Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Happy 99th Birthday, Navy Reserve!

On March 3, we celebrated the 99th anniversary of the Navy Reserve. This is a celebration of you and all of the Reserve Sailors who have served in the past.

While Congressional legislation established the Navy Reserve on March 3, 1915, its roots stretch back to the days before the Revolution when in 1775 the citizens of Machias, Maine commandeered the schooner Unity and engaged the British warship HMS Margaretta in close quarters combat, forcing her to surrender. However it was during the Spanish-American War when the nation recognized a need for an organized Navy Reserve. Ships were becoming more advanced and a better trained seaman was required than what was currently being filled by the state naval militias.

The legislation of 1915 enabled the Navy to provide a group of trained personnel during the initial stages of the U.S.'s involvement in WWI through the establishment of the Naval Reserve Force. Believe it or not, by the end of WWII, almost 90% of naval personnel were Reserve Sailors, thanks to Naval Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD) and Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC).

Reserve Sailors were recalled to active duty during the Korean War to man ships mothballed after WWII. Some were 100% manned by Reserve Sailors, as were some carrier air groups. Subsequently, more than 50% of the "brown water"  Navy during Vietnam were Reserve Sailors ... and volunteers.

As you can see, you have always been more than a force in Reserve. You are an integral part of naval operations. Reserve Sailors have always been fully integrated - you are not just weekend warriors. Since 2001, more than 70,000 Reserve Sailors have mobilized to support joint missions around the globe.  Be it strategic placement within the 5th Fleet AOR, leading humanitarian missions or boots on the ground while filling critical IA billets; your Honor, Courage and Commitment are a reflection of a strong Navy Reserve.

I am extremely proud of each and every one of you. Through your outstanding efforts and perseverance, and by carrying on the traditions of the Reserve Sailors who have gone before you, you continue to remind us all that the Navy cannot operate without a strong Navy Reserve.


No comments:

Post a Comment