After three days of showcasing Army capabilities and discussing needs for additional ones, the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting and Exposition wrapped up on Oct. 11. The event is the largest land power exposition and professional development forum in North America.

AUSA's new logo inspired by Army Rangers climbing cliffs in World War II, in Normany, France.

AUSA’s new logo, inspired by World War II Army Rangers who scaled the cliffs in Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France. (Credit: AUSA)

AUSA, a nonprofit educational and professional development association, welcomed more than 33,000 attendees, including Regular Army, Guard, Reserve, civilians, and family members, to the event, held at Washington, D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Additionally, more than 650 exhibitors showcased their wares.

New and notable this year was AUSA’s logo – the first update it’s had since 1954. The new look was inspired by World War II Army Rangers who scaled the cliffs in Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France.


Modernization mandate 

Modernization is a must, Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said. 

“This is a crucial moment for the Army to summon our ingenuity,” Wormuth said. “To innovate and invest in emerging technologies; to test and develop in uncharted areas like artificial intelligence and contested domains like space and cyber; to reshape and transform the force to be more adaptable and flexible.” 

She pointed to the successful launch earlier this year of missiles from the Army’s prototype Mid-Range Capability Weapon System, which enables the Army to hit enemy ships from land. The service is also working on the development of long-range hypersonic capabilities and studying how emerging technologies play a role in short-range air defense capabilities against uncrewed aircraft. 

Secretary of the U.S. Army Christine E. Wormuth addresses the audience. (U.S. Army photo by Christopher Kaufmann)

“I see us embracing change, looking to the future, and becoming the more modern, more lethal, and more adaptive force we need to be,” Wormuth said. “As we pursue the most significant modernization effort in generations, we are building an Army that can dominate in large-scale multi-domain operations.” 

Additionally, with the publishing of an updated “Army Field Manual FM 2.0, Intelligence” document, the Army is now working to modernize its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). 

Andrew Evans, director of the Army’s ISR Task Force, said the service is focused on transformational deep-sensing tech such as quantum computing and autonomy. 

“We’re talking about swarming using autonomy as fast as we can and proliferating it as wide as we can. Autonomy is going to be key in the future,” Evans said. “We’re also talking about how we manage all of the data, because that’s going to be a tall order.” 



The Army’s new chief of staff, Gen. Randy George, said that the service needs to simplify how it trains and builds teams while supporting force transformation. For instance, he said, the Army should look to procure technology that saves money, such as video game-like simulations rather than training formations, and artificial intelligence (AI) that can replicate battlefield scenarios. 

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy A. George gives his remarks. (U.S. Army photo by Laura Buchta)

“The world and warfare are changing rapidly,” George said. “We will stay ahead of our adversaries. And so, continuous transformation means iteratively adapting and evolving how we fight, how we organize, how we train, and how we equip.” 

Meanwhile, Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Weimer urged noncommissioned officers to get advanced degrees in warfighting.  

“I worked on my bachelor of science, finished it online, but what we’re really going to focus on is a master’s degree in warfighting, because if we’re called upon with the adversaries we have now, that’s the one that’s going to matter the most,” Weimer said. 


More upcoming tech 

Coming back to modernization, the Army is looking to update its legacy system for planning and executing fires by using a multi-vendor approach. That would be a change, too, said Mark Kitz, program executive officer for command, control, communications-tactical, because industry involvement in the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System has been minimal to date. 

“I want to increase the pool of industry partners that are able to compete, and I want it to be a team of industry,” Kitz said. “I don’t want a lead system integrator. I don’t want one teammate. I want a team of industry that’s going after this really robust set of applications that modernizes this sort of monolithic, single application.” 

A request for information is likely before the Army’s next technical exchange meeting in December. 

Additionally, the Army is still working on its plans to modernize the M1 Abrams tank, but as of now, the service plans to keep General Dynamics Land Systems as the prime contractor and open competition for subsystems. Last month, the Army switched gears from the Abrams System Enhancement Package version 4 to M1E3 Abrams, but details on the change remain scant. 

“Think about all the components that go into the tank. … Beyond just the chassis and the turret, there are obviously subsystems like the powertrain, the transmission unit, the protection systems, everything else that goes into it,” Army Under Secretary Gabe Camarillo said. “So, you can probably expect to see as the [program manager] comes out with the acquisition strategy, a lot of competition investments.”  

Now with war erupting in the Middle East, we are sure there will be many more new strategies to learn about during AUSA 2024. We’ll keep an eye out for those and look forward to next year’s exposition.