PITTSBURGH AIR RESERVE STATION, Pa. --
Since 1948, the Reserve Enlisted Association (REA), inspired by the Reserve Officer Association (ROA), was an idea of repose until Sept. 3, 2003, when a conversation finally set the wheels back in motion and the REA became incorporated.
However, it doesn’t stop there. Although it was now incorporated, it had no charter or members.
With the help of Ms. Lani Burnett, a retired reserve chief master sergeant, and the executive director for REA, the 911th Airlift Wing enlisted ranks stepped up to the plate and accepted the challenge.
In November 2004, after several meetings and a valiant effort concentrated on membership, the 911th Airlift Wing became the very first Reserve Enlisted Association Chapter.
While attending the Reserve Officers Association’s Mid-Winter Conference in Washington, D.C., both Col. Randal L. Bright, 911th AW Commander, and Command Chief Master Sgt. James Fields were called to the podium during opening ceremonies in order to receive the plaque of recognition on behalf of the 911th AW enlisted force.
“I can’t tell you how proud I felt, standing up there as your commander to accept this plaque on your behalf,” said Col. Bright. “I am so honored to be your commander and a part of this organization.”
Although there are plenty of other military organizations service members can join, the one unique factor that the Reserve Enlisted Association possesses is its sole focus on enlisted personnel of all Reserve components.
The REA serves to benefit all reserve component personnel, as it functions as a proponent to voice quality of life issues to Congress in five areas of concentration: Pay, Medical, Education, Retirement, Employment Benefits and Protection.
There are two membership categories, Regular and Associate. Regular membership includes personnel currently serving or are retired from a Reserve component of the Armed Forces. These members are able to hold office, vote, and serve on the Board of Directors.
Associate members are individuals who have an interest in the purpose of the association but do not qualify for Regular membership.
Anyone interested in membership with the REA can contact CMSgt. James Fields at (412) 474-8742, or see your unit’s First Sergeant.
Command Chief Fields notes that receiving the plaque for Chapter # 1 is a credit to all members of the wing, and states as the saying goes, “whenever you need something done, just call 911.”
For detailed information on the Reserve Enlisted Association visit the REA website at: http://www.reaus.org