The active army reserves are an integral part of the Czech Armed Forces, as evidenced by their role within the ‘Concept of the Czech Armed Forces 2030’, which was recently approved by the Government of the Czech Republic. Although I don’t like looking into the past too much, I cannot but remember the times when the active reserves were being established. The idea emerged in 2004. Yet, the initial enthusiasm was soon replaced by waking up to the reality. We had to address many issues, such as the lack of trust that we professionals had in “mere” reservists, the insufficient material equipment, the training curricula being created on the fly and also the lack of legislation defining the role of the reserves within the armed forces.
Today I read on the internet that Dr. Kolouch, the head of the Prague ambulance service, was the first member of the active reserves to return from his mission abroad. I was truly pleased to see that establishing these units proved to be the right step. Thanks go to the reservists themselves, whom I once characterized as “lion-hearted”, but also to their families and employers, and to the members of the Committee on Defence of the of Czech Parliament´s Chamber of Deputies, led by Jana Černochová. Also, I mustn´t forget to mention the commanders and chiefs who drove the positive changes, the commanders of military units and the chiefs of regional military commands, who were not discouraged by the problems and kept supporting me in my efforts. Upon leaving the post of the Chief of the General Staff, I assumed that the number of active reservists was to reach ten thousand. This is precisely the figure that is currently mentioned in the new Concept, so it turned out that I was not quite wrong.
It is unnecessary to repeat what the tasks of the active reserves are. Today, these units are ready to carry out missions both in the Czech Republic and abroad. Being a civilian right now, I would like to tell the Czech citizens who have joined the active reserves the following: “You are doing a great job for the Czech Republic and we do recognize this”.