U.S. Army Reserve

 

Georgia Congressman celebrates the Army Reserve birthday with the 642d RSG

By Sgt. 1st Class Andrea Hester | 143d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) | April 14, 2017

April 8, 2017 -- On April 23rd the Army Reserve will celebrate 109 years of service to our nation. Throughout the years, Reserve Soldiers have served in numerous capacities in every major military campaign to include; World War I, World War II, Korean War, Cold War, Desert Shield/Desert Storm and the Global War on Terrorism. Since that time, the Army Reserve has established itself to be a critical component in the U.S. military structure and support.

To honor those who have served before and today, Soldiers from the 642d Regional Support Group (RSG) gathered, Saturday, April 8 for a cake cutting ceremony commemorating the event and to discuss military readiness and the way ahead.

Congressman Hank Johnson, U.S. Representative for Georgia's 4th congressional district, was in attendance along with host, Colonel Jeffery L. Richar, commander, 642d Regional Support Group. Johnson served as the guest speaker expressing his immeasurable debt of gratitude to our Armed Forces and felt it an honor to show them that their service and sacrifice is appreciated.

“We as civilians appreciate what you do for our country, what you represent, and for being a part of what this great nation deserves. “Your needs will forever remain a priority.”

Although Johnson never served his country in uniform, he noted that for the 11 years he has served in Congress, his first 10 years were as a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

“One regret I have is not serving or to be able to have given to my country in that way,” said Johnson. “Every day I was inspired to work on behalf of our military personnel and veterans.”

Johnson gave an overall view of how the executive and legislative branches work to serve our service members and how they support the continued development of our history’s finest military as it evolves to address future challenges.

“We have the greatest fighting force in this world and when called upon, you all will spring into action and get the job done,” said Johnson. “Our job is to do everything we can to keep you safe and to make sure you come back home to your families.”

Prior to addressing the Soldiers at the event, Johnson participated in discussions with 642d leaders about the brigade’s mission and the steps the Army Reserve is taking to build a rapidly deployable 'Ready Force’ designed to focus on short-term readiness.

Richar, who led the discussion said, “The Army Reserve is focusing on short-term readiness, ready to deploy when needed.”

Richar went on to explain in the past, the Reserve has built readiness over time however now, we may need to deploy in less time as threats around the world continue to evolve. “Our brigade needs to be ready — in areas such as, individual soldier readiness and medical readiness,” he said.

“Maintaining that readiness requires support,” said Richar. Using the knowledge gained from this visit, Richar hopes the information will give the representative a better understanding of the readiness challenges the Army Reserve is facing.

The 642d serves as headquarters for thousands of support Soldiers throughout the southeastern United States and falls under the 143d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).