AUSA’s Five Things: A Weekly Tip Sheet for AUSA Members
1Go for the Greens
In a long-anticipated move, the Army officially adopted the ?Army Greens? as its everyday business wear uniform, returning the Army Blues to use as a formal dress uniform. Army leadership had advocated for adoption of the iconic World War II uniform worn by America?s ?Greatest Generation? in the belief that it will inspire soldiers, enhance esprit de corps and play an important role in attracting quality people into the Army.
What to watch: The Army Greens will be fielded to soldiers reporting to their first units as early as the summer of 2020. The mandatory wear date for all soldiers will be 2028.
2Opt-In Deadline Approaching
The opt-in deadline for the military?s new Blended Retirement System is almost here and soldiers with 12 years? service or less should find out what?s at stake. Soldiers opting into the BRS will receive matching contributions from the government into their Thrift Savings Plan, which is transferable when leaving the Army regardless of years of service. Soldiers who serve 20 years or more will also receive a defined monthly payment for life, reduced by 20 percent because of the matching funds. Find out if you?re eligible here or talk to your human resources specialist.
What to watch: Eligible soldiers have until Dec. 31 to opt into the BRS. It?s a one-time opportunity. Click here to find out more about the new system.
Tiny robots the size of a bee or smaller could pack a powerful punch in battle and quickly gather intelligence in military and natural disaster situations, especially if operated in swarms. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has funding for minibots and microbots.
What to watch: Evaluations are expected in March in what almost sounds like the Olympics. While power storage is a key issue, the bots will be judged on how much weight they can lift, how high and far they can jump, how far they can throw something and how they operate as a team, a sort of synchronized swimming event for bee-sized or smaller machines.
Lt. Gen. Thomas James Jr., First Army?s new commanding general, said, ?The reality is this: The Army absolutely cannot complete its primary mission to fight and win our nation?s wars without leveraging the unique capabilities of both our components, active and reserve.?
What to watch: James said the lion?s share of the Army?s combat support resides in the reserve component, placing ?ever-growing reliance on a reserve component for the nation?s defense. ? We no longer have the luxury of training up our reserve component once some catastrophic event has occurred. Our new normal is that we must always stand ready.?
The Maryland National Guard, headed since 2015 by Maj. Gen. Linda Singh, has the first all-female command staff in National Guard history. ?I?ve been in the service 37 years, and this is the first time that I?ve been able to see something like this,? Singh said. ?It gives me really great pride being able to watch this unfold.?
What to watch: Singh said her senior assistant for Army, senior assistant for Air and her command sergeant major just ?happen to be female, coming into place at the same time.? Sgt. Maj. Perlisa Wilson said she believes the all-female command sends a message to other women about being equals in today?s Army.
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