Hello Shipmates, this year marks the 71st anniversary of the Coast Guard Reserve. Since its founding, the Coast Guard Reserve has been a viable and cost effective workforce that has maintained its primary purpose of providing surge capacity for peacetime, as well as wartime missions worldwide. The Coast Guard Reserve was established by the passage of the Coast Guard Reserve and Auxiliary Act of February 19, 1941. Since then, thousands of reservists including my own father have faithfully been ready to take the watch and mobilize for contingencies, whether foreign or domestic. Today’s Coast Guard Reserve consists of nearly 8,000 dedicated people who support the Coast Guard roles of: Maritime Homeland Security; National Defense; and Response to natural or man-made disasters. The reserve force’s critical competencies in boat operations, contingency planning and response, expeditionary warfare, marine safety, port security, law enforcement and mission support make them capable of performing our full range of challenging maritime missions. Since 2001, Coast Guard reservists have served more active duty days than at any time since World War ll. In 2010, more than 2,600 reservists responded to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. At the height of the response, nearly 60% of the Coast Guard’s personnel in theater were reservists. Future domestic contingencies will likely require a similar level of Reserve participation. In 2011, a small contingent of reservists continued our Service’s commitment to remain on scene until all aspects of the clean up were complete. Reservists also augmented our response to the Midwest floods, as well as devastation caused by Hurricane Irene in the northeastern states. Coast Guard Reserve forces also continue to support overseas contingency operations on the front lines in the Arabian Gulf and back at home ensuring cargo, equipment and supplies to support these operations are safely handled and loaded aboard ship. These mobilizations often require reservists to make personal sacrifices such as temporarily leaving civilian employment and their families. And when crisis strikes, reserve mobilization can occur with minimal advance notice. In order to promote stronger, more resilient reserve members and families, we have instituted the Coast Guard Yellow Ribbon Program. The Yellow Ribbon Program ensures deploying reservists and their families connect with local resources before, during, and after deployments. The program helps those in need receive assistance. Linda and I have had the pleasure of participating in Yellow Ribbon events and are happy to report the right people are being reached, at the right time, with the right information. I am grateful for the spouses and families who stand the watch at home when reservists are deployed and take on responsibilities they are accustomed to sharing. Through their support and sacrifice, our reservists remain always ready. I am also thankful to the civilian employers who continue supporting Coast Guard reservists and facilitating their service to our Nation whenever we call on them. Their patriotism and commitment is exemplary. As with all organizations, people are the key to the success and effectiveness of our Coast Guard Reserve. I am proud of our Reserve’s commitment and selfless service. I encourage all team Coast Guard members to congratulate their reserve shipmates on this seventy-first anniversary of the Coast Guard Reserve. Thank you for your 71 years of exceptional service to the Coast Guard and our Nation. Semper Paratus.