The United States Army Reserve celebrated its 110th birthday in 2018. That century-plus milestone is a significant achievement for what the Army Reserve official site describes as “the most capable, combat-ready, and lethal Federal Reserve force in the history of the Nation” and while the United States Marine Corps Reserve might take a bit of exception to that statement, there is no denying that the Army Reserve has played a very important role in American military history.
The Army Reserve celebrates its birthday on April 23 each year, celebrating contributions to two World Wars, the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf War, and many other missions.
There are Army Reserve communities located in every state in the Union, plus the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Reservists have deployed to roughly 30 countries.
Famous Army Reservists include Leonard Nimoy, John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Alan Alda of MASH fame (yes, he did serve a six month tour in Korea as part of his military duty), and Malcolm Forbes. Director Mel Brooks and Senator Daniel Inouye also served in the Army Reserve.
Celebrating the Army Reserve Birthday
The Army Reserve birthday is observed each year on April 23, and when the Army Reserve celebrated its 110th birthday in 2018, there were observations of this significant milestone all over the globe, at the unit level, and at the command level.
The Army Reserve birthday is not a federal holiday, so no closures or stand-downs are observed in general (individual units or activities may or may not have plans to close for the birthday). You may find birthday events held at individual bases or Reserve units, Reserve HQ, etc.
How can friends, families, and Reservists celebrate the anniversary? Reserve birthday events may not reach the size and scale of national observations such as Memorial Day, POW/MIA Day, or Veterans Day, but if there is a Reserve unit near you, check to see if the unit is planning any activities.
Ask an Army recruiter and you might get a sales pitch for joining the Reserve – and for some this is exactly what they want to do. But for others, supporting Reservists by donating or volunteering with Army Emergency Relief, the Red Cross, USO, The Museum of Military History, or other service-related organizations that support the Army Reserve is a less commitment-intensive option. Those interested in serving as an Army Reservist can learn more at the Army Reserve official site or by talking to a Reserve unit rep or recruiter.