JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – Service members and civilians celebrated the U.S. Army Reserve's 105th birthday, April 23, with a morning road march and cake-cutting ceremony on Sharp Field here.
The ceremony was hosted by Col. Jeffrey A. Doll, commander of U.S. Army Support Activity-Dix, and featured remarks by retired Brig. Gen. Alan V. Davis, U.S. Army Reserve ambassador for New Jersey.
“On behalf of Lt. Gen. [Jeffrey] Talley, chief, Army Reserve, I want to specifically address all of our Army Reserve soldiers and civilians here today and those serving at home and abroad to thank you for your commitment to your country, and for your selfless acts on behalf of your countrymen and our friends around the world,” Davis said.
The ceremony also featured a cake cutting by the youngest and oldest soldiers in formation, as well as cannon firing by soldiers from the Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard.
“Today’s citizen-soldier is an integral part of the best-trained, best-led and most capable ground combat force in the world,” Davis said. “The energy, faith and devotion to duty Army Reserve soldiers continuously display in the execution of their assigned missions represent all that is right and good in our nation.”
Davis also recounted many of the significant contributions the Army Reserve has made in the nation’s defense during the past 105 years.
“Since April 23, 1908, Army Reserve soldiers have been a strength to our Army and great nation at home and abroad,” Davis explained, adding that the Army Reserve has served three key roles in its first 105 years: as a military manpower reserve from 1908-1945, as a strategic reserve from 1946-1990, and as an operational reserve from 1991 to the present.
“The Army Reserve’s track record as a life-saving, life-sustaining force for the Army and for the nation is extensive and distinguished,” he continued. “When the Army deploys, the Army Reserve is right there with them.”
Davis shared statistics to support his point – the Army Reserve has so far provided more than 1 million citizen-soldiers for service at home and abroad, and currently there are 201,000 Army Reserve soldiers serving in 1,600 units and 1,200 facilities in 700 communities across the country.
“Our global footprint is extensive – one that requires a military force able to mobilize at a moment’s notice wherever and whenever the nation needs it to protect and defend our interests anywhere around the world, and to support humanitarian operations and disaster response,” Davis said.
“The Army Reserve is a critical component of that military force,” he continued. “We provide a complementary force of combat service and combat service support enablers, organized into streamlined and deployable units, ready to sustain any mission, anywhere.”
Davis also noted the Army Reserve’s strong ties to local communities, something with which he is very familiar in his role as an Army Reserve ambassador whose mission it is to develop awareness and advocacy with community leaders and serve as a bridge to communities across the nation.
“As a community based force, the Army Reserve maintains a strong connection to America’s industrial base and to its people,” Davis explained. “I thank the families, communities, employers and others who have helped and will continue to help strengthen the Army Reserve through your unwavering support.
“Take a moment to thank Army Reserve soldiers today as they celebrate 105 years of proud service,” he added. “Thank them for supporting the Army and thank them for protecting your priceless freedoms.”