WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Service members and civilians packed the Pentagon Library Conference Center for the Navy Reserve Centennial Kickoff Celebration March 2.
Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin R. Braun delivered the opening remarks, commending Navy Reserve Sailors for being ready then, ready now and ready always, and introduced Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the centennial's keynote speaker.
"Serving through the Cold War, I've seen the Navy Reserve go from a group of 'One day we may need them, let's hold on to them. That's our strategic reserve,'... to integration, to addiction in Desert Shield/Desert Storm,... to really, frankly, total integration today," Greenert said.
Greenert and Braun visited the U.S. Navy Reserve displays set up in the Pentagon's Navy corridor after the opening ceremony and performed the cake and ribbon cutting.
"All 59,000 Sailors are very proud to celebrate the history and the heritage of our service and especially to highlight the millions who have served over the past century," said Braun.
Congress authorized the establishment of the Federal Naval Reserve on March 3, 1915. Initially, the only Sailors eligible to enroll were enlisted Navy veterans. 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.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, there have been more than 70,000 Selected Reserve mobilizations, along with an additional 4,500 deployments by Full Time Support Sailors, including more than 8,000 who have done a second combat tour. Since its establishment in 1915, there have been five U.S. presidents who have served in the Navy Reserve.
For information on Centennial events, as well as the history and heritage of the Navy Reserve, please visit http://navyreservecentennial.com/.
To view the Navy Reserve history video, please go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RasZBIPmouw .