Army Reserve: 114 years of service to the nation

On April 23, America’s Army Reserve will celebrate the generations of soldiers who, like many patriots before them, embraced their roles as “Citizen Soldiers,” continuing their proud and distinguished legacy of service in the Army Reserve. Through the interwar years, World War II, the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War and the global war on terror, and countless other crises, operations, emergencies and natural disasters, Warrior Citizens of the Army Reserve have never failed to answer the nation’s call.

On April 23, 1908, Congress created the Medical Reserve Corps, a group of 160 doctors formed to provide the nation with a reservoir of trained medical professionals for employment in times of national emergency.

A month after Congress established the Medical Reserve Corps, one of the Army Reserve’s greatest Citizen Soldiers, President Theodore Roosevelt, signed the bill into law. Later, under the National Defense Act of 1916, Congress created the Officers’ Reserve Corps and the Enlisted Reserve Corps.

On June 24, 1921, the 76th through the 101st Divisions were reconstituted or constituted in the Organized Reserve.

Today, that reserve force is known as the U.S. Army Reserve, a specialized and skill-rich force of more than 189,000 Warrior Citizens.

The U.S. Army Reserve has always been, and will continue to be, composed of men and women with great talents. And throughout history, Citizen Soldiers have leveraged professional skills while serving in uniform, adding substantial value and depth to the force, with skills, education and expertise acquired in the private sector.

• William Lake, an Army Reserve ambassador, is a resident of Sandwich, Illinois.