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Oklahoma Department of the Reserve Officers Association


What Is ROA?
The men and women who serve our Nation in the cause of freedom need and deserve a voice in creating government policy. ROA provides that voice. Respected, vigorous, effective - ROA has a long list of policy accomplishments, and an ambitious long-range program for the coming decade and beyond.

ROA Founding and Charter
Founded in 1922, and chartered by Congress in 1950, ROA's mission is to "...support and promote the development and execution of a military policy for the United States that will provide adequate National Security."

- The total number currently on active duty in support of the partial mobilization for the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 36,741;
Naval Reserve, 6,494;
Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 26,348;
Marine Corps Reserve, 3,789;
Coast Guard Reserve 1,096.
 This brings the total Reserve and National Guard on active duty to 74,468  including both units and individual augmentees.

State guardsmen join security mission

By Penny Owen
The Oklahoman

ALTUS -- More than 300 Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen are being mobilized for at least a year in support of Operation Noble Eagle, the code name for the post-Sept. 11 mission of protecting U.S. territory. Their mission: Security at military installations.

Soldiers from the 171st Field Artillery battalion in Altus gathered Thursday in a gymnasium for processing. They are expected at their new locations, either Fort Sill or Fort Carson, Colo., by early September.

"This is kind of an ongoing mission. We are relieving other National Guard units that have had this duty for the last year," said Col. Pat Scully, spokesman for the Oklahoma Army National Guard, a statewide military force that can be mobilized by either the governor or the president.

Guardsmen have been steadily activated from across the nation since Sept. 11 to protect airports, military bases and other government facilities. It has been only in the last month, however, that Oklahoma Guardsmen have been mobilized, although Oklahoma reservists from other branches of the service have been mobilized for months.

The Altus guardsmen said they knew their time would come.

"Anybody reasonably looking at things should have expected there was a chance we'd be deployed, so I don't think many of us were caught by surprise," said Maj. Robert Sowards, who was having his medical and personnel records checked in the gym Thursday.

Sowards will leave behind his fiancée and a daughter, who live in Altus. His son, an airborne ranger with the U.S. Army, lives in Georgia.

Other guardsmen have younger families, making separation difficult.

Staff Sgt. Danny Niver spent 16 years in the active duty Army, so he is accustomed to moving around. But most guardsmen are career civilians with families and employers who are just now realizing the impact of being a so-called "weekend warrior."

"For my family it's not too bad because I've been there, done that," said Niver, who heads to Fort Carson next week. "But I'm sure some of these other soldiers out here, it's really tough on them."

Cmdr. Sonny Hurtado will join Niver in Fort Carson with good wishes from the Oklahoma City Police Department, where he is employed. Employers must keep a guardsman or a reservist's job open until they return from duty.

Despite the upheaval and short notice, Hurtado and others said the guardsmen are ready to serve.

"Morale is very high. The soldiers are excited to go on active duty and do their part in this homeland defense position," Hurtado said. "The war is fought everywhere, not only overseas."

The 171st battalion is a military rocket launching unit, although its mission while mobilized will be handling security at military bases.

Check the links at the top of the page for the various OKROA Service Sections and News & Photos of OKROA sponsored events!

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Oklahoma Centenial Commission
Click above for Oklahoma Centennial Military Related Projects:

State Chapters

Chapter 2 316th QM BN                 Chapter 38 Shawnee

Chapter 3 Garrison                        Chapter 47 Tulsa

Chapter 7 Clinton-Sherman              Chapter 51 Bill Krowse

Chapter 8 Cleveland County             Chapter 55 Washita Valley

Chapter 16 Garfield County             Chapter 57 ADM Mitscher (OKC)

Chapter 27 Pittsburg County            Chapter 59 Lawton-FT Sill

Chapter 30 Oklahoma County           Chapter 60 Little Dixie

Chapter 35 Payne County                Chapter 66 Tornado (OKC)

Chapter 36 Ponca City                    Chapter 95 95th Div (OKC)

Over 1200 members statewide!