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NEWS | April 14, 2020

Chief of Navy Reserve Releases Message to the Force

By Lt. Adam M Demeter

Message to the Force
SLIDESHOW | 1 images | Message to the Force Message to the Force



1. As you are aware, we face a formidable adversary that does not get tired, does not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, and will only be defeated with teamwork, discipline and a sustained nationwide response. COVID-19 will be a long fight that demands hard work, innovative thinking, stamina, and agility. These are the attributes the Navy Reserve is built for. The pandemic is expected to peak in certain areas over the next month, and as a result, agility and speed are critical. Our Reserve Force Leadership responded by executing the first Distributed Mobilization (DM) process and successfully delivered Sailors into the fight within 48 hours. The outstanding work of our NOSCs, RCCs, and CNRFC during this crisis has been critical and validated the DM model. Moving forward through this fight, my priorities are the following: (1) taking care of our Sailors and families; (2) meet the mission with speed and agility, and (3) maintain readiness.

2. There is no doubt the Navy Reserve Medical Force is on the front line in this war. Navy Reserve Doctors, Nurses, Corpsman, and medical support personnel are placing themselves directly in harm's way as they encounter this invisible enemy. Within days, many of you placed your lives on hold to help fill critical roles across the country at the request of our nation's leadership. You have responded superbly and professionally. We will provide whatever support is required to ensure your success. A recap of this past week:

a) We have mobilized and surged our Reserve Medical professionals to cover critical staffing needs across the country. More than 700 Reserve members are providing support aboard USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) and USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), the medical center built at the Javits Convention Center and an additional 200 doctors and nurses are augmenting New York City hospitals.

b) Our aviation force has been pivotal in the prioritization of short-notice missions. With only a few hours' notice, Reserve Aviation delivered COVID-19 test kits and medical personnel to USS Theodore Roosevelt(CVN 71), began flying around the clock support flights with test samples in EUCOM AOR and supporting flights to other key Fleet Concentration areas.

c) Over 50 Navy Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers (NEPLO) have been activated or put on notice.

d) In the midst of this war at home, we still have approximately 3000 Individual Augmentee Sailors serving in Afghanistan, GTMO, Bahrain, Djibouti, and other locations throughout the world. They continue to excel performing missions vital to our Nation's security.

3. While I am confident we will prevail, this will be a long struggle. Your health and safety - and that of your families - remains a priority. We further recognize that mobilization and COVID-19 will impact your civilian employers. We have taken steps to protect our Sailors and civilian workforce, prescribing face covering while on duty, maximizing telework flexibility, and focusing on mission-essential activities to minimize potential exposure across the Force.

4. We also recognize the impact on your life at home and your civilian occupation. Many of you were expecting opportunities to advance to your next Navy career milestone, and we share your disappointment that our advancement processes are delayed. We are doing everything possible to minimize the impact on your careers and to ensure exams and boards will move forward as soon as possible.

5. We are also deploying several resources online to provide support and information. We have dedicated a 24/7 Chaplain Hotline - (757) 322-5650 - allowing Reserve members and their families remote access to talk with a Navy Chaplain. A single information source for all COVID-19 related information is now hosted on the Reserve website at Also, the Navy's new MyNavy Family app, is available at the These examples and more are part of our continuing efforts to make sure our Navy Reserve Team is provided answers to their questions and solutions during this critical period.

6. Finally, we are still accountable to provide Strategic Depth in support of our Nation's defense. I appreciate your innovative work to develop ways to maximize readiness generation while maintaining physical distancing. I will continue to challenge our leadership as we work our way through virtual drill weekends, telework, and mission essential operational support. Even though the world is focused on COVID-19, we will still remain committed to respond to support our Navy's operational requirements. Being ready and being there matters.

7. I am deeply humbled by the Honor, Courage, and Commitment of our Navy Reserve Team. The Navy Reserve remains a committed, resilient force delivering strategic depth and unique capabilities to our nation during this period, as it has for over 105 years. Thank you for being ready to help us overcome and recover from this unprecedented time. You have demonstrated, once again, that you can and will answer the nation's call, proving we are the Navy Reserve the Nation needs.

8. Released by VADM L. M. McCollum, Chief of Navy Reserve