|United States Navy Reserve|
|Active||3 March 1915-Present|
|Part of||Department of the Navy|
|Motto||Ready Now, Anytime, Anywhere|
|Colors||Blue & Gold|
The United States Navy Reserve, until 2005 known as the United States Naval Reserve, is the Reserve Component (RC) of the United States Navy. Members of the Navy Reserve, called Reservists, are enrolled in the Selected Reserve (SELRES), the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), the Full Time Support (FTS), or Retired Reserve program. SELRES have traditionally drilled one weekend a month and two weeks of annual training during the year, but have done much more in times of war or national crisis. FTS serve in uniform all year round and provide administrative support to SELRES and operational support for the Navy. The IRR do not drill or train regularly, but can be recalled to service in a full mobilization (requiring a Presidential order). The mission of the Navy Reserve is to provide strategic depth and deliver operational capabilities to the Navy and Marine Corps team, and Joint forces, in the full range of military operations from peace to war.
Reservists are called to active duty, or mobilized, as needed and are required to sign paperwork acknowledging this possibility upon enrollment in the reserve program.
After the 11 September attacks of 2001, Reservists have been mobilized to support combat operations. The War on Terrorism has even seen the activation of a Reserve squadron, the VFA-201 Hunters, flying F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, which deployed onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). Additionally, more than 52,000 Navy Reservists have been mobilized and deployed to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan, including more than 8,000 who have done a second combat tour. They have served alongside Army, Marine, Air Force and service personnel from other countries, performing such missions as countering deadly improvised explosive devices, constructing military bases, escorting ground convoys, operating hospitals, performing intelligence analysis, guarding prisoners, and doing customs inspections for units returning from deployments.
The Reserve consists of approximately 66,700 (55,600 SELRES and 11,100 FTS) officers and enlisted personnel who serve in every state and territory as well as overseas. There are an additional 50,000 members of the IRR.
Reflecting the importance of Reservists in the naval history of the United States, the first citizen Sailors put to sea even before the Continental Congress created the Continental Navy, forerunner of today’s U.S. Navy. On 12 June 1775, inspired to act after hearing the news of Minutemen and British regulars battling on the fields of Lexington and Concord, citizens of the seaside town of Machias, Maine, commandeered the schooner Unity and engaged the British warship HMS Margaretta, boarding her and forcing her surrender after bitter close quarters combat. In the ensuing years of the American Revolution, the small size of the Continental Navy necessitated the service of citizen sailors, who put to sea manning privateers, their far-flung raids against the British merchant fleet as important as the sea battles of John Paul Jones in establishing the American naval tradition.
Following the American Revolution, the expense of maintaining a standing navy was deemed too great, resulting in the selling of the last Continental Navy ship in 1785. However, attacks by Barbary pirates against American merchant vessels in the Mediterranean Sea prompted a change in course in 1794. A navy that helped give birth to the nation was now deemed essential to preserving its security, which faced its most serious threat during the War of 1812. Not only did reservists raid British commerce on the high seas, but they also outfitted a fleet of barges called the Chesapeake Bay Flotilla in an effort to defend that vital body of water against British invasion. Though overwhelmed by an enemy superior in numbers, these men, most recruited from Baltimore, continued to wage war on land, joining in the defense of Washington, D.C.
Having fought against a foreign power, naval reservists faced a much different struggle with the outbreak of the Civil War, which divided a navy and a nation. Within days of the attack, President Abraham Lincoln authorized an increase in the personnel levels of the Navy, which assumed an important role in the strategy to defeat the Confederacy with a blockade of the South and a campaign to secure control of the Mississippi River. By war’s end the Navy had grown from a force numbering 9,942 in 1860 to one manned by 58,296 sailors. A total of 101,207 men from twenty-one states enlisted during the war and volunteers were present during some of the storied naval engagements of the American Civil War, including serving in Monitor during her battle with CSS Virginia and the daring mission to destroy the Confederate ironclad CSS Albemarle. The latter action resulted in the awarding of the Medal of Honor to six reserve enlisted men.
With the lack of any major threat to the United States in the post-Civil War years, the U.S. Navy took on the appearance and missions of the force it had been in 1860. Then came publication of naval theorist Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan’s landmark study The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, which in part prompted a modernization of the U.S. fleet and brought some of the first calls for an organized naval reserve to help man these more advanced ships. In the meantime, state naval militias represented the Navy’s manpower reserve, demonstrating their capabilities during the Spanish-American War in which they assisted in coastal defense and served aboard ship. Militiamen from Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, and Maryland manned four auxiliary cruisers—Prairie, Yankee, Yosemite, and Dixie—seeing action off Cuba. All told, some 263 officers and 3,832 enlisted men of various state naval militias answered the call to arms.
As successful as the state naval militias were in the Spanish-American War, which made the United States a world power, the outbreak of World War I in 1914 demonstrated that a modern war at sea required a federal naval reserve force. Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels and his assistant, a young New Yorker named Franklin D. Roosevelt, launched a campaign in Congress to appropriate funding for such a force. Their efforts brought passage of legislation on 3 March 1915, creating the Naval Reserve Force, whose members served in the cockpits of biplanes and hunted enemy U-boats during the Great War.
Though the financial difficulties of the Great Depression and interwar isolationism translated into difficult times for the Naval Reserve, the organizational structure persevered and expanded with the creation of Naval Aviation Cadet program and the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. When World War II erupted on 1 September 1939, the Naval Reserve was ready. By the summer of 1941, virtually all of its members were serving on active duty, their numbers destined to swell when Japanese planes roared out of a clear blue sky over Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Over the course of the ensuing four years, the Navy would grow from a force of 383,150 to one that at its peak numbered 3,405,525, the vast majority of them reservists, including five future U.S. presidents.
The end of World War II brought a different struggle in the form of the Cold War, which over the course of nearly five decades was waged with the haunting specter of nuclear war. Cold War battlegrounds took naval reservists to Korea, where a massive mobilization of “Weekend Warriors” filled out the complements of ships pulled from mothballs and in some cases sent carriers to sea with almost their entire embarked air groups consisting of Reserve squadrons. Other calls came during the Berlin Crisis and Vietnam, and with the defense build-up of the 1980s, presided over by Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, a naval reservist, the Naval Reserve not only expanded, but also took steps towards greater interoperability with the active component with respect to equipment. Yet, the divisions between the active and reserve cultures remained distinct.
This began to change in the 1990s as over 21,000 Naval Reservists supported Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, which coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since that time, whether responding to the ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia or the threat of world terrorism, the latter coming to the forefront in the attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 11 September 2001, the recently renamed Navy Reserve has transformed from a force in waiting for massive mobilization to an integral component in carrying out the mission of the U.S. Navy. As Admiral William J. Fallon has stated, “We must remember that the Reserves, which represent twenty percent of our warfighting force, are absolutely vital to our Navy’s ability to fight and win wars now and in the future.”
While other Reserve components of other services each have an individual published history there is no comprehensive published official history in book form for the Naval Reserve.
Persons who enlist in the Active duty program first sign a contract to enter the Ready Reserve for a period of time that coincides with time served as Active Duty. Upon separation from Active Duty, members may still be obligated by their reserve contract if it has not expired. The remainder of the contract may be served as a member of the Selected Reserve or the Individual Ready Reserve. .
Prior service enlistees may be able to affiliate with the Navy Reserve in their active duty rating (job specialty) and paygrade.
Non-prior service enlistees are sent to Initial Active Duty Training (IADT), also called boot camp, located at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois (same location as Active Duty training) and qualify for a specific billet (job) in order to make their rate permanent. Very few ratings are available to non-prior service personnel. Based upon their skill sets, members will enter into service at paygrades E-1 through E-5. Although non-prior service recruits are paid from their first day at the advanced pay grade, they are not entitled to wear the insignia signifying their rank until they successfully complete boot camp. After graduating from boot camp, the reservist usually trains at a Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC)  again to complete the final "Phase IV" requirements. After that, he or she is sent to a reserve unit.
Typically, the Reservist is required to drill one weekend every month and spend a consecutive two-week period every year at a regular Navy base or on board a ship. While training either for just a weekend or during the two weeks, the Reservist is on active duty and the full spectrum of rules and regulations, including the Uniform Code of Military Justice, apply.