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DoD Unveils Guard, Reserve Spot

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 28, 1998 – DoD unveiled the 1999 public service announcement that urges employers to support their employees who are reservists. Officials premiered the spot during a Pentagon ceremony, Dec. 16.

During the ceremony, Charles Cragin, acting assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, also thanked the Ad Council for 25 years of placing the announcements on TV stations, on radio and in newspapers.


“We provide a modest amount of money to make the spots,” Cragin said. “[The Ad Council] produces the PSA and distributes them throughout the United States. They reach 14,000 outlets nationwide.”

Cragin also honored the advertising firm of Warwick, Baker and O’Neill who produced the 1999 spot.


During the ceremony, officials showed various spots through the years. The first public service announcement featured Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater and Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire. The men were ideological opposites, but they agreed the United States needed strong reserve components. They asked employers to support their employees who were reservists.


Another spot came from the late 1970s and featured soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines with long hair dancing off to drill.


The 1982 spot, narrated by James Earl Jones, showed how the citizen soldiers of Valley Forge helped win the American Revolution.


Still another, from the early 1990s, talks about how a reservist’s military job can help his civilian employer. It shows a soldier freefalling out of a plane. He lands on some ironwork and one of his coworkers just looks at the camera and says, “Joe’s back.”


The 1998 spot talked about National Guardsmen rescuing a woman snowed in. The crux of the spot was the woman would have died if employers didn’t let their employees participate in the reserves.


The 1999 spot starts with an empty flight deck aboard the USS Kennedy. The narrator asks, “Who will be there to answer the call?” The answer is the reserves and the screen fills with reservists manning the decks and plane of the carrier. The spot finishes with the narrator saying, “As an employer, you may be asked to support their mission. Remember: Their response depends on yours.”


“I like the presentation of the spots through the years,” said Cragin. “They tell the story of the transformation of the reserve components from a strategic reserve to a force that’s increasingly being used.


“These men and women are not weekend warriors, but military professionals who continually serve when called upon,” he continued. 


Cragin said he believes employers recognize that the changes in the world affect their employees who are reservists. “The fact is that 50 percent of the Total Force is from the reserve components,” Cragin said. “These spots go a long way toward educating Americans about the Guard and Reserves contributions to the Total Force.”


Cragin said more than 17,000 reservists have served in Bosnia. He said reservists are helping enforce the no-fly zones in Iraq and helping with the tremendous humanitarian effort in Central America following Hurricane Mitch. 


Cragin said the Pentagon will survey employers to find out their concerns with employees who are in the reserves. “It’s hard to say if employers are having problems due to the new operation tempo,” Cragin said. “That’s why we need this survey. It will give us a baseline.”


Cragin said employers also benefit from reservists. He said reservists are physically fit and drug free. They are generally self-starters who think mission accomplishment. 


Cragin said DoD will do what it can to make reserve deployments predictable, and urged reservists to keep their employers informed of military plans.

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