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Around The Fleet

History of the Navy Reserve

Since its establishment on March 3, 1915, millions of individuals across the country have answered the call and chosen to serve in the U.S. Navy Reserve.


Initially founded to ready America for potential involvement in World War I, the Naval Reserve Force was first only open to Navy veterans — within a year, however, general enlistment requirements were constructed and the public's involvement skyrocketed. By the end of the war, the number of serving Naval Reservists grew to 245,789, counting for 54 percent of the total U.S. Naval Force at the time - by the end of World War II that number climbed to 3 million, or 84 percent of all Sailors serving at the time.

In the 104 years since, the Naval Reserve has mobilized their support in nearly every global conflict — more than 100,000 Reserve Sailors returned to active duty at the start of the Korean War, 40 Navy Reserve Training ships were activated during the Cold War, and more than 70,000 Reserve Sailors served around the world in the Global War on Terror following the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Throughout the past century, the Navy Reserve has been on the forward edge of military progress. Their mission in support of our nation's active duty forces has led to reforms and advances across the fleet. As long as there are citizens who feel the call to serve their country, the Navy Reserve sails on.