Harry S. Truman photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Providing Retirement Benefits for Members of the Armed Forces Reserves.

June 29, 1948

I HAVE today signed H.R. 2744, title III of which provides for retirement benefits for individuals who remain active in the various programs for the Reserve components of our Armed Forces for at least 20 years.

Reserve personnel of the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard alike will receive retirement benefits under this title in direct proportion to the time and effort expended in the Reserves. These benefits will furnish an added incentive, which has been lacking heretofore, for well-trained men to remain active in the Reserves for a number of years. By making this kind of provision for the establishment of a career Reserve, this title is a very significant step forward in our organization for national defense.

The way is now open to the development of an ever-ready Reserve as an integral part of the United States Armed Forces. To achieve this end is the responsibility of the civilian heads of the national defense agencies. But in a deeper sense the responsibility rests on the officers and enlisted men of the Regular Armed Forces and their counterparts in the Reserve forces of each service.

If the standing forces of the Regular establishments are to be kept small, as is the tradition in the United States, the civilian Reserve must always be ready as part of the trained nucleus around which a citizen Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Air Force can be built if the need ever arises. The Reserve and Regular forces must therefore work together in effective teamwork, with the Regular services providing the equipment, the training facilities, and the expert guidance needed by the Reserve forces, and the Reserve personnel devoting their best efforts to keeping our national defense establishment in a constant state of readiness.

As Commander in Chief, I call upon the Regular services to work with the Reserves in full partnership in maintaining a vigorous and effective national defense. As a civilian who has been a Reserve officer for many years, I call upon the Reserves to accept their responsibilities and, in the fullest measure, to live up to the opportunities which this legislation gives them.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 2744 is Public Law 810, Both Congress (62 Stat. 1081).

Harry S Truman, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Providing Retirement Benefits for Members of the Armed Forces Reserves. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232607

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