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Posted at 01:56 PM on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 by post1983
By Retired Army Col. Randy Pullen
Special to American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 20, 2008--The U.S. Army Reserve celebrates its 100th birthday on April 23, marking a full century of service in which Army Reserve soldiers have continuously answered the nation's call.
Army Reserve soldiers served in both world wars, the Cold War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War and the ongoing global war on terrorism. They also helped respond to countless other crises, emergencies, disasters, operations and expeditions.
That busy century of service to America all began when Congress established the Army's first federal reserve force on April 23, 1908. President Theodore Roosevelt signed Senate Bill 1424, creating the Medical Reserve Corps. The Reserve medical officers in the corps could be ordered to active duty by the secretary of war during times of emergency.
In June 1908, the first 160 medical professionals received Reserve commissions. This number grew to about 360 by 1909 and to 1,900 by 1916. The concept of bringing civilian professionals into the Army in a disciplined and quickly-accessible manner also expanded beyond the medical profession and beyond just officers.