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Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Ready now; Shaping tomorrow,

By Brian Newberry Eastern Washington

On April 23, America’s Army Reserve will celebrate 110 years of history in service to the Army and the Nation.

This Ready Force serves around our world with units stationed right in our backyard at Fairchild Air Force Base. What began in 1908 as a tiny corps of medical professionals held in readiness for service is today the Army’s global operational reserve force – meeting high mission demands, generating forces to support Army commitments worldwide, and providing predictable capabilities to the Army and our global Combatant Commands.

Established by Congress with just 160 doctors and nurses, a somewhat larger Organized Reserve was created under the National Defense Act of 1916. A year later, when America entered World War I, more than 160,000 Reserve Soldiers were mobilized to help the U.S. Army defeat Germany and the Central powers. By World War II, more than 200,000 had joined the fight, serving on every front.

Through the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War, the Global War on Terror and countless crises, America’s Army Reserve has never failed to meet the challenges of its time – providing quick access to the mission-critical forces and capabilities the Army needs to initiate, sustain and prevail in major operations.

Today, the nature of the threat is changing, and the Army Reserve is again rising to meet it, forging the most capable, combat-ready and lethal Federal Reserve force in the history of the nation.

At the tip of the spear is a Ready Force of some 600 units prepared to deploy quickly – some in less than 30days – to fight, survive and win against emerging threats. Looking ahead, America’s Army Reserve will stay true to its roots as an expeditionary force, remaining flexible, agile, innovative and attuned to the velocity of change in our time. And, it will continue to leverage the talent of the private sector for the good of the nation. For at its heart, America’s Army Reserve is, and always will be, an army of Citizen Soldiers, supported by our engaged employers, and committed to our community.

Having served at Fairchild Air Force Base as an Airman several years ago, I was honored to serve alongside these soldiers, attending their ceremonies and proudly witnessing their dedication to duty during monthly drills. Recently, I was humbled to farewell soldiers of an Engineer company deploying abroad to defend freedom on the front lines – each and every one of them embodied what has become the calling card of the American soldier: duty, honor and country. So many Army mission sets operate out of our region including hospital services, legal support, transportation, engineers and linguists. Each contributes unique elements that build our military to be the strongest in the world. Their endurance has been bolstered by you, the incredible Inland Northwest patriotic community support, coupled to the fidelity of our amazing regional employers employing these talented soldiers. I steadfastly maintain we are a Lilac City with a red, white and blue heart, and that heart beats strong for those willing to sacrifice all to defend freedom.

I do know the world is constantly changing, but one thing is constant: The Army Reserve will remain the dedicated Federal Reserve of the most decisive and lethal land force in the world. Ready now, shaping tomorrow, forging and sustaining the most capable, combat-ready and lethal Federal Reserve force in the history of the Nation.

Happy Birthday, Army Reserve, keep leading well!

Colonel Brian Newberry, USAF retired, is an Army Reserve Ambassador from the State of Washington. The Army Reserve Ambassador Program was established in 1998 to promote awareness of the Army Reserve and the goals and objectives of the Chief of Army Reserve. Col Newberry was the former Commander of the 92d Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base.

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