CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - United States Army Reserve Engagement Cell hosted the Army Reserve's 111th birthday celebration April 26, 2019, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Soldiers kicked off the morning by participating in a 5K run and then wrapped up the afternoon with a cake cutting ceremony.
"We had a good turnout for the 5k and the overall birthday celebration," said Capt. Marquette Banks with U.S. Army Central and also the celebration's master of ceremony. "I think it's important to celebrate the Army Reserve's birthday and to have an understanding of its culture."
Specialist Eric Borski, 19, and Sgt. 1st Class Winston Ha, 53, the youngest and oldest Army Reserve Soldiers stationed at Camp Arifjan, respectively, and both assigned to the 1173rd Deployment and Distribution Support Battalion, 595th Transportation Brigade, cut the cake together at the ceremony.
"As soon as I had joined, they had brought up that I'd be cutting a cake," said Borski. "I figured I was toward the youngest."
Ha first mobilized in 1991 for Desert Storm as an administrative specialist and is currently on his third mobilization. Ha, who has served for 34 years, connected with the celebration.
Ha said he felt he was part of the Army Reserve celebration and plans to stay in the Army Reserve until he retires at 60 year old.
Borski and Ha both participated in the 5k. Borski said it's a good way to promote the Army Reserve and he appreciates the T-shirts that were handed out at the end of the run.
"Other than being exhausted from the run," said Borski, "it was a good run to be involved with."
The U.S. Army Reserve traces its roots to April 1908, when Congress authorized the Army to establish a reserve corps of medical officers. Today, the Army Reserve has approximately 200,000 Soldiers spread across all 50 states, five U.S. territories and 20 time zones.
"We have been a big part of the history of the Army as a whole," said Banks. "Especially if you look back at its history, so I believe Soldiers should know what its history is all about and why it's important."
The Army Reserve's mission is to generate combat-ready units and Soldiers for the Army and joint warfighters that are trained, equipped, and lethal to win our nation's wars.
"I think it's a good stepping stone for people," said Borski. "You can get involved with helping your country. Along with doing things in the civilian world such as attending college or a career in the civilian world that you can transfer into the military, or vice versa."
Ha joined when he was 19, the same age Borski is today. Ha offered several career recommendations to Borski, as well as all Soldiers.
"Be all that you can be and continue to grow into your position with the Army Reserve," said Ha.
Ha's message to young Soldiers coincides with the message Banks gave in his speech at the ceremony. Banks said the Army Reserve will remain the dedicated federal reserve of the most decisive and lethal land force in the world, ready to deploy, fight and win, wherever and whenever needed, anywhere around the world.