“What began in 1908 as a small corps of medical professionals held in readiness for service is today the Army’s global operational reserve force, and the most capable, combat-ready and lethal federal reserve force in our Nation’s history,” said Maj. Gen. Tracy Thompson, Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve, those attending the official ceremony.
The Army Reserve was founded in 1908 as the Medical Reserve Corps. At the time, it had just 160 medical professionals who stood ready if needed for emergencies.
Today, the Reserve has grown to a force of nearly 200,000 Soldiers, many of whom have unique skill-sets upon which the Army depends.
Since September 11, 2001, more than 300,000 Army Reserve soldiers have mobilized and deployed to more than 30 countries around the globe, to include every major combat zone. Today, nearly 10,000 Army Reserve Soldiers are still deployed around the world, making today’s Army Reserve the most combat-tested and experienced in our Nation’s history.
“TRADOC alone has over 1,600 Army Reserve Soldiers working across a broad spectrum of locations and areas of expertise. USAREC has 1,520 Soldiers and another 131 work in positions across the TRADOC staff, Centers of Excellence, and schools,” Thompson said.
The Army Reserve has two training commands that directly support TRADOC and U.S. Army missions: the 108th Training Command and the 80th Training Command. The 108th Training Command has more than 4,000 Soldiers assigned and those Soldiers support the Center for Initial Military Training with Drill Sergeants and instructors executing Basic Combat Training and One Station Unit Training. They also support U.S. Army Cadet Command’s Cadet Initial Entry and Summer Training. The 108th also has an additional 300 serving as adjunct faculty at 150 colleges and universities across the country.
The 80th Training Command’s 6,000 Soldiers have a significant role in training the Army in support of the One Army School System. The 80th executes job reclassification training, from Engineering to Health Services, from Quartermaster to Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations. Their efforts also include both the Non-Commissioned Officer Education System and Officer Intermediate Level Education.
“For 109 years, the Army Reserve has never failed to meet the challenges of its time, and with the support of our families, employers and communities we remain ready for whatever comes next,” Thompson said.
TRADOC Deputy Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Paul Benenatti who is also a Reservist hosted the event and following tradition he also participated as the oldest Soldier to cut the birthday cake.
There were several displays representing Reserve capabilities and an Occupational Physical Assessment Test station at which Soldiers demonstrated the four test events used to assess the physical aptitude of recruits entering the Army. The TRADOC band was also on hand playing lively melodies, adding to the festive atmosphere.