By Army Reserve CommunicationsApril 25, 2011
WASHINGTON -- Nearly five dozen U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers and their families were honored at the sixth annual National Capital Reenlistment Ceremony in Washington, D.C., Apr. 21. The ceremony took place in the rotunda of the National Archives in the same room that houses the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence.
The ceremony, which marks the Army Reserve's 103rd birthday, provided an opportunity to recognize the 57 hand-selected Soldiers and their families for their accomplishments and dedication to the Army Reserve.
According to Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Reserve, the ceremony celebrates the fabric of our nation: the Citizen-Soldier.
"We're really celebrating what this nation's all about. When called upon, the citizens of our nation step forward to defend our freedoms and our liberties. We've been doing that as an Army Reserve for 103 years now," said Stultz.
The diverse group of reenlisting Soldiers represented each state and territory: men and women, ages 23-51, many of whom have deployed on more than one occasion and have been decorated for their meritorious service.
"You've got to understand what a national treasure you have standing before you, you've got to understand what this represents. It is a volunteer Army. Our men and women who put a uniform on don't have to. It wasn't always that way," said Stultz.
Because reenlistment is a commitment made by both Soldiers and their families, a family readiness conference took place leading up to the event.
"We in uniform couldn't do it without you. These Soldiers standing before you do what they do because they know you're behind them, you're supporting them and you love them," said Stultz.
According to Spc. Shaun Pettit, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, it's important that his wife, Maria, be with him because reenlistment is going to affect her life as well.
The Oath of Enlistment was administered by Lt. Gen. Stultz as the Soldiers stood in front of the actual Constitution.
"It is an honor to reenlist in the nation's capital, in front of the Constitution," said Pettit.