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Army Reserve celebrated 103rd birthday in April

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Army Reserve’s 103rd birthday on April 23, 2011, was celebrated when 56 reserve soldiers from all 50 states and territories gathered in the National Archives rotunda April 20 to re-enlist.

Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, chief of the Army Reserve, administered the oath or affirmation to defend the Constitution, the original of which is housed along with the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights in heavily-guarded cases in the rotunda.

"The soldiers we have gathered here really do represent what America’s is all about," Stultz said.

Adding, "It’s about great men and women stepping up every day, taking an oath of allegiance, leaving their families, leaving their kids, leaving their homes, leaving their jobs and going to risk their lives to defend our freedom.

"The significance of this re-enlistment today is they’re willing to continue to serve their nation when they don’t have to. They don’t have to be here, raising their hands, saying I want to stay in the Army Reserve, knowing that they’ll probably be asked to go to Iraq or Afghanistan or to some other part of the world. They’re willing to do that, and that’s what this nation was founded on."

The 56 Army Reserve soldiers who re-enlisted are all part of the operational reserve.

"They are the people who are saying: ‘I understand what I’m getting into, and I want to be part of it,’" Stultz said.

The Army Reserve began in 1908 by providing a reserve of medical officers for the Army. It then was reorganized following World War I under the National Defense Act of 1920, that reorganized U.S. land forces into the active Army, National Guard and an Organized Reserve.

Reserve soldiers went on to perform public works projects during the depression of the 1930s and later served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Today, the Army Reserve has a force of 206,000 volunteers serving in 25 countries.