Friday - 10/19/2012, 9:50am EDT

The annual AUSA meeting brings together tens of thousands of participants from the Defense Department, civilian agencies and industry.

Federal News Radio was at the 2012 conference to speak with Army executives about doing less with less, early retirements and how the Army is scaling down. Listen to our interviews below.

SMA Raymond Chandler
Sergeant Major of the Army

The Army is in flux. It's scaling down, shifting focus and catching its breath after a decade of war in Southwest Asia. But for soldiers on the front lines, life doesn't feel much safer than it did at the height of conflict in Afghanistan. Chandler sees how these changes are impacting soldiers, and he came back from a trip to Afghanistan earlier this month.

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley
Commanding General
U.S. Army Reserve

The Army Reserve is planning to do less with less. Over the past decade, it's turned from a backup force to a strategic part of the Army's campaigns. Now it's preparing for budget cuts and shifting demands.

Dr. Joseph Westphal
Under Secretary of the Army

The Army is offering early retirement packages to move some officers off the payroll. It's part of the service's efforts to slim down by 80,000 positions in the next four years in the face of budget trimming. Westphal shares what the future soldiers' skills and capabilities will look like, including the role of women in combat.

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