JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- “There is hereby established a United States Naval Reserve, which shall consist of citizens of the United States. In time of war they may be required to perform active service with the Navy throughout the war,” as stated in Public Acts of the Sixty-Third Congress. Sess. III. Ch. 83. Pg. 940-941. 1915.
This was the starting point for the Naval Reserve in preparation of entering World War I but it wasn’t until the Naval Act of Aug. 29, 1916 that the U.S. Naval Reserve Force and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve were established.
Growing to more than 245,789 Reserve Sailor by the end of WWI in 1919 the citizen Sailors comprised 54% of the U.S. Naval force according to the Naval Heritage and History Command. 11,275 of those were women who served honorably in the Naval Reserve in a variety of roles, including translators, draftsmen, fingerprint-experts, camouflage designers and recruiting agents.
World War II Naval Forces consisted of only 16% active duty Navy and 84% Reserve Sailors while the Korean War reactivated near 140,000 Navy Reservists. The Cold War, Vietnam, Desert Storm, 9/11 and the Global War on Terrorism also mobilized countless reservists.
Since its inception the Navy Reserve has been a vital resource to the U.S. Navy according to Capt. Dale Maxey, commander, Navy Region Southeast Reserve Component Command Jacksonville
“Critical maritime capabilities and capacities have always been resident in the Navy Reserve. The U.S. Navy has always relied on the Navy Reserve to accomplish the mission,” said Maxey. “You would be hard pressed to identify a major naval operation that did not include a significant contribution by our Reserve Force.”
For active duty service members contemplating leaving the Navy and having their DD214 in hand, there are options that may help satisfy and even compliment a member’s civilian life goals according to Electronics Technician 2nd Class Nicholas Fonseca, benefits advisor, Navy Recruiting Command, Prior-Service N3R Detachment Southeast.
“The best part of my job is educating Sailors and making sure they have all the information they need to make a conscious decision on their future,” said Fonseca.
Reserve benefit advisors are new division under Navy Recruiting Command who are available to explain the transition from active component to the reserves. While the goal is retention, the advisor’s function is to educate Sailors, not push them in any way to join the reserves.
The biggest reasons for encouraging Sailors to consider the reserves are the flexibility to pursue a civilian career, while maintaining insurance benefits and building toward a Navy and civilian retirement at the same time according to Master-At-Arms 2nd Class Helena Fox, benefits advisor, Navy Recruiting Command, Prior-Service N3R Detachment Southeast.
“I love the Navy Reserve and what I get to do as an advisor,” said Fox. “I have been a reservist for eight years and during whatever season of my life I went through, the Navy Reserve benefitted me in whatever capacity I needed it.”
A well-known phrase for the reserves is ‘one weekend a month and two weeks a years’ for required service. For people with concerns about meeting this obligation there is flexibility to reschedule drills and contribute in a way that works for the individual.
For more information please talk with your Command Career Counselor about getting you in-touch with a reserve benefits advisor.