08-08-2014 07:00 AM
Through nearly a century of war and peace, the Marine Reserve has lived up to the Corps' motto — Semper Fidelis, Always Faithful.
“What’s always been the same is the loyalty and camaraderie of the U.S. Marines,” says Gunnery Sgt. John Herrera, a 17-year member of the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion and an officer in the San Antonio Police Department. “Every Marine is taught the history of the Marine Corps and to take pride in our service and our country.”
Reservists rely on that faithfulness during the inconstant aspects of serving in the Marine Reserve, like the fluctuation of peacetime and wartime.
“I joined during peacetime, but then we went to wartime Sept. 11, 2001. Even in the Reserves, we stood up to protect our country,” Herrera says.
While he was deployed to Iraq in 2005, Herrera embodied that fidelity. When serving with his team on combat patrols, he was called to assist fellow Marines under fire. “We reacted with readiness to respond to our sister platoon taking fire,” he says. “We had to support their engagement.”
Legacy of service
This organization of support and faithfulness was created when Congress passed the Naval Appropriations Act on Aug. 29, 1916. This year marks the 98th anniversary of its birth.
Soon after the Marine Reserve was born, more than 6,000 members were summoned to serve in World War I. During World War II, 600,000 Marines were called to duty, and nearly three quarters were reservists.
Today, 100,000 Marine reservists from across the nation stand ready to mobilize when called to serve alongside their active-duty counterparts. Thousands of reservists have been needed on the front lines to support operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Reserve units travel to locations such as South Korea, Thailand, Central America and Africa for training exercises every year to ensure they are ready at a moment’s notice.
Reservists also serve closer to home, responding to natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Whether at home or abroad, the men and women of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve have our gratitude for their service and dedication to protecting our country. We at USAA commend these brave Marines and offer hearty congratulations on 98 years of service.
USAA means United Services Automobile Association and its affiliates.
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