History of ROA
The Reserve Officers Association of the United States (ROA) was
founded during the difficult years following the end of World War I.
Complacency and a new wave of isolationism were sweeping across the
American political landscape. The founders of the ROA believed America
was vulnerable to return to its pre-war unpreparedness.
during these times that several hundred officers, many of them combat
veterans of World War I, first gathered with General of the Armies, John
J. "Black Jack" Pershing at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C.,
on October 2, 1922 formally established ROA as an organization.
political eras have changed over the past 80 years, ROA has remained
committed to its original mission, "...support and promote the
development and execution of a military policy for the United States
that will provide adequate National Security."
In the period
between the World Wars, when isolationism and disarmament concepts
weakened the military strength of the nation, ROA was a prominent voice
in the cause of preparedness. Early in this period, 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. Also during this time, Reserve programs, which were to
prove invaluable in the mobilization period of 1941 and 1942, became
established on the foundations laid by the citizen-soldiers who had
served in World War I.
During World War II, the Association
became inactive "for the duration," as its members went off to war. ROA
was reactivated in 1946 and in 1948, Reserve Officers of the Naval
Services (RONS) merged with ROA. The Marine Corps and Coast Guard came
in about the same time. When law created a separate Department of the
Air Force, for the first time the nation had, in ROA, a Reserve
association embracing all the Services.
Public Law 595 of the
81st Congress, second session, was "An Act to Incorporate the Reserve
Officers Association of the United States." This act established the
objective of ROA: "...support and promote the development and execution
of a military policy for the United States that will provide adequate
National Security." President Harry S Truman, one of the early members
of ROA, signed the charter on June 30, 1950.
ROA is organized into 55 departments, one in each of the 50 states,
plus departments in Latin America, the District of Columbia, Europe, the
Far East and Puerto Rico. Each department is further divided into
regional chapters. There are more than 550 chapters worldwide.
policies and election of national officers are handled at a national
convention, held annually in Washington, DC. Each department sends
delegates to the convention in proportion to the number of members in
The business of the Association is handled through its national
headquarters, maintained in the Minute Man Memorial Building in
Washington, D.C. This building, dedicated to the citizen-soldiers,
-sailors, -Marines, -airmen and -Coast Guardsmen who have given their
lives for their country, and to those ready to serve when needed, stands
out prominently on Capitol Hill, directly across the street from the
United States Capitol itself. Nearby are congressional office buildings,
the Supreme Court of the United States and the Library of Congress. ROA
occupied the building as its new national headquarters just prior to
its formal dedication on George Washington's Birthday, February 22,