ARLINGTON, Va. --
For 75 years, Reserve Citizen Airmen have answered the nation’s call with a record of combat-proven readiness while also transforming for the future. In celebration of this milestone, Lt. Gen. John Healy, chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command, hosted the Reserve’s 75th birthday celebration with a cake-cutting ceremony and dedication of a new Profiles in Leadership display at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, April 14.
The celebration also featured Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. as a guest speaker. Chief Master Sgt. Timothy White, Healy’s senior enlisted advisor and AFRC command chief master sergeant, and Senior Airman Shamadre Chambliss, the junior ranking Citizen Airman in the National Capital Region, helped cut the cake.
“Today, we celebrate our birthday, commemorating 75 years of service alongside our Total Force partners during every combat operation since the Korean War,” Healy said. “The more than 70,000 Reserve Airmen, both military and civilian, continue to provide strategic depth for the Total Force. This diamond anniversary is an occasion to reflect on our proud heritage, recognize our Airmen’s past and current contributions to national security, and look to transforming for the future.”
“The men and women of the Air Force Reserve bring diverse strengths and experiences to our Air Force,” Brown said. “Their dual citizen and military identities are very important. Each of us as Airmen, whether active, Guard or Reserve has a different unique superpower that ensures we’re going to be able to fly, fight and win. You bring unique talents when you come in uniform, but then you take off or hang up your uniforms and take your superpowers to use them in different ways as a Citizen Airman, and we appreciate that dual identity you carry as part of our Total Force.”
The Air Force Reserve has a long history of providing combat-ready Airmen, often at a moment’s notice, to address national security priorities worldwide. During the Korean War in the early 1950s, there was a demand to quickly expand the U.S. military. Although a new element of the national military establishment, the Air Force Reserve provided critical expertise by enabling the retention of previous service members from World War II.
Since then, the Reserve has provided essential contributions in every one of the nation’s major conflicts – from the Korean War and Vietnam War, through the Gulf War and the Global War on Terrorism, to recent efforts like the non-combatant evacuation of Kabul during Operation Allies Refuge.
Through Total Force Integration, active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard Airmen blend seamlessly when summoned to duty. Vigilance in training and preparation enabled Reserve contributions to the national defense when needed most.
“Our nation relies on the Air Force Reserve to provide strategic depth and surge capacity both at home and abroad,” Brown said. “And I don’t see that slowing down. So, I appreciate the aspect that the Reserve brings, not only to us in uniform, but also what you bring back to your communities when you’re not in uniform. The Reserve represents the best in the Air Force and the best of the country, and I’m very grateful that I’ve had the opportunity serve alongside you.”
In addition to the event at the Pentagon, there was another cake-cutting event at AFRC headquarters at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, earlier in the week. Maj. Gen. Richard L. Kemble, director of Strategic Plans, Programs and Requirements, kept with tradition and cut the cake with Senior Airman Nia Glover, an administrative technician and the youngest Reserve Citizen Airman at Robins. HQ AFRC is home to more than 1,000 Reserve Citizen Airmen, civilians and contractors.
The Air Force Reserve was officially established on April 14, 1948, by President Harry S. Truman, seven months after the Air Force was established as a separate service. The Reserve’s lineage, however, dates back more than 100 years to when Reserve air power was established in the National Defense Act of 1916. The Air Force Reserve became a major command in February 1997.
For 75 years, the nation has called on the Air Force Reserve to support national security objectives around the globe and across the spectrum of military and humanitarian operations. As they have for three quarters of a century, Reserve Citizen Airmen across the country stand ready to provide daily operational capability to the joint force while preserving the strategic depth the nation needs to respond to unexpected and emerging threats.