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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 177-98
April 16, 1998

U.S. ARMY RESERVE LAUNCHES 90TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

On April 20, the United States Army Reserve will launch a week-long series of events in Washington, D.C., to kick off a year-long celebration of the 90th Anniversary of the founding of the Army Reserve. Major events during the week of April 20-24 include a historical exhibit in the Pentagon, a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery, a birthday cake cutting on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, a stamp cancellation and an anniversary ball.

The celebration begins with two events scheduled simultaneously at 10 a.m. (EDT), April 20. Maj. Gen. Max Baratz, chief, Army Reserve, will host the opening ceremony at the Army Reserve's historical exhibit in the Hall of Heroes in the Pentagon with Gen. Henry Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as the keynote speaker. At the same time, a Postal Cancellation Station will open in Corridors 1 and 2 of the Pentagon where visitors will be able to have a special cache envelope canceled with a commemorative cancellation.

On April 21 a wreath-laying ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. at the Tomb of the Unknowns. General Baratz, Sen. Chuck Hagel, Army Reserve Command Sgt. Maj. John E. Rucynski and Richard Johnston, executive officer for Military Affairs of the Non-Commissioned Officers Association, will place a wreath in honor of Army Reservists who have died while serving their country.

A birthday cake will be cut on the west steps of the Capitol at noon, April 23. Sen. Strom Thurmond will host the event, and Rep. Steve Buyer will be the master of ceremonies. Other participants will include the newest USAR soldier, and USAR recruiter, retention noncommissioned officer, drill sergeant, and soldier of the year. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place in Capitol Room HC5.

An anniversary ball on Thursday at the Washington Hilton & Towers will culminate the week's events. During the formal event, Senator Thurmond will receive the Army Reserve's Theodore Roosevelt Award honoring a lifetime of service both in and to the Army Reserve.

A full schedule of events will be displayed in selected Washington Metro subway and bus stations. Additional Army Reserve 90th Anniversary events are scheduled to take place in various cities across the nation, including New York, N.Y., Boston, Mass., Chicago, Ill., Atlanta, Ga., San Antonio, Texas, and Los Angeles, Calif.

The Army Reserve traces its founding to the establishment of the Medical Reserve Corps on April 23, 1908. Since then, Army reservists have served in every conflict in which the United States has been engaged. More recently, the Army Reserve provided more than 84,000 soldiers for Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and approximately 15,000 have supported NATO operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina since 1996. Today more than 208,000 Army reservists serve in the United States, Bosnia, Korea, Southwest Asia and other locations around the world.

For more information about the 90th Anniversary and the Army Reserve, call Maj. Jim Torgler, (703) 614-7326, or visit the USAR web site at: http://www.army.mil/usar/90thbday/home.htm .

USAR ANNIVERSARY WEEK SCHEDULE OF EVENTS APRIL 20-25

Monday -------------------------------------------

* Opening Ceremony - 10 a.m. at the Army Reserve historical exhibit, Hall of Heroes, in the Pentagon. Exhibit is open throughout April.

* Postal cancellation - 10 a.m. at corridors 9 & 10, Pentagon (same time Mon-Fri).

Tuesday -------------------------------------------

* Concert - 11:30 a.m., by the Virginia Military Institute Fife and Drum Corps, Pentagon Centercourt.

* NCO Wreath Laying Ceremony - 2 p.m. at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery.

* Concert - 2:30 p.m., by the Virginia Military Institute Fife and Drum Corps, at the Arlington National Cemetery Amphitheater.

Thursday ------------------------------------------

* Cake Cutting Ceremony - 12 p.m., West Capitol steps. Sen. Strom Thurmond and Rep. Steve Buyer will participate.

* 90th Anniversary Ball - 6:30 p.m., the Washington Hilton and Towers Hotel, DC.

Friday ----------------------------------------------

* Concert - 11:30 a.m., by the 307th Army Reserve Band, Pentagon Centercourt.

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