WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Sailors and guests gathered at the U.S. Navy Memorial on March 3 to commemorate the 92nd birthday of the Navy Reserve.
The keynote speakers for the event were Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs Thomas F. Hall, Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winters and Chief of Navy Reserve Force Vice Adm. John G. Cotton.
"Today we celebrate 92 years of honor, courage, commitment and pride in the Navy Reserve," said Hall in his opening remarks. "We are here this morning not only to continue these traditions, but to look back to when Congress established the Federal Naval Reserve, exactly 92 years ago today."
The Navy Reserve was officially established March 3, 1915, by combining 17 state naval militias into a single federal force.
Winter addressed the importance of paying homage to the sacrifices Reserve Sailors have made throughout history and continue to make in the global war on terrorism. Out of the 42,000 Reservists that have been mobilized since 9/11, 20 of them have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
"To the families belong grief and despair, sadness and loss of their beloved heroes. To us and to the nation falls a sacred duty to honor and remember," said Winter.
The speakers also looked toward the future of the Navy Reserve.
"The Reserve is transforming and I believe it will evolve into a more agile, more responsive, more integrated force able to meet a variety of demands in both war and peace," said Hall.
In his remarks Cotton spoke further on force integration.
"We can no longer think of ourselves as just the Navy, Army or Air Force. We must view ourselves as joint warriors for a common cause. The active duty works together overseas, and it is crucial that Reservists work and train together stateside," he said.
Following the service, family members watched as the efforts of Reserve Sailors were recognized with awards, advancements, reenlistments and an officer commissioning.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy H.C. "Barney" Barnum, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, praised the awardees.
"All of these men and woman deserve our sincerest appreciation for their service. They are excellent role models for our nation's youth, and I am deeply proud of them. They are making history today that future Navy Reserve birthday's will commemorate," said Barnum.
For related news, visit the Commander, Navy Reserve Force Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/nrf/.