Timeline of the Navy Reserve

Navy Reserve Centennial


The Navy Reserve was officially formed in 1915 – just as the United States was emerging as a world power and just following the outbreak of World War I. But the concept of the American Citizen Sailor actually precedes America itself. Follow Navy Reserve history – from its militia-like roots to its official existence over the past 100 years.

Even before the Continental Congress established the Continental Navy, there were bands of residents in seaside towns such as Machias, ME, engaging in combat with British warships – inspired by the spirited battles of Minutemen.

By the end of World War II, there were millions of Americans actively engaged in that conflict as members of the Navy. And the vast majority of them – Reservists.

From the American Revolution to the ongoing engagements in the Middle East, American Citizen Sailors/Reservists have performed heroically in service to their nation – creating and maintaining a proud heritage and history built on the same core values that guide all of America’s Navy. Honor. Courage. Commitment.

Navy Reserve Centennial
Ten out of eleven Sailors in the Navy during World War II were Naval Reservists. They made possible the rapid expansion of our naval service into the largest the world has ever known — some three and a third million. They had to learn their job the hard way, with a maximum amount of training in a minimum period of time. Today the Naval Reserve, profiting by its wartime experiences, is even better prepared to help this Nation protect the peace.
John L. Sullivan, Secretary of the Navy, 1947-1949
Today’s Navy Reserve is an essential element of America’s Navy. Each day Navy Reserve Sailors provide global operational support to fleet and combatant commanders using skill sets they hone through both military and civilian training. It is this breadth and depth of experience, unique to the Citizen Sailor that enhances operational readiness, provides strategic depth, and strengthens the fabric of our force.
Vice Admiral Robin R. Braun, Chief of the Navy Reserve, 2012-

Navy Reserve Centennial Supporters