Army Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, Army Reserve chief, and Command Sgt. Maj. Leon Caffie, his top enlisted soldier, administered the re-enlistment oath, marking the Army Reserve’s century of service.
Later in the day, they’ll lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the contributions and sacrifices Army Reserve soldiers have made. Afterward, they will honor today’s Army Reserve soldiers by planting a tree and dedicating a plaque at Arlington.
Stultz noted the service Army Reservists have contributed since it was founded April 23, 1908, as a small strategic force. He called today’s Army Reserve is an operational, expeditionary and domestic force that’s an essential part of the Army.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the Army Reserve has mobilized more than 216,000 soldiers. Today, more than 26,000 Army reservists are deployed around the world, he said.
This weekend, Stultz will further honor the sacrifices they have made when he attends the funeral of Army Reserve Sgt. Matt Maupin. The 20-year-old soldier went missing outside Baghdad April 9, 2004, when his convoy came under attack. He had been listed as a prisoner of war after a videotape was released showing him in captivity.
The Army announced March 31 that Maupin’s remains had been positively identified through DNA.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates expressed condolences to Maupin’s family. “Every single one of these (deaths) is a tragedy, both for the individual and for their families, but this has been especially difficult for the Maupin family because of not knowing for almost exactly four years,” Gates told reporters traveling with him the day of the announcement.
Maupin was a 20-year-old private first class when he was captured. He was a member of 724th Transportation Company, from Bartonville, Ill., but was assigned to the 88th Regional Readiness Command for the deployment. He was promoted to staff sergeant in August 2006, his third promotion since his capture.
Stultz expressed appreciation for the commitment, selfless service and personal courage Army reservists have demonstrated as they put their lives on hold – and on the line – to defend the United States and its freedoms.