ARLINGTON, Va. - The United States Army Reserve Legal Command’s 134th Legal Operations Detachment received the Reserve Family Readiness Award for 2013 during a ceremony held at the Pentagon on Feb. 28, 2014.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs presents the award annually to one unit from each of the Reserve components, which also includes the Army National Guard, the Marine Corps Reserve, the Navy Reserve, the Air National Guard, the Air Force Reserve and the Coast Guard Reserve.
On hand to receive the honor were members of the North Carolina-based 134th Legal Operations Detachment as well as its Family Readiness Group. Col. Ronald Dean Rallis Sr., commander of the 134th, was thrilled to see his unit receive such recognition. Also present was Sherry Rallis, leader of the 134th’s Family Readiness Group.
The ceremony began with opening remarks from John T. Hastings, deputy assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs resources. Hastings' remarks centered on the importance of families to the ability of military members to do their job.
Remarks were provided by retired U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, the president of the Military Officers Association of America. Ryan stated that the Military Officers Association is proud to be part of this recognition ceremony.
Introductory speaker was Sgt. Maj. Mike Shultz, senior enlisted adviser to the assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs.
On hand to present the award to the 134th was Maj. Gen. Marcia M. Anderson, deputy chief, Army Reserve. Addressing the attendees, Anderson explained the importance of family readiness and praised the 134th.
"This unit may be small in number, but in one year they had a significant impact across their footprint. This impact was not just seen by the soldiers and families they serve, but also throughout their community and the Army Reserve. They demonstrated both qualitative and quantitative leadership and success integrating their superior unit mission support with a strong family life support philosophy," said Anderson.
Col. Rallis watched proudly as his deputy commander, Lt. Col. Owen Lewis, led Lt. Col. Lori Kroll, the 134th's family readiness liaison. From the 134th's Family Readiness Group, Mrs. Rallis and Family Readiness Group volunteer Jennifer Mercado also stood by to receive the award.
The commanding general of the United States Army Reserve, the 134th Legal Operations Detachment's higher headquarters, Brig. Gen. LeAnne P. Burch, smiled broadly from the audience and heartily congratulated the group at the reception immediately following the ceremony.
Burch noted that the 134th is a new unit, having only formed in recent years. They have, however, as Burch explained, "set the standard for family readiness."
The Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award Program was established in 2000 to recognize the top unit in each Reserve component that demonstrated outstanding family readiness in support of superior mission readiness.
It is broadly recognized that family readiness is an essential component of deployability of the Guard and Reserve.
Demands of the last 14 years demonstrate the critical role of the Reserve component in supporting our nation.
Improved family readiness programs and command emphasis help better prepare Guard and Reserve families to support their service members in the performance of their duties.