In a sense, the United States Army Reserve (USAR) is as old as the nation itself. From the time of the American Revolution until World War I, the Federal government had eschewed a large standing army, instead calling upon Citizen-Soldiers when wartime emergencies arose—a de facto military reserve. It was a system that worked well—to a point.

But as America evolved into a global power and its international trade grew at an explosive pace at the end of the 19th century, the unfortunate reality was that this prosperity also carried with it the potential for conflict and the need for rapid deployment of military forces. One solution was to maintain (and pay for) a large army that might go years without being deployed; the other was to establish Federal control over a large pool of Citizen-Soldiers—ready-trained troops who could be mobilized and deployed when needed.

Today’s USAR traces its origins to the establishment of the Medical Reserve Corps in 1908. But it wasn’t until the passage of the National Defense Act in 1916 and the creation of the Officers Reserve Corps, the Enlisted Reserve Corps, and the Reserve Officers Training Corps that sizable numbers of Soldiers were being trained to serve in combat should the need arise—which of course happened in very short order with the U.S. entry into World War I.

These organizations were designated as the Organized Reserve in 1920, then redesignated as the Organized Reserve Corps (ORC) in 1948. With the passage of Public Law 476 on July 9, 1952, the ORC was transformed into the Army Reserve, which included all Reserve officers and enlisted personnel of the Army except for those in the National Guard.

In 1973, the job of U.S. Army Reserve Recruiters, now called Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Recruiters, became even more important as the draft was abolished in favor of an all-volunteer military. Because its AGR Recruiters are the “face of the Army” for potential enlistees, candidates for this position must meet a veritable laundry list of eligibility requirements—nearly 30 in all. (Complete information on the requirements to qualify as candidate for AGR Recruiter are found in AR  601–1, “Assignment of Enlisted Personnel to the U.S. Army Recruiting Command.”

Current members of the Army Reserve (this includes those in AGR and Troop-Program Units, as well as Individual Ready Reservists and Individual Mobilization Augmentees) are eligible to be assigned or to volunteer as AGR Recruiters, but only if they currently hold the rank of Corporal, Sergeants, Staff Sergeant, or Sergeant First Class.

Because the jobs they signify are so closely related, the Army no longer issues separate identification badges U.S. Army Reserve Recruiters. Both Army Recruiters and Army Reserve Recruiters are in MOS 79R and consequently wear the same badge.
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