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March 3 – Navy Reserve Birthday

March 3, 1915

Happy birthday to the Navy Reserve! Here’s to many more years of being Ready Now, Anytime, Anywhere!

Created in response to the outbreak of World War I, legislation for the creation of the Naval Reserve Force was passed on March 3, 1915. Since then Naval Reservists have served in every major war the United States has fought in. As of December 2014, 17,687 reservists were serving either Individual Ready Reserves or Selected Reserve Sailors.

The Navy Reserves were officially established March 3, 1915, then as the Federal Naval Reserves. With World War I on the horizon the name would soon change and on August 29, 1916, it was reorganized and renamed the U.S. Naval Reserve Force. Upon entering World War I on April 6, 1917, there were an estimated 8,000 Sailors serving in the Naval Reserve Force and when the fighting ended a little over a year later there were more than 250,000 reservists serving in the Navy, making up over half the Navy’s wartime force.

By the summer of 1941, two years after the start of World War II in Europe, almost all members of the Navy Reserve were serving on active duty and during that time it would grow to a force of more than 3.4 million members at the war’s end. The Reserve made up almost 84 percent of the Navy’s fighting force during the war and included five future United States Presidents and fifteen Medal of Honor recipients.

Since then, Navy Reserve Sailors have taken part in almost every armed conflict from the Korean and Vietnam Wars to the first Gulf War and the contingencies in Bosnia and Kosovo. There have been more than 70,000 mobilizations of Selected Reservists along with 4,500 deployments by Reservists serving on Full Time Support since the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.