Air Force Reserve 67th Birthday

  • Published
  • By Lt. Gen. James F. Jackson
  • Commander of Air Force Reserve Command
Fellow Citizen Airmen,

As we prepare to celebrate the 67th birthday of our AF Reserve during the month of April, this is a great opportunity to tell our story. Our theme for this year's celebration is "Air Force Reserve: significant in the past, critical to the future".

The Air Force Reserve was created as a separate component on April 14, 1948, when the Army Air Corps Reserve was transferred to the Air Force. The Air Force Reserve lineage dates back 99 years to when the Federal Reserve was established in the National Defense Act of 1916. The roots of today's United States Air Force Reserve were planted by visionaries such as Maj. Gen. George Squier and Lt. Charles D'Olive. Squier proclaimed that the provision establishing the Organized Reserve Corps was one of the most important sections of the 1916 National Defense Act. D'Olive was commissioned in the Signal Officers Reserve Corps and was the final American ace of World War I. His squadron, the 93d Aero Squadron continues today as the 93d Bomb Squadron at Barksdale AFB.

The Air Force Reserve produced many Airpower giants like Col. Jackie Cochran (award-winning pilot and director of the Women's Airforce Service Pilots Program), Gen. James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle (Eighth Air Force Commander and led the first American bombing attack on the Japanese mainland), Brig. Gen. Jimmy Stewart (decorated bomber pilot and Oscar-winning movie star), Brig. Gen. Charles Lindbergh (Medal of Honor recipient for the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean), Maj. Gen. Betty Mullis (first pilot female officer in the Air Force to attain the rank of Major General), Maj. Gen. Barry Goldwater (pilot and U.S. Senator from Arizona), Col. William Warren Scranton (pilot and Governor of Pennsylvania), Airman 3rd Class Joseph "Walking Joe" Teasdale (military paralegal and Governor of Missouri), Maj. Gen. Howard Cannon (bomber pilot and U.S. Senator from Nevada) and Capt. Ronald Reagan (military public relations officer and 40th President of the U.S.). These Airmen, using their unique citizen's perspective and agility, pioneered creative ways to win the fight while shaping the future of the United States Air Force.

Airpower continues to be different, not limited by oceans, shorelines, mountains, rivers and/or distances. Airpower delivers unprecedented advantages - speed, range, flexibility, precision, lethality and payload. The Air Force Reserve is rooted in its original role that was assigned in 1948 and revolves around the Air Force core missions; we call them Air and Space Superiority, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Rapid Global Mobility, Global Strike and Command and Control. We are a combat-ready force, composed of about 70,000 Citizen Airmen, stationed locally at over 60 locations throughout the United States and serving globally for every Combatant Command in air, space and cyberspace, whenever the nation calls.

Since the very first powered flight, Air Force Reserve Airmen have viewed the world differently - seeking to "go over, not through," forever changing the nature of warfare. From 1948 until today, Citizen Airmen are bound together by our warrior ethos, our core values and our agile approach to problem solving. Agility is an integral part of how we train and employ our forces, develop our capabilities, and ensures a lean and cost efficient component of the Total Force.

My hope is that each of you will find your place in this spirit of service as we celebrate our birthday and give back to our communities just as we have so faithfully given to our nation.

Happy birthday Air Force Reserve and thanks for all you do!