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Release No: 508-96
August 29, 1996

Remarks by Secretary of Defense William J. Perry At Ceremonies Presenting the First M Mobilization Device To Representatives of the Reserve Components

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 six years. 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 them.

"Our military forces are a team, a team that's in the game to win. And each player on that team must be an All-American." These words of General Omar Bradley have never been more true than today. 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 team.

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. For you, 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 nation.

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