Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Charles L. Cragin, conducted a joint Reserve component promotion and reenlistment ceremony at Fort Dix, N.J., on Saturday, June 20, in which the first-ever Total Force "green" identification (ID) cards were issued to servicemen and women representing the seven U.S. military Reserve components.
The ceremony kicked off the issuance of the new Reserve active-status forces identification card, DD Form 2 (Reserve), to be phased in over a five-year period, with a change in the color of the card from red to green. Reserve active status forces number 1.5 million servicemen and women and include members of the Selected Reserve, the Individual Ready Reserve, and the active Standby Reserve. Collectively, they comprise 50 percent of the Total Force.
"The red ID card has been viewed by many Reservists as a mark of second-class status," said Cragin. "For years, policy makers in the Reserve community have been urging senior officials within the Department of Defense to make this change. This ceremony is historic because it symbolizes Secretary Cohen's ongoing commitment to building a seamless, fully integrated Total Force."
The change supports a policy recently initiated by Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen when he called on the civilian and military leadership of the Department of Defense to eliminate "all residual barriers, both structural and cultural," to effective integration of the Reserve and active components into a "seamless Total Force."
"I echo Secretary Cohen's words when I say that if we are truly one force, then we should have one way of identifying ourselves," said Cragin. "I personally recall times when I watched peoples' responses change when I presented my red ID card," he added, remembering experiences from his nearly 36-plus years of active and Reserve Naval service.
- The red ID card has primarily been used by members of the Reserve who are not on active duty or full-time National Guard duty. Red identification cards, DD Form 2 (Reserve Retired), will continue to be issued to "gray-area retirees," members of the Retired Reserve who have not reached age 60. Family members of reservists also will continue to receive the red (DD Form 1173-1) ID card. The only ID card affected is the DD Form 2 (Reserve). The color of all other Uniformed Services Identification Cards will remain as they currently are.
- All active-status Reserve forces members will now be eligible to carry a green ID card, which identifies the member's reserve component service in the upper right-hand corner of the card. The seven Reserve components are the: Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve.
At today's ceremony, Secretary Cragin promoted a soldier, sailor, Marine, airman and Coast Guardsman from each Service Reserve component. Each individual was issued a new Total Force green ID card, the same color as those issued to active force personnel.
The personnel promoted were: Staff Sgt. Stephen G. Noll, Army National Guard; Pfc. Richard Hoppe, U.S. Army Reserve; Petty Officer Rudolph Rump, Naval Reserve; Lance Cpl. Kenneth M. Revay, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve; Master Sgt. Stanton Frye, Air National Guard; Master Sgt. Angela Alexander, U.S. Air Force Reserve; and Chief Petty Officer Richard Whiteley, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.
"I am deeply impressed by the professionalism and competence of these individuals," said Cragin. "I am excited about this historic ceremony because it tells our Selected Reserve force that Secretary Cohen means what he says about breaking down barriers. The vision of a seamless Total Force has moved one step closer to reality."
For more information, news representatives should call Lt.Col.Terry Jones, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, 703- 695-3620, or the Fort Dix Public Affairs Office at 609- 562-5037/4034.