Congressional Testimony: A Chance to Tell Our Army’s Story

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno testifies before the House Armed Services Committee along with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos at Capitol Hill Nov. 2, 2011 in Washington, D.C.


Every year, the Secretary and I address the defense oversight committees of the United States Congress as part of the President’s annual budget request.  This is a tremendous opportunity for the Army and for Congress to discuss the current state of the Army and outline the Army’s priorities for the future.

Testimony is a big deal.  It is one of our greatest opportunities to inform Congress and the public about the Army and how we are serving the Nation.  It’s our chance to articulate what our Army stands for, and what it requires to meet our national security objectives.  Throughout the year, a lot of travel, engagements, office calls with Congressional and Executive leadership, and conversations with both the Force and the public help prepare me for this key engagement.  And of course, as the hearings draw close, I spend a significant amount of time with my staff and other experts in the Department of Defense so that I’m ready to contribute to a dialogue that is productive and informative.

Secretary McHugh and I kicked off this year’s round of Congressional testimony by appearing before the House Armed Services Committee earlier this month.  Later this week, we’ll appear before the Senate Appropriations Committee for Defense, and I will appear before the House Appropriations Committee for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.  In total, we’ll testify before the following committees:

  • House Armed Services Committee (HASC)
  • Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC)
  • House Appropriations Committee, Military Construction Subcommittee (HAC-M)
  • Senate Appropriations Committee, Defense Subcommittee (SAC-D)
  • House Appropriations Committee, Defense Subcommittee (HAC-D)

In order to support our testimony, the Army submits an annual Posture Statement, which provides an overview of our Army.  It outlines our priorities, highlights recent accomplishments, summarizes current initiatives, and communicates challenges the Army will face going forward.  I encourage everyone to read this important, authoritative document.

Additionally, you can tune in to watch me and the Secretary testify before our oversight committees through the Pentagon Channel, CSPAN or the Committee websites.  If you’ve never seen a hearing before, this is a great time to take a few minutes to watch our government in action.