The Navy Reserve – then the Naval Reserve – was established March 3, 1915 as part of the 1916 Naval Appropriations Act, and has since participated in every U.S.-involved conflict since World War I.
Saturday’s ceremony honored the service of Navy Reservists over the past century, while delivering the message that the Navy Reserve is “Ready then. Ready now. Ready always.”
To honor the past, retired Rear Adm. Robert O. Passmore spoke to the more than 300 Sailors and their families and employers in attendance on the history of the Navy Reserve. From its humble beginnings in 1915 to its overwhelming support during World War II, during which it comprised 84 percent of the Navy, Passmore discussed integral points in its history.
“Your predecessors were not only vital to our country’s survival, but have provided relief from tsunamis in Indonesia and other disasters,” Passmore said.
Speaking on his role as head of Task Force Navy Family following hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005, Passmore noted the valuable contributions of Navy Reserve Sailors and their lasting effects.
“From day one, the majority of the expertise on the task force came from you, our Naval Reservists,” he said. “Your Navy Reserve has always been ready. You never know when the call will come, and I am happy that we have always been ready.”
The event’s keynote speaker, Rear Adm. Eric Coy Young, commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command, spoke to the audience about the Navy Reserve being “ready now, ready always.”
“Since the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, the Navy Reserve has mobilized more than 73,000 Reserve Sailors,” Young said. “Let me be more specific: 73,349 Reserve Sailors providing tens of thousands of boots on the ground in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Horn of Africa. All in support of the CNO’s (Chief of Naval Operations) tenant of ‘Warfighting First.’
Today, more than 20,000 Navy Reserve Sailors – about one third of the Navy’s Reserve component – is providing fully integrated global operational support to fleet and combatant commanders at any time.”
Young recognized the sacrifices of Citizen-Sailors and those closest to them. “A great deal is required of our Reserve Sailors, their families and their employers,” Young said. “Our Citizen-Sailors balance the demands of Family Life, civilian careers, community service and the Navy.”
The Washington State chapter of the Employers Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) was on hand to present Patriot Awards to employers who have gone above and beyond in support of their Reserve Sailor.
“Today, we are honoring employers who have provided outstanding support to their employees – our “Citizen Sailors,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mathew Pescador, executive officer of NOSC Everett. “The ESGR Patriot Award recognizes supervisors and employers for their continued support of our Navy Reserve and continually recognizing and supporting our country’s service members and their families in peace, in crisis and in war.”
In all, 14 employers and supervisors were honored for their support to the Nation’s security.
During the ceremony, Cmdr. Derek Dwyer, commanding officer of NOSC Everett, and Washington State Deputy Director for External Affairs Lacey Harper presented a signed proclamation from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. The proclamation designated March 3, 2015, as the Centennial Commemoration of the Navy Reserve in the State of Washington.
Established on March 3, 1915, the Federal Naval Reserve originally only allowed Navy veterans to enroll into the program. However, on Aug. 29, 1916, with the prospect of America’s entry into World War I looming, the Navy Reserve reorganized to allow the enrollment of non-veterans and designated as the U.S. Naval Reserve Force.
Of the more than three million Naval Reservists that served during World War II, 15 received the Medal of Honor and five became president of the United States.
There are currently 107,000 Selected Reserve, Full Time Support and Individual Ready Reserve Sailors serving in the Navy Reserve.
Navy Reserve Sailors have been deployed to and been a part of every conflict since World War I, working alongside active duty personnel to secure the Navy’s mission and protect the nation’s freedom.