For 114 years, the Army Reserve has been a key enabler of Army readiness.
“The vital support role that the Army Reserve plays today is essential if the Army’s going to be anywhere; and that continues today,” said Maj. Gen. Walt Duzzny, Army Materiel Command chief of staff and assistant deputy commanding general for the Army Reserve.
During a breakfast celebrating the Army Reserve’s birthday, Duzzny expressed his pride as an Army Reserve officer and commended his fellow Reserve Soldiers in the audience who answered the call.
“There is no doubt in my military mind that we remain the greatest fighting force on earth, the United States Army, and the Army Reserve is a part of that, and it’s an honor to be here representing that,” Duzzny said.
As a history buff, Duzzny took the opportunity to highlight the impacts of the Army Reserve across history. President Theodore Roosevelt signed into law the formation of the Medical Reserve Corps – the official predecessor to the Army Reserve – to answer the call in times of national emergencies.
“Again and again, the Army Reserve is called upon and it answers the call,” he said. “It’s amazing to see. I have had the chance to go see units where they’re mobilizing, and the sense of duty and sense of commitment and professionalism – it really is an operational force.”
The theme of this year’s Army Reserve birthday is, “America’s Army Reserve and its People, Shaping Tomorrow.” When reflecting on the history of the Army Reserve, Duzzny also noted five defining periods that shaped the component today: World War I, World War II, the Cold War, Desert Shield/Storm and the global war on terrorism. These periods have shaped the Army Reserve to reach unprecedented levels of readiness as an operational force.
“Back in the day, the Army Reserve was really a strategic reserve. It was going to take a World War II-type event, but today we have operationalized the reserve component.” he said.
Duzzny has served in all three of the Army’s components: The active Army, the National Guard and Army Reserve. His past assignments include serving as the director of U.S. Army North’s Army Reserve Engagement Cell, U.S. Northern Command’s senior representative, and serving with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Federal Emergency Management Agency. His missions ranged across border, hurricane and pandemic response, and have taken him across the globe. In his experience, he said no other country has an Army Reserve as prepared as the U.S.
“We can’t go to war, we can’t fight and win, we can’t carry out the Army’s prime mission, which is fighting and winning our nation’s wars, without the capabilities of the Army Reserve and Army Reserve Soldiers,” Duzzny said.