FORT SHAFTER FLATS -- Soldiers and civilians across Oahu celebrated the 109th United States Army Reserve Birthday at the 9th Mission Support Command Assembly Hall on April 20.
The event was jointly hosted by three reserve commands: Army Reserve Engagement Cell, 311th Signal Command (Theater) and 9th Mission Support Command. The one-star generals from each organization spoke during the celebration.
"I am very proud in the direction we are headed and very proud of our brothers- and sisters-in-arms who I serve with," said Brig. Gen. Douglas Anderson, deputy commanding general of the Army Reserve and director of Army Reserve Engagement Cell, U.S. Army Pacific.
The Army Reserve was founded on April 23, 1908, when Congress authorized the Army to establish a Medical Reserve Corps. This corps eventually became what the Army Reserve is today. Over the years, Reserve Soldiers have participated in every major military campaign, including World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, Desert Shield/Desert Storm and the Global War on Terrorism.
"We trained hard. We have citizen Soldiers who dedicated their lives, their time and their family efforts to being the best they could be," said Brig. Gen. Lawrence F. Thoms, commanding general of the 311th Signal Command (Theater).
The oldest and youngest Reserve Soldiers out of all three organizations took part in the traditional cake-cutting ceremony. Col. Casey Rogers and Pvt. 2 Jewels Changkaipo of 9th MSC cut the cake in remembrance of the birth of the Army Reserves.
Brig. Gen. Curda, Commanding General of the 9th Mission Support Command, presents the first piece of cake to P. Pasha Baker, Army Reserve Ambassador to Hawaii. (Photo courtesy of Liana Kim, 311th Signal Command Public Affairs specialist)
The first piece of cake was presented to the guest of honor, P. Pasha Baker, the Army Reserve ambassador to Hawaii. The second piece was presented to Rogers, signifying the honor and respect according to experience and seniority. Rogers then passed a piece of cake to Changkaipo as a symbolic representation of the 109 years experienced Soldiers have spent nurturing young Soldiers to refill the ranks and renew the organization.
"The U.S. Army is the team of teams providing opportunities to live a challenging life of service commitment and dedication to a greater cause than one's self," said Brig. Gen. Stephen Curda, commanding general of the 9th MSC. "With our all outstanding Army Reserve units across this vast region, we support and live our motto."