The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Thursday, August 29, 1996
I wonder how many of the American public knows that 220,000
Guard and Reserves have served in contingency operations the last
Well, one of the things this "M" award does will be,
not only to thank and recognize the individuals, but also to let
the public know what their Guard and Reserve forces are doing for
"Our military forces are a team, a team that's in the game
And each player on that team must be an All-American."
These words of General Omar Bradley have never been more true
Because today, every member of our Total Force --
the active forces, the reserves, the National Guard -- must truly
be a part of one team, and that team must be an All-American
Today, we count on the Guard and the Reserves not only to be
on the team, but to be on the first string whenever and wherever
America's military is needed.
We cannot conduct today any significant contingency operation
without calling on the Guards, without calling on the Reserves.
We don't even think about conducting an operation without them.
In 1990 and 91 you helped Storm the Desert to stop a tyrant
in the Persian Gulf War.
In 1992 and 93, you helped Restore
Hope to starving thousands in Somalia.
In 1994 and 95 you
helped Uphold Democracy in Haiti.
And in '95 and 96 you have
been part of a great Joint Endeavor to bring peace to the heart
of Europe, serving on the flight lines in Aviano, on the supply
lines in Germany and Hungary, and on the front lines in Bosnia.
We rely on the Reserve Component because in this new era we
need to get full use of every man and woman in uniform whether
they are full-time or whether they are part-time.
We also need the unique perspective that a Reservist or a
Guard brings to the job.
The professional skills that you apply
in your civilian jobs are increasingly important to many of the
unique military missions we must perform today.
And finally, making more use of your talents helps us bridge
the gap between the military and civilian communities in this era
of the all-volunteer force.
The M' that you will now wear on your chests stands not
only for your service, but also for the unique sacrifices that
mobilization means for Guards and Reserves.
mobilization means totally uprooting your lives, leaving not only
your families, but also your jobs and your everyday communities.
For all your service and sacrifice, Winston Churchill
perhaps expressed it best, when he said the reservist is twice
the citizen. And he was right.
And so therefore, it is my
honor and my pleasure to offer you today, the gratitude of
myself, the Department of Defense, and indeed of our entire