January 1, 2009  

Pride in reserve status

I was disappointed and saddened by the opinion expressed by Cmdr. Richard M. Berg, a retired Navy Reserve officer who takes offense at the designation “reserve” and is desperately seeking some way to have himself labeled as “active-duty retired.”

As a retired Navy Reserve officer, I have always taken great pride in my reserve status and have never considered it an insult. Of course I have heard the term “f—–g reserve,” but I took the source of such remarks into account and let them pass. I usually found during my annual active-duty periods as a public affairs officer that my Reserve colleagues and I were more knowledgeable in many aspects of communications, public relations, media, community and government relations than were our active-duty counterparts — and more well-rounded officers and leaders because of our civilian experience.

I’m sure it’s not unusual for other Navy Reservists to be as highly qualified in skills and leadership as their active-duty counterparts, or more so, in their own military communities.

The old adage that a military reservist is “twice a citizen” remains true. Reservists not only contribute to their local communities and economies, they also bring all their civilian skills, leadership and other assets to an active-duty military that sorely needs them and can use them to the best advantage.

Cmdr. Berg should rethink his career and adjust his attitude, and be proud of his service as a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Capt. William H. Heard Jr. (ret.)

Navy Reserve

San Diego, Calif.