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NEWS | April 6, 2020

U.S. Army Reserve Day highlights capabilities for New York legislators

By Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris 99th Readiness Division

U.S. Army Reserve senior leaders met with a dozen New York state legislators March 4 during U.S. Army Reserve Day at the Legislative Office Building here.

Maj. Gen. Mark Palzer, commanding general of the Army Reserve’s 99th Readiness Division, led the discussion by highlighting the Army Reserve’s capabilities throughout the state and the region.

“Within my footprint, there are 44,000 Soldiers, 550 units and 287 facilities,” explained Palzer, who supports a 13-state region from Maine to Virginia that contains 30 percent of all Army Reserve forces.

From its headquarters on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, the 99th ID manages the northeast region’s facilities, personnel actions, and equipment and vehicle maintenance for the Army Reserve. This ensures that the Soldiers and units throughout the region are ready when called upon.

“We are making sure that we as a readiness division are improving the readiness and enabling the readiness of our functional commands,” Palzer said. “Think of me and my organization as the landowners and the people who manage and control all the enabling capabilities for the Army Reserve Soldiers in our region.”

Throughout New York state, the 99th RD supports nearly 7,500 Soldiers serving in 161 units located at 29 facilities, bringing an estimated economic impact of $371 million to the Empire State.

“You talk about Citizen-Soldiers; that’s what we are,” Palzer said. “We’re everywhere throughout the state of New York, as well as the rest of the northeast.”

“If you think about the Army Reserve in New York state, we are providing very tangible and deliverable skills that transfer to civilian economies and progression in a career path,” explained Command Sgt. Maj. John Zimmerman, 99th RD command sergeant major.

U.S. Army Reserve Day was organized by U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador Gary Port of New York, a Long Island native who retired from the Army Reserve’s 78th Training Division as a lieutenant colonel.

“I see my job as educating public officials, and being the public face of the Army Reserve,” Port said. “It is also important to act as a bridge with the elected officials so that they can better represent their military constituents.”

According to Port, key topics of importance to legislators include the number of Army Reserve assets in their state, the economic impact the Army Reserve has on their state and the key differences between the Army Reserve and National Guard.

The Army Reserve Ambassador Program was established in 1998 to promote awareness of the Army Reserve, its goals and objectives, and to further educate and garner support for the Army Reserve. Ambassadors are Special Government Employees who represent the Chief of the Army Reserve without salary, wages or related benefits.

For more information about the Army Reserve Ambassador Program, visit