REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Maj. Steven Dyer and his family traveled more than 1,050 miles from Stratford, Conn., to join his fellow Army Reserve officers in an historic event Friday at Redstone Arsenal.

He wanted his wife, Stephanie, and their five young children to be a part of the Army Reserve's first ever acquisition accession ceremony.

"We drove over two days," Dyer said. "And that's how important it was to me for them to be a part of my life."

Dyer and 50 other officers and NCOs of the Army Reserve were selected to join the Army's acquisition workforce. Selectee certificates were presented at Friday morning?'s ceremony in Bob Jones Auditorium.

"This is a huge accomplishment," Brig. Gen. Phillip Jolly, commander of the Army Reserve Sustainment Command, said.

Acquisition is "a huge part of the military," Jolly said, ?"and it?'s only going to get bigger."

They will take more courses and then have a one-year tour to apply what they've learned. They will become members of the Army's acquisition workforce.

"You are the best and the brightest," Maj. Gen. Peter Lennon, commander of the 377th Theater Sustainment Command, said.

Only 23 percent of America?'s 18 to 25-year-olds can even get into the military these days without a waiver, Lennon pointed out.

"You have taken that up a notch," he said. "You are the best and the brightest of the best and the brightest because you've had the experience."

Capt. Jada Hartfield, a reservist since 2001, is assigned to the Army Materiel Command at Redstone. The 33-year-old Arlington, Texas, native said she has not been in the finance arena. "It's a new challenge," she said. Contracting "gives me an opportunity to support those commanders out there and to support the Army, and hopefully provide for the nation and our Army."

Lt. Col. Ken Quimby, 45, originally from Ramsey, N.J., is assigned to Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa., as a contract specialist. He has served 22 years in the Army, including active duty and reserve duty.

"It's a new opportunity to serve the Army, a new career field essentially," Quimby said. "And a dire need for additional trained professionals in all acquisition fields, but contracting is the main one they're focusing on in the military."

Maj. Mark Smikle, 51, originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., is assigned to the 915th Contracting Support Battalion out of Baltimore, Md. He resides in Ft. Pierce, Fla., where he works as a psychologist.

"It means a lot," Smikle, a reservist since 1995, said of his acquisition selection. "It's not many branches of the military that you get to be certified in. So it's added credibility to the position."

Dyer, 43, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, works in Stratford as the customer operations manager for Lexmark International out of Lexington, Ky. He is on a new career path in the Reserves after leaving the European Command, Army Reserve Element at Fort Devens, Mass., where he was one of the engineer staff officers for real property.

Dyer resigned his reservist commission in 2005 to pursue his professional civilian career. But in 2011, after he and his family moved to the Northeast from Texas, he decided to rejoin the Reserves.

"Our family at that point was only a family of five and I thought I want to continue to serve and demonstrate an example to my kids of what it's like to serve as an officer and also what it's like to serve the nation," he said. "Something to be proud of and set the example. In 2012 I came back into the active Reserve. And then I thought how do I continue to improve myself and demonstrate the commitment and hard work ethics to accomplish something great so my kids would understand what it means to set a goal. That's where I am."

On Friday his children saw their dad recognized for his selection to the acquisition workforce in the Army Reserves first acquisition accession ceremony.

The selectees included Capt. Arlinda C. Adderley, Capt. Jose Allende, Maj. Winston C. Allen, Capt. Robert Balog, Maj. Benjamin J. Burris, Maj. Scott Christensen, Lt. Col. David A. Clark, Capt. Demayne D. Collins, Lt. Col. Christopher S. Cordes, Staff Sgt. Khanh K. Do, Lt. Col. Loren Duwel, Maj. Steven Dyer, Maj. Steven C. Edsall, Capt. Suzanne L. Fallis, Maj. Herbert W. Franklin, Maj. Miriam J. Harris, Capt. Jada Hartfield, Capt. Cheryl S. Hawk, Maj. Jason Hill, Maj. Sharon R. Holloman, Maj. Michael Jacobson, Lt. Col. Anthony Lee, Capt. Eric D. Lewis, Maj. Dennis M. Mackin, Maj. Eric C. Makepeace, Maj. Angela M. Malikowski, Sgt. Marcus H. Mattingly, Staff Sgt. Stephanie Mbelu, Maj. Barrett C. Michel, Maj. Andrew S. Morris, Sgt. 1st Class Brandon M. Morrison, Sgt. 1st Class Christine Noriega, Capt. Scott Pegan, Lt. Col. Ken Quimby, Capt. Adam W. Sanchez, Maj. Nancy Santana, Maj. Christopher R. Segovia, Maj. Jason E. Sellazzo, Capt. John M. Shaffer, Maj. Mark Smikle, Staff Sgt. Adrian J. Stafford-Browne, Maj. Andrea M. Talbert, Maj. Christopher N. Terhune, Maj. Joshua Thompson, Maj. Aaron M. Vandiver, Capt. Benjamin C. Vernon, Maj. Christine Warren, Lt. Col. Brian Wood, Capt. Steve J. Yu, Capt. Michael Zellous and Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Zinkle Jr.