On April 23, 2017, the U.S. Army Reserve will celebrate 109 years of service to the nation. Founded in 1908 when Congress authorized the Army to establish a reserve corps of medical officers, the Army Reserve is a critical component in the U.S. military structure and support.

Since the Army mobilized nearly 90,000 Reserve officers for World War I, one-third of whom were medical doctors, Reserve soldiers have participated in every major military campaign. Today, approximately 200,000 Army Reserve Soldiers serve around the globe.

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“As we move into the future, know that your team will leverage leadership, energy and a vigorous spirit of execution to lead the finest federal reserve force the nation has ever known, says Lt. Gen. Charles D. Luckey, chief of Army Reserve and commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command. “This is no small task, but your citizen soldiers — living and working in local communities and spread more than halfway around the globe — will own this responsibility and deliver.”

In honor of the most capable, combat-ready and federal reserve force in the history of the nation, here are 10 things you might not know about the Army Reserve.

The Army Reserve can trace its roots back to the Colonial Era.

George Washington and Alexander Hamilton advocated establishing a federal militia as far back as 1783. Their proposal to a Congressional committee recommended a small regular Army supported by a militia of all male citizens aged 18 to 50.

There have been some famous citizen soldiers.

Alan Alda, best known for his portrayal of Hawkeye on the hit television series M.A.S.H., enrolled in the Reserve Officer Training Corps while in college and served as an Army Reserve artillery officer on a six-month tour during the Korean War. Filmmaker and comedian Mel Brooks served as a corporal and combat engineer in the 78th Infantry Division with the 1104th Engineer Combat Battalion, defusing land mines during World War II.

The Army Reserve soldiers are, as the motto goes, “Twice the Citizen.”

Not only are they pursuing education and a career, but they also stand ready to serve in the most powerful and sophisticated military force in the world.

There are many ways to serve.

In the Army Reserve, soldiers can continue their career or education while training. There are more than 120 military occupational specialties in the Army Reserve, including medical, engineering, law enforcement and technology.

Women play an important role in the Reserve.

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There are 
more than 45,000 female soldiers, including 8,300 officers, in the Army Reserve, serving in 305 different career fields.

The Army Reserve is an essential part of the total Army.

The Army Reserve comprises nearly 20 percent of the total Army’s organized units and nearly half its total maneuver support yet holds nearly 50 percent of the advanced degrees within the force.

The Army Reserve is ready to respond to threats in the digital age.

At the Army Space Command, Army Reserve soldiers conduct research and develop projects to protect against the threat of cyberattacks.

Army Reserve soldiers also respond to disasters at home.

Recent Army Reserve disaster response and humanitarian missions include the Superstorm Sandy response in 2012 and the California wildfire containment in 2014.

The Reserve is committed to sustainability.

With the goal of addressing sustainability and security of energy, water and waste, the Army Reserve started the Net Zero program and has pilot installations that only consume as much energy and water as they produce over the year and eliminate waste.

There is a National Museum of the Army Reserve.

Located at Fort Bragg, just north of Fayetteville, Arkansas, the museum and living history program tell the story of the more than 1 million Army Reserve soldiers who have defended the nation. Celebrate the U.S. Army Reserve’s birthday by scheduling a visit today.

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