June’s AUSA Corner

1. National Army Museum reopens June 14

The National Museum of the United States Army, located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, will reopen on June 14, the Army’s 256th birthday.

The 185,000-square foot museum first opened on Veterans Day 2020 but was forced to close a little more than a month later because of COVID-19 concerns. The museum has held regular virtual events and field trips during its closure.

The museum is the first and only one to tell the complete history of the U.S. Army and its soldiers, as well as honoring their accomplishments and sacrifices. For tickets: https://info.ausa.org/e/784783/2021-05-18/82bm8/479300171?h=804TS-w1W1BUc3AunkzaHAB0qZ5FTR18a9-R1Jv7rqQ

2. Not Enough

Lt. Gen. A.C. Roper, a Birmingham, Alabama, native and retired police chief, has become the Army Reserve’s first Black three-star officer. Previously the Army Reserve Command’s deputy commanding general, the grandson of a World War I Buffalo Soldier has a new assignment as U.S. Northern Command’s deputy commander.

Roper says his promotion shows progress in the U.S. since his grandfather deployed to France in a segregated unit, “but it is not enough to be the first African American three-star general in the Army Reserve, if there is not a second and third.”

3. Belated Honor

Retired Col. Ralph Puckett was notified in April that he’ll be receiving the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor, for the heroism the then-first lieutenant showed 70 years ago while serving as a Ranger company commander during the Korean War battle of Chongchon River. His men and South Korean soldiers withstood repeated Chinese attacks, but the wounded officer led his men across an open field under heavy fire to safety, despite his own injuries.

Now 94, Puckett already is one of the nation’s most highly decorated combat veterans, with two Distinguished Service Crosses and two Silver Stars, five Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars with the V device. A date has not been set for one of those Distinguished Service Crosses to be elevated to the Medal of Honor.

4. Marshal Curley

The U.S. Supreme Court has chosen Col. Gail Curley as its chief security officer. The 11th marshal of the Supreme Court and the second woman appointed to the post, the judge advocate general will be in charge of security during sessions. She also will maintain order and decorum during court proceedings, serve and execute legal orders, and disburse funds for various projects.

Curley, who since 2019 has been chief of the Army’s National Security Law Division, is expected to begin the Supreme Court job on June 21 following her retirement from the Army after 30 years of commissioned service.

5. Power Surge

In a push to field electric-powered combat vehicles, the Army is giving $100,000 each to six technology companies to work on design concepts to power vehicles and supply electricity in remote outposts. Different than electric passenger vehicles, combat versions must be tougher, easy to maintain and easy to fix in the field.

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