From the Top: Reserve celebrates 10th year as Air Force's ninth major command

Lt. Gen. John A. Bradley

Lt. Gen. John A. Bradley

WASHINGTON -- Congratulations! Air Force Reserve Command celebrates its 10th anniversary in February. In 1997, the Air Force Reserve was officially elevated from a field operating agency to the Air Force's ninth major command -- Air Force Reserve Command. This action formalized our role as a proud partner in the Total Force and implemented the requirement in the fiscal year 1997 National Defense Authorization Act to establish a command.

The Air Force Reserve has always been an integral part of the Air Force, but as the years pass, you prove your value over and over. Serving shoulder to shoulder with active-duty members and Air National Guardsmen all over the world, we've transitioned AFRC into an unrivaled wingman on every mission, in every endeavor. The drive to fully recognize AFRC for its capabilities and position as a Total Force partner began in 1968, when we established associate units, flying C-141s and C-9s.

In 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, 23,500 Reservists were activated -- an enormous and unprecedented number of Citizen Airmen, who answered the call, serving side by side with the active duty throughout the duration of the war. Reservists were a critical factor to the success of the Gulf War, but post-war lessons learned showed that enhancements in day-to-day Reserve support and training would improve our war-fighting capability, bringing us to our current level.

Since then, our contributions have continued to build through volunteerism. We've served in every corner of the globe to include Afghanistan and Iraq, airlifted supplies for several hurricane and tsunami relief operations, and supported operations in areas as diverse as Albania, Russia, the Antarctic, Yemen, Cuba, Lebanon and the Horn of Africa.

Our reach has been immense. Our contribution has been incredible. The sacrifices made by you, your families and employers have been appreciated by your country and its most senior leaders.

On this 10th anniversary occasion, let me congratulate you, our current and past Reservists, on your contributions to a decade of outstanding success. I'm very proud of these accomplishments and know that you, the members of Air Force Reserve Command, will continue to make enormous contributions to our nation's defense for decades to come.

We knew we were Total Force partners in 1997, and we now know that we are so much
more. We are One Air Force -- Same Fight ... An Unrivaled Wingman.