanding general spoke about how he appreciated Soldiers under his command being included in the community program.

"We also appreciate your efforts to engage our senior leaders - meeting with the area chiefs of staff, your senior enlisted leaders breakfasts - all are helpful to sharing information between our military community and the Colorado Springs community at-large. And thank you for your participation last week at (the Association of the United States Army's conference)," Formica said.

Several members from the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, including Brian Binn, president of the Military Affairs Division, visited the USASMDC/ARSTRAT exhibit at AUSA's annual meeting. The group received briefings from the Future Warfare Center, both brigades and the Technical Center during their visit.

Formica also took time to recognize those who have served, but no longer wear a uniform.

"Veterans are an integral element in the fabric of our community, and they are visible reminders of service, patriotism and enduring commitment to our nation's values," he said.

Formica then asked all veterans in the room to raise their hands to be recognized. Nearly half of the luncheon's attendees raised their hands.

"To each of you and to those who served alongside you, thank you for your service," he said.

Formica then moved onto his command briefing.

The Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce holds the Military Affairs Lunch three times a year. The luncheon's attendees are community business leaders, elected leaders and military leaders from the community.