BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (April 25, 2012) -- Service members and civilians celebrated the U.S. Army Reserve's 104th birthday at the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation clamshell on Bagram Airfield April 23.

The celebration and festivities began with a five-kilometer run in the morning and continued into the afternoon with a re-enlistment and cake-cutting ceremony for 23 Soldiers.

The guest speaker, Lt. Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, the commander of International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, and the deputy commander of U.S. Forces - Afghanistan, addressed the audience and the re-enlistees.

"I look upon these brave men and women [re-enlistees] and I'm inspired by your strength and dedication for our country," said Scaparrotti. "It's because of Americans like you; is the reason why the United States are strong."

The Army Reserve traces its beginnings to April 23, 1908, when Congress passed Senate Bill 1424. This act authorized the Army to establish a reserve corps of medical officers. The Secretary of War ordered these officers to active duty during times of emergency.

Compromised 160 medical professionals, this was the nation's first Federal Reserve. Four years later, a provision of the Army Appropriations Act of 1912 created the regular Army reserve. This reserve outside of the medical corps was authorized in 1908.

The celebration and the day's festivities were appreciated by all service members.

"It was good great to see the senior leaders come out and support, Soldiers re-enlisting and enjoying themselves," said Sgt. Maj. William R. Ginter, Army Reserve Affairs senior enlisted advisor on Bagram Airfield.

Lt. Gen Jack C. Stultz, the chief of Army Reserves and U.S. Army Reserve commanding general who's about to retire, wanted to leave words of encouragement for his troops.

"I appreciate their dedication to service. For Reserve Soldiers, to put his or her family and job on hold to serve our nation and still re-enlist is an honor, they are a national treasure."