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 ROA believed America was vulnerable to return to its pre-war unpreparedness. It was 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. (Blackjack) Pershing at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., and on October 2, 1922 formally established ROA as an organization. As political eras have changed over the past 90 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. Since its founding, ROA has been hard at work advocating on behalf of all members of the Reserve and National Guard, regardless of their rank or branch of service.
At the 92nd National Convention in Omaha, Nebraska (September 2018), ROA made some ground-breaking decisions, including:
• The expansion of membership eligibility to include all ranks
• Establishing the ability to create a DBA (doing business as) of Reserve Organization of America