Happy birthday to you!

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. John Grutzmacher
  • 96th Airlift Squadron
Seeing that I'm currently deployed, it seems as if one day runs right into the other. Your focus is on getting the mission done and getting home. The only way I can keep the days of the week straight is to see what's being served on the DFAC's Main Line. However, there are some days and dates that one doesn't forget; some good (Dec 25th, July 4th) and some not so good (Dec 7th, Sep 11th).
Rarely do we forget birthdays, one's own, family members and even institutions like September 18th and April 14th. April 14th? What's that one you ask...besides being the day before taxes are due? It has a good deal to do with why I currently have sand in my boots.

"The Air Force Reserve was formally established on April 14, 1948 by President Harry Truman who envisioned a program similar to one established during the First World War, whereby Reservists stood ready to serve during wartime." Two years later in 1950, the Korean War erupted and the Air Force Reserve was composed of over 315,800 non-drilling and nearly 58,500 drilling Reservists. Between July 1950 and June 1953, approximately 147,000 Reservists were mobilized and called to active service for one to three years. It was during the 1950s that a number of legislative acts addressed issues with the reserve program creating the Ready, Standby, and Retired Reserve categories. "Units were provided with full-time air reserve technician (ART) trainers and the President was authorized to mobilize a portion of the Ready Reserve to active duty without advanced congressional notification."

The 1960s saw Air Force Reservists deployed in support of the Berlin and Cuban Missile Crises and the Vietnam War. In August 1970, the Total Force concept was developed and finally implemented in 1973 requiring the Air Force Reserve to be trained, equipped and held to the same readiness standards and inspections as regular Air Force units.

Today, the Air Force Reserve provides about 20 percent of the total Air Force capability with only about four percent of the total Air Force budget. Cost effectiveness and the Total Force concept has forever changed President Truman's original concept of a wartime strategic reserve force.

So, if you are an Air Force Reservist or know someone who is, on April 14th wish "them" a happy birthday and reflect a little bit. Before you blow out those 64 candles, think about those that came before us, those who are currently serving and the future Citizen Airmen.