By Journalist Seaman Erica R. Gardner, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/ Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs
The Navy Reserve’s top leader recently visited the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander 5th Fleet region and spoke with about 150 Reservists serving at Naval Support Activity Bahrain.
Vice Adm. John Totushek
, commander, Naval Reserve Force
, headquartered in New Orleans, took a few hours while in theatre to discuss the mission of the Navy Reserves and to highlight his admiration for the work Reservists have done in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Totushek discussed the future of the Navy Reserves and the plan to integrate the service with the active-duty Navy.
“Everyone I have spoken with has said the missions in the Arabian Gulf could not have been done without the help of Reservists,” Totushek said.
Totushek went on to express his vision of the Naval Reserve Force in the future.
“We are starting to see the leadership recognize the position of the Naval Reserve Force and the impact they have on the active-duty Navy,” Totushek said.
He further expressed the need for Reservists to continue working well with active-duty Navy personnel. Working toward a cohesive naval force enables the missions to be carried out more efficiently.
“Adm. Totushek made me feel comfortable about being a Reservist,” said Storekeeper 2nd Class LaQuanta Clark, general storekeeper. “I am pleased to have our leaders recognize the efforts of Reservists as a whole.”
Closing his talk, Totushek opened the floor to questions from Reservists. He answered questions regarding a possible increase in commissary, medical and dental benefits. Discussions centering on future manning of the Reserve Force and Reserve pay problems were entertained, as well as possible new programs to enhance Reservist education benefits.
“I want to tell you what a great honor this has been for me to be associated with the Navy Reserve Community,” Totushek said. “Without your great work, the Navy would
not have the capability to perform as they have in the past couple of years.