Happy Birthday, U.S. Army Reserve!

Today, the U.S. Army Reserve celebrates its 106th birthday. Generations of Reserve soldiers have followed in the footsteps of servicemembers before them who embraced the nation’s call to duty by volunteering to serve as Citizen-Soldiers in the Army’s Reserve force. The Army Reserve is an important element in The Army multi-component unit force, training with Active and National Guard units so that all three components work as a fully integrated team.

The Army Reserve performs a complementary role to the Active component, providing combat support and combat service support functions to enable the Army to ramp up its capabilities to protect combat forces and sustain mobilization. The Army Reserve makes up only 20 percent of the Army’s organized units, but it provides about half of the Army’s combat support and a quarter of the Army’s mobilization base expansion capability.

Wilmington University Honors Those that Serve

Wilmington University has invited us to join in honoring our nation’s Heroes!

On March 26, 2014 from 11:00am-1:00pm, Wilmington University will host a Spring Military/Veteran Appreciation Day at the Pratt Student Center (New Castle Campus, 320 N. DuPont Hwy, New Castle DE 19720).

The event is designed to recognize and honor our Servicemembers, Veterans, and their families. It will include attendance by Government Officials/Representatives, Senior Leadership from Wilmington University, our Military/Veteran Student Organization, and Vendors from the community. Activities will be available including a massage table, acupuncture table and a special “Rifle Spinning” demonstration performed by the ROTC Drill Team from William Penn High School! A light lunch, cake, and prizes will also be provided for attendees.


  • 1100 – Event Begins: Sign in, networking/vendor tables/activities
  • 1200 – Remarks/Recognition: Jim Webb, Military Affairs Coordinator
  • 1210 – Rifle Spinning Demo: William Penn ROTC
  • 1220 – Continue networking/vendor tables/activities
  • 1300 – Event Ends

Supporting military vendors include: DAFB Airman & Family Readiness Center, Employer Support for Guard & Reserve (ESGR), MyHealtheVet, United Service Organizations Inc. (USO), Vet Center: Wilmington,  Military One Source, DE Army National Guard, and the DE Air National Guard.

Do Not Cut Soldier Pay and Benefits

The former Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Gordon Sullivan, wrote the following letter to the Washington Post last month.

I read with dismay the December 26 article, “For Military, Benefits and Reform are Challenge”, which demonizes our troops as unworthy of the benefits they receive while ignoring the challenges, sacrifices and hardships military personnel and their families face while providing the nation’s defense as volunteers. Military personnel costs, described as “burgeoning” and making up nearly half the Pentagon’s budget, are in fact approximately 30 percent of the budget as they have been for the past 30 years. The growth in those costs that “must be tamed” is in fact a ten-year catch up effort enacted by Congress to close a pay gap that had grown to 14 percent. Parity has been achieved and that growth will level off. Pay and benefits must be competitive because almost three of four recruitment-age Americans cannot qualify for military service, and those left have other career options. If military pay and benefits are the same as those of civilians, there is little incentive to join an organization with the inherent risks of military life. One of the world’s richest nations can afford a military compensation and benefits package that matches the dangers and hardships its defense personnel must endure.

Gordon R. Sullivan, Arlington

Army and National Guard debate capabilities

The head of the National Guard Bureau and the top soldier in the Army shared different views on the capabilities of the National Guard during remarks to reporters last week in Washington, D.C.
Gen. Frank J. Grass, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and Gen. Ray T. Odierno, the Army Chief of Staff, spoke two days apart during luncheons at the National Press Club. The set-up highlighted their contrasting views on the Guard’s role as defense officials move to restructure forces after a decade of war and with tight budget constraints.

Serving as a backdrop to their comments, the Army wants to cut the Army Guard to 315,000 soldiers, while also removing all combat helicopters and other aircraft from its arsenal. The Guard wants to maintain an end-strength of 345,000 and has pushed back against the aviation plan.

National Guard supporters argue that the Guard can provide combat troops at a fraction of the cost of the active-component Army. Gen. Odierno has stated that the active component has a higher state of readiness because of a greater amount of training. “They’re trained and ready to do things at a higher level because they spend every day focused on that,” he said. “Our National Guard, who’s done an incredible job in the last 10 years, trains 39 days a year.” That difference is why, he said, the two components aren’t interchangeable. He argued that their capabilities should be seen as complementary.

Speaking two days later at the same podium, Gen. Grass said he’s hard-pressed to find a member of the Guard who trains only 39 days a year. He emphasized that diligence in training is essential to success, particularly with reliance on rapidly changing technology. “And between drills, preparing for drills, professional development, course work, and more, National Guard members are putting in the necessary time needed to maintain their capabilities. The concept of the Guard and Reserve training just 39 days a year”, he said, “doesn’t exist anymore”

No Return to Iraq?

The U.S. Army General who led U.S. forces through some of the most deadly years of the Iraq war says he opposes sending U.S. combat troops in response to the recent gains in that country by Islamic militants. General Ray Odierno, the current Army Chief of Staff, said Tuesday he is disappointed by the Iraqi government’s loss of control in key cities in the restive western province of Anbar. Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, he said the proper U.S. approach now is to remain engaged diplomatically to help Iraqi government leaders get their political system back on track. Odierno said that despite Iraq’s recent setbacks, it still has the potential to become a strong U.S. partner, though that hopeful prospect now appears “a bit shaky.”

Rest in Peace, MG George K. Hastings

MG Vavala sent this out on the Delaware National Guard news list and we are printing it in its entirety.

MG Vavala sent this out the the Delaware National Guard community so I am sharing it in its entirety- Kat Lehman

To my Delaware National Guard family,

It is with a great deal of sorrow that I join all members of the Delaware National Guard in expressing our condolences and sincere sympathy on the passing of one of our beloved leaders, an architect of our modern Delaware National Guard, a mentor, advisor, colleague, friend, and former Adjutant General, MG (Ret) George K. Hastings.

He lived his life dedicated to our organization and to the principles on which our National Guard was founded. He will be remembered for his institutional knowledge and modernization of our force structure.

MG Hastings was a patriotic American Soldier and leader who served his country, state, and community willingly and without reservation. His death is a loss to all of us in the Delaware National Guard, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Rose Ann, his daughters Joanna and Jaime, and the rest of his family.

Francis D. Vavala
Major General
The Adjutant General, Delaware

Funeral services are as follows:

Visitation: Friday, November 1, 12-2 p.m.
Hannigan, Short, Disharoon Funeral Home
700 West Street
Laurel, DE
(302) 875-3637

Funeral service: Friday, November 1, 2 p.m.
Hannigan, Short, Disharoon Funeral Home

Odd Fellows Cemetery
West Street
Laurel, DE

You may send condolences to Mrs. Hastings at 32616 Hastings Drive, Laurel,
DE 19956.