Army Reserve Begins 100th Birthday with Baghdad Re-enlistment
January 22, 2008
BAGHDAD (Army News Service, Jan. 22, 2008) - A mass re-enlistment for 100 Reserve Soldiers at Camp Victory Jan. 18 kicked off the U.S. Army Reserve's year-long 100th birthday celebration.
Gen. David H. Petraeus, commanding general of Multi-National Force-Iraq, presided over the ceremony and gave the oath of enlistment to Soldiers hailing from 47 units in both Iraq and Kuwait.
"Citizen-Soldiers, it is great to be here with you," Petraeus said in his opening remarks. "Re-enlisting Soldiers is one of my most enjoyable duties, and it is a true honor to be able to re-enlist 100 of you here today, as we also celebrate the Army Reserve's first century of service."
He continued to expound on the vital roles Reserve Soldiers play in protecting the American way of life and defending freedom across the globe.
"In places like Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, the Philippines and Latin America, Army Reservists are bringing their warrior skills and their civilian trades to the fights," Petraeus said. "That combination is particularly effective in the exceedingly complex environments we face today."
He added that Soldiers may be compensated for all that they give up to deploy, but that compensation is neither adequate nor reflective of why they re-enlist. Collectively, the Soldiers received more than $1.6 million in bonuses, but many of them said their love of the job was reason enough.
Sgt. 1st Class Annie Adams, of Balad's 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, said after 11 years in the Army Reserve, she loves being a Reserve Soldier and is proud of her service.
"I couldn't imagine not being in the Army Reserve," the Toronto, Ohio, native said.
Adams said being a part of the 100th anniversary of the Army Reserve and re-enlisting in Iraq was memorable.
"It's an absolute wonder," she said. "It's tremendous to be a part of this; an opportunity of a lifetime and I'll never forget it."
To mark the occasion, the New England Patriots donated two footballs, autographed by all players on the roster for the 2007 season. The winners of the footballs, selected by raffle the previous night, were presented the memorabilia by Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, chief of the Army Reserve, and Command Sgt. Maj. Leon Caffie, Army Reserve command sergeant major.
Immediately following the event, attendees witnessed a videotaped statement from television personality Ben Stein thanking the Soldiers on their dedication and commitment.
"I cannot tell you how indispensable you are," Stein said. "Everything we have, every right we have, every freedom we have, every gift, every blessing, everything we have is all thanks to you."
<i>The Army Reserve was founded April 23, 1908, and more activities to commemorate the century of service are planned in coming months in the nation's capital.</i>
(Sgt. Abel Trevino serves with the 28th Public Affairs Detachment and Multi-National Division - Center PAO.)