The Ever-changing Face of the US Military Reserve Forces
My name is Vernon Davidson Jr. I live in Scott City, MO. I joined the Cape Girardeau Navy Reserve Seabee Detachment in June of this year. We have a great unit with outstanding leadership within our detachment as well as our fleet reservists. We have an outstanding staff of active duty personnel, who work hard to support us.
The reason I'm sending this is to convey some idea of how the average military reservist's role has evolved. In times past, the "weekend warrior" image was viewed as a group of part-time soldiers earning college money and getting together on the occasional weekend. In the past several years, the US military has undergone a phase of enormous downsizing. This has affected the roles of the reservist in two very important ways. First, as proven by the Gulf War, the likelihood of being called to serve in times of war and crisis has increased greatly. This has lead to much better training and readiness opportunities. Second, the reserve forces are benefiting by gaining experienced, seasoned prior active service veterans, who have training in various areas. Training is a very valuable asset both to the unit and the individual. Another valuable asset is an employer who fully understands and supports the service member's needs, when called to train or serve.
I am anxious and excited to be receiving my training as a CE3 (Construction Electrician), a Seabee, early next year. In the meantime, I'm itchin' to do whatever I can to serve my country in the best way I can. I am prior-service Army (ETS Date: Jan 2, 1996) with extensive training in Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense. I served, as a 54b-20, as the NBC-NCO for the 1st Battalion 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division for three years on active duty. Part of my duties were plotting the range and dimensions of contamination from chemical, biological and radiological attack as well as training the members of my unit in how to protect themselves. Along with my CBR experience, I have trained in light infantry warfare as well as counter-terrorism. I had a secondary MOS of 95B Military Police from my enlistment, serving with the 1137th MP company in Kennett, MO. As a civilian, I am a proud United States Postal employee, APWU member, husband, father of two and patriot of our great country. I am just one among the many Reservists and National Guardsmen in the Heartland.
The bottom line is, should the call come, we are here ready and eager to serve.