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Air Force Reserve History

Air Force Reserve historical timeline: 

1. Air Force Reserve visionary leaders: Maj. Gen. George Squier proclaimed that the provision establishing the Organized Reserve Corps was one of the most important sections of the 1916 National Defense Act. He sought to acquire a body of experienced technical men to organize and train in peacetime and be available when needed for war. (More) 

2. 1948 - 1968: 
The historical origins of an air reserve in the US military stem from the Preparedness Movement and the National Defense Act of 1916 that authorized an Organized Reserve Corps. The Air Force Reserve was formally established on April 14, 1948 by President Harry Truman who envisioned a program similar to one established during the First World War, whereby Reservists stood ready to serve during wartime. (More)

3. 1969 - 1989: As the 1970s unfolded, the challenge then was to find the right mix of forces for mission effectiveness. Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird adopted the Total Force concept in August 1970 with Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger declaring it policy in 1973. With the implementation of the Total Force Policy, the Air Force Reserve became a multi-mission force, flying the same modern aircraft as the active Air Force. (More)

4. Focus:
 The Air Force Reserve's contribution to the security of the United States and the world fulfils visions begun one hundred years ago when, in 1907, the Aeronautical Division in the Signal Corps became responsible for military "air machines," and some sixty years ago when President Harry Truman directed in the National Security Act of 1947 that the services revitalize their reserve programs. (More

5. 1990 - 1999: Air Force Reserve airlift and tanker crews were flying within days of Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. When ground operations commenced, Air Force Reserve A-10s operated close to the front lines along with Air Force Reserve special operations and rescue forces. A Reservist scored the first-ever A-10 air-to-air kill. (More)

6. 2000 - Present: When terrorists attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, Air Force Reservists responded in full measure. Air Force Reserve F-16 fighters flew combat air patrols (CAPs) protecting America's cities while KC-135 tanker and AWACs aircraft supported with air refuelings and security. (More)

7. Reserve Everyday Heroes: "From the sands of Iraq to the mountains of Afghanistan from the jungles of South America to the Antarctic icecap, in the skies above the nation, inside hurricanes threatening our coastal areas and through wildfires endangering our countryside, dedicated Reservists answer the call to duty symbolizing the values of integrity, service before self, and excellence in all we do." (More)

Heritage and Combat Art

The mission of the Heritage and Combat Art Division within the Air Force Reserve Office of History and Heritage preserves a visual record by documenting Reserve Citizen Airmen and the Air Force Reserve experience and culture to include Total Force, joint and coalition exercises, operations, events and other activities around the globe. Along with artifacts, this visual record provides context and draws interest in a deeper understanding of our written history.  The mission includes education outreach efforts to inform and inspire an appreciation for our people and missions through heritage and combat artworks along with informational products.  The Heritage and Combat Art program facilitates professional military education, training, retention and recruiting efforts. Through Heritage and Combat Art, the Office of History and Heritage directly supports the revitalization of squadrons by helping members feel connected with the legacy of the Air Force Reserve and past generations in the service of our country.

Meet our artists

picture of lt col warren neary paintin image of senior master sgt darby perrin painting image of tech sgt kat justen sculpting
Lieutenant Colonel Warren F. Neary
Senior Master Sergeant Darby Perrin
Technical Sergeant Katie “Kat” L. Justen

2019 Air Force Reserve Year in Review