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A Bold Approach for the New Year

From AAAA President's Cockpit: December 2013

During October and November, I shared our new branding effort; NRVS – Network, Recognition, Voice and Support.

auth yellenOverwhelmingly, surveys revealed the number one reason to join AAAA was the ability to network and as promised in last month’s column, I would like to share the details of our newly refocused, redesigned, and renamed annual convention, the “Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit,” sponsored by AAAA. This is one of our primary venues during the year in which to network with colleagues, industry, and senior leaders in Army Aviation. 

Our 2014 Summit is May 4-6, 2014, in Nashville, TN. You may notice that it’s one day shorter than past events; again, as a result of your input to shorten its duration and our desire to better serve the needs of the Army and our members.

The goal in 2014 is to devote greater focus on professional development and our ability, in coordination with Ft. Rucker, to provide attendees with worthwhile, stimulating, and educational topics and presentations. Thus, we have separated the program into two parts: a professional segment and a social not-for-profit AAAA membership meeting.

The professional program will feature four methods of interaction and networking:


  1. The two general sessions with over 2,000 attendees will feature a keynote speaker, high level presentations by senior leaders in Army Aviation, and will recognize our National Award recipients. It too, has been shortened.
  2. A large center display in the exhibit hall Technology Learning Center will feature a stage where senior leaders and their key functional area subordinates will have short presentations and focus on questions & answers from the audience. This was an extraordinarily favored forum last year.
  3. We have created sizable conference rooms adjoining the exhibits for “Deep Dive” learning sessions that will feature a facilitator, and host open discussions on topics such as engagement, maneuver, intelligence, survivability, readiness and sustainment, training and simulation, and science and technology.
  4. Lastly, we are creating separate offices next to the Deep Dive conference rooms for each project manager and TRADOC capability manager where they can schedule one-on-one meetings to facilitate the exchange of ideas off-line.

All of these changes reflect an Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit oriented on the professional development of our entire Army Aviation community. A community ranging from operators to industry, acquisition to R&D, Active to retired personnel, National Guard to Army Reserve, all gathered under one roof to work together to ensure current and future Army Aviation readiness. We expect real outcomes that benefit all attendees.  As I mentioned above, the second part of our 2014 event is the AAAA membership business meeting; a requirement for all not-for-profits. The social events and our AAAA membership activities will occur after our daytime professional program. And it should be no surprise that we’ve made major changes in this segment as well. 

  1. The annual Hall of Fame dinner will be a formal event on Monday evening. I see it as our “Oscar Night” of Army Aviation as we induct new members into our most prestigious grouping of professionals. 
  2. The closing banquet will morph into an informal Membership Soldier Appreciation dinner concert preceded by a brief membership meeting. Expect casual attire, a sit-down dinner and memorable entertainment during this final evening.
  3. Of course, we won’t forget the annual golf tournament sponsored by the Air Assault Chapter, as well as board meetings for the Scholarship Foundation and AAAA, Cub Club social, and a scholarship & museum donation luncheon.

We are embracing the digital era in all aspects of this 2014 event and will focus on the mobile experience. From the moment you initially register in January on www.quad-a.org, you will be able to download our new Summit App. From that time, to the time you begin walking thru the Technology Learning Center five months later, you will receive live updates on schedule changes, booth locations, speakers, and events. This app will be sponsored by one of our industry partners and have a wide variety of useful information available to you. Registration will begin on January 15th – look for it and reserve your room on our website.

And, remember, registration is open right now for the Tennessee Valley Chapter sponsored Joseph P. Cribbins Aviation Product Symposium, February 12-13, 2014, in Huntsville, AL. Sign up at Register for Cribbins.

As I reflect upon 2013, I can’t help but admire all the efforts of so many who have volunteered their time to make AAAA so successful. And, it’s that time of year that we wish all our service men and women could be home with their families for the holidays. They are deployed around the world dedicated to serve selflessly, quietly, and professionally to ensure the freedoms so many Americans take for granted are preserved.

My best wishes for a Happy Holiday season to all – and for a successful and safe 2014 for Army Aviation.

Above the Best!


BG Howard W. Yellen, Ret.
31st President, AAAA
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