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NEWS | Jan. 21, 2022

A century of the United States Army Reserve in Puerto Rico

By Sgt. Katherine Ramos 1st Mission Support Command

The United States Army Reserve in Puerto Rico celebrates 100 years of service to the Army and the Nation, evolving from an infantry brigade that participated in World War II to what it is today, the largest command of the Army at the federal level in the Caribbean.

Soldiers from the United States Army Reserve have served in Puerto Rico since 1922, when the 187th Infantry Brigade with the 373rd and 374th Regiments established themselves at Fort Buchanan, San Juan.

Today, the United States Army Reserve in Puerto Rico is a key federal organization in the Caribbean with units trained and equipped to respond to a crisis and/or situation, and to defend the interests of the nation at any time, at any moment, anywhere in the world.

With over 5,000 citizen-soldiers with professional specialties in logistics, transportation, engineering, law enforcement, information technology, among others. Army Reserve soldiers receive the same training as active-duty soldiers to be ready to respond.

In the early hours of January 5, Alpha Company of the 35th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, located in Yauco, made history by being the first unit of the Army Reserve in Puerto Rico to mobilize during the centennial to provide support to the United States Central Command.

“The company will be part of Operation Inherent Resolve, under the Spartan Shield mission. Soldiers participated in multiple training sessions at Fort Hunter Liggett-California and Camp Santiago-Salinas to validate their communication skills before mobilizing,” said Maj. Edward Simangan, battalion operations officer.

On the other hand, Captain Jean Hernández, company commander, assured that the soldiers successfully completed the training requirements. “We are very excited and ready to carry out the mission!” Hernandez said.

In addition to Fort Buchanan, the Army Reserve has units in the Virgin Islands, Aguadilla, Mayagüez, Yauco, Ponce, Salinas, Juana Díaz, Ceiba, and Puerto Nuevo.

Since 1922, the Army Reserve in Puerto Rico has served in different conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, among others.

The United States Army Reserve workforce in Puerto Rico has a unique bilingual (Spanish) force with the ability to support operations in any Hispanic country.

Since the 9/11 attacks, the Army Reserve in Puerto Rico has mobilized 100 percent of the troops.

“Throughout our history, Puerto Rico has achieved deep admiration throughout the world for our culture, said Colonel Carlos Cáceres, commander of the United States Army Reserves in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. “In the same way, for the history of our brave warriors, who since the formation of the United States Army Reserve in Puerto Rico in 1922, have bravely fought in every important conflict with many of our brothers and sisters, paying the last sacrifice to preserve the freedoms we enjoy.”