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ROA-Reserve Organization of America

The Reserve Officers Association of the United States, now known as the Reserve Organization of America to reflect its all-ranks membership, was founded during the difficult years after the first world war. With "the war to end all wars" won, complacency and isolationism swept across the American political landscape.

The Founders

The founders of ROA, veterans of World War I, believed America was vulnerable to return to its pre-war unpreparedness. Determined to help prevent the very unreadiness they had experienced, 140 officers gathered with General of the Armies John J. "Black Jack" Pershing at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., and on October 2, 1922, formally established ROA.

Addressing ROA's founders at the inaugural convention's opening session, General Pershing spoke of the importance of a strong Reserve force: "...the war brought home to us in a very striking manner the advisability of reasonable precaution - completely vindicated the advocates of military training and preliminary organization, and demonstrated beyond question the fallacy of pacifist theories." His speech was quoted in an article entitled "Reserve Officers Organize" in the October 3 New York Times.

As the political and national security context changed over nearly a century, ROA has remained committed to its original mission, then stated as "The object of this Association shall be to support and assist in the development and execution of a military policy for the United States which shall provide adequate National Defense."

Between the world wars, through the Cold War, into the current era, and throughout shifting political influences, ROA has been a prominent voice in the cause of preparedness. In its early days, ROA supported the right of the Reservist, as of any other citizen, to appear before Congress in support of appropriations and matters affecting the national defense was established. The association's earliest "campaign" was for a strong corps of Reserve officers who could help the nation rebuild its Army should the need arise.