Air Force Reserve Command Birthday

Happy Birthday, Air Force Reserve Command! You are turning 74 years old this year!

In some ways, the name “Reserve” is a bit of a misnomer. The organization isn’t a backup anymore—it’s a Major Command of the active-duty Air Force, performing about 20 percent of the Air Force’s work. What do they do? The Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) does conduct traditional flying missions. But it also does other specialized missions, like Weather Reconnaissance (think hurricane hunters!), Modular Aerial Fire Fighting, and Personnel Recovery (pararescue).

The AFR came to life on April 14, 1948. That’s when what was previously known Army Air Corps Reserve was transferred to the Air Force and became a separate entity.

You may have heard of the AFRC during the evacuation of hundreds of Americans and allies following the fall of Kabul in August of last year. During the AFR extraction (called “Operation Allies Refuge”), on planes filled to the brim with evacuees, two women gave birth. Air Force Reservists came to the rescue and delivered babies on board the plane!

One of those births, on August 21, involved an Afghan mother who gave birth on a plane en route from Qatar to Ramstein Air Base in Germany.  Female evacuees held up their shawls to protect the mother’s privacy during the labor. The baby girl’s parents named the baby “Reach,” after the aircraft’s call sign—Reach 828. “The aircraft commander decided to descend in altitude to increase air pressure in the aircraft, which helped stabilize and save the mother’s life,” Air Mobility Command commented. (Jack Reacher would be proud!)

This is just one recent example of how the AFRC is leading the way to protect and serve the citizens of America as well as global citizens in need.

Prestige Haus wants to celebrate all those that currently serve in the Air Force Reserve, as well as to honor all those that have served in the AFR in the past. You can celebrate, too—we’ve got plenty of ideas in the article below!

Reservists help deliver babies on board operation allies refuge flights

A newborn baby is tended to onboard a C-17 at a Middle East staging area. A 315th Airlift Wing aircrew from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, helped deliver the baby. (Courtesy photo)

You can volunteer to celebrate the Air Force Reserve Birthday!

You can celebrate the Air Force Reserve's birthday by volunteering, donating money, or donating blood:

If you don’t feel like volunteering your time or life juice, consider making a cocktail. Toast the service members who have sacrificed for our country with one of the cocktail ideas below!

Celebrate with a cocktail of a military origin

Many cocktails have military roots. Try one of these drinks to celebrate the Air Force Reserve!  (While you’re at it, check out this American Flag decanter set!)

Gin and Tonic

The Gin and Tonic began in India in the 1800s. At the time, malaria was a constant health problem. A Scottish doctor named George Cleghorn studied how quinine could be used to prevent disease. The quinine was typically administered in tonic water, but the drink was bitter and unpleasant to drink. The officers of the Presidency Armies, the military force of the East India Company, came up with the idea of adding gin, sugar, lime, and water to the quinine to make the medicine more palatable. The officers had already been given gin as part of their ration. Adding sugar made sense since India is a large sugar-producing nation and had an ample supply.

You will need:

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 4 oz Tonic Water
  • 2 lime wheels for garnish

First, take a glass and pack it with ice. Add the gin first, then top with tonic water. Garnish with lime wheels, and squeeze a little lime on top if you’d like.

Cuba Libre

The Cuba Libre drink was created—wait for it—in Cuba. There are multiple renditions of how the drink came to be. The most popular account says that the drink dates back to Havana around 1900. The Spanish American War ended in 1898, and Cuba was two years into independence. The name, Cuba Libre, means “Free Cuba,” which was the battle cry of the Cuban Liberation Army. Some believe that when this drink was served, locals would cry out “Cuba Libre!” to toast successful independence.

The other version of the story indicates that the drink was given life by a group of off-duty U.S. soldiers. Supposedly, a captain ordered rum and cola on ice with lime. He enjoyed it so much that all the soldiers with him ordered a round and toasted “Por Cuba Libre!” Either story is possible, especially as began that Coca-Cola began to be distributed to an independent Cuba around the year 1900.

You will need:

  • 2 oz Light Rum
  • 4 oz Coca Cola
  • ½ oz Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice (approx. ½ a lime)
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Add all the ingredients to a tall glass that is packed with ice. First, add the rum (Cuban rum is best), then top with the Coca-Cola. (Bonus points if you can find a cola that is sweetened with cane sugar, which is more authentic than American Coca-Cola.) Squeeze the lime on top of the drink and garnish with a slice of lime.

USA High-Seas Glass

Bourbon/Whiskey/cocktail glass


The Gunfire is a British drink that was first mixed during the 1890s. It’s a classic “rite of initiation” drink for British soldiers used even today. It is served by officers and non-commissioned officers to lower ranks before a morning attack. It’s also part of the celebration before a Passing Out parade. And it is traditionally served by officers to soldiers in their beds on Christmas Day at reveille. The Gunfire is also served at other special British events, sometimes with some recipe tweaks. (Notably: The Royal Dragoon Guards make Gunfire with whiskey on St. Patrick’s Day.)

Once, during the Korean War, British soldiers gave some American Military Police Corps a Gunfire cocktail. The American soldiers got intoxicated and drove an armored recovery vehicle, and army jeeps into a camp gate. Oops!

You will need:

  • 1 shot of Dark Rum
  • 1 Cup of Black Tea

Make one cup of black tea, and make it strong. Add some dark rum (Bundaberg is traditional) and stir.


The Sidecar is a classic World War I drink, and it’s named after the motorcycle attachment, which was common during that time. Bartenders in London and Paris both claim to have invented the drink. The Ritz Hotel in Paris claims the French origin story. But one of the first two books to publish the drink (1922’s Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails by Harry MacElhone) credits the Buck’s Club in London, captained by bartender Pat MacGarry. Other sources back up this English claim. A later 1948 book (The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury) cites an American army captain in Paris as the originator.

The recipe also changes depending on the origin story. The “French” school of the Sidecar includes equal parts Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice. The “English” school calls for two parts Cognac to one part Cointreau and lemon juice. Which school do you prefer?

You will need:

  • 1 oz Brandy (Cognac)
  • ½ oz Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • ½ oz Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Lemon Wedge for Garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker with lemon juice, Cointreau, and Brandy. Pack the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with the lemon wedge. For a variation, coat the rim of the glass with sugar.

French 75

The French 75 is another World War I drink named after the French 75-mm field gun. Like the Sidecar, this drink was first written up in the same book described above by Harry MacElhone in 1922 and subsequently referenced by Vermeire’s guide, which credits the drink to MacElhone. However, the two authors gave different variations on the drink: MacElhone’s version had gin, Grenadine, and absinthe, whereas Vermeire’s version added lemon juice. The drink became extremely popular in America throughout the 1920s, thanks in part to the Stork Club in New York, the John Wayne movies A Man Betrayed (1941) and Jet Pilot (1957), and the movie Casablanca (1942).

You will need:

  • 1½ oz Gin
  • 2-3 oz Chilled Champagne
  • ¾ oz Freshly Squeezed Lemon
  • ¾ oz Simple Syrup (you can use honey or sugar)
  • Lemon Peel for Garnish

French75 Cocktail

First, to make the simple syrup, simply boil ¼ cup of water on the stove and stir in ¼ cup of honey or sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. (Leftovers can be refrigerated.) Next, fill a shaker with the gin (recommended: Hendrick’s), lemon juice, and simple syrup. Pack with ice and shake well. Strain the liquid into Champagne glasses. Top with Champagne. Add your lemon peel and twist to the side of the glass.  

Celebrate with a cocktail from an international deployment area

You can celebrate the Air Force Reserve's birthday by enjoying a drink from an international deployment area. These recipes tend to be a little more complicated because ingredients can be difficult to find. However, if you have access to an international food store, it would be fun to try something different from what you are used to

Vietnamese Coffee Espresso Martini

Vietnamese people love coffee, and their national drink might as well be Cà Phê Sữa Đá, which is a coffee drink. Brewing Vietnamese coffee in a Phin filter adds chocolate notes to your martini and also packs a caffeinated punch. You can use gin or vodka as your base.

You will need:

  • 2 oz Vodka or Gin
  • 1 oz Phin Brewed Vietnamese Robusta Coffee
  •  0.75 oz Coffee Liqueur of Choice (Godiva, Kahlua, Baileys)
  •  0.25 oz Simple Syrup
  • Coffee beans or Pocky sticks for garnish

First, prep your martini glass by chilling it in the freezer. Next, brew the coffee using a Phin filter. When the coffee is done, chill it. When you are ready to make the martini, add all the ingredients to a shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into a martini glass and garnish.

South Korean Soju Mule

Korean soju is the most popular alcoholic drink in South Korea. Traditionally it was made with rice, but many brands now use sweet potatoes. Soju is a bit like sake in that they are both made from rice. But whereas sake can be more neutral in flavor, soju is usually combined with other starches to make it sweeter than sake. You can now find soju in many different flavors and different alcohol volumes.

You will need:

  • 3 oz Soju
  • 6 oz Ginger Beer
  • ½ oz Lime Juice

Take a tall glass and pack it with ice. Add the soju first and lime juice. Stir. Then, top with ginger beer. Serve and enjoy!

Celebrate with a funny cocktail

We saved the best for last! We have three cocktails that have great names and are perfect to celebrate the Air Force Reserve's birthday! Is someone you know a pilot? Celebrate with one of these exciting gifts.


This is a fabulous purple martini! Finding the crème de violette may take some searching.

You will need:

  • 2 oz Gin
  • ½ oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • ¼ oz Crème de Violette
  • ¾ oz Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • Brandied Cherry for Garnish

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Pack with ice and shake until it’s well-chilled. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with the brandied cherry.

Test Pilot

You will need:

  • 1.5 oz Dark Jamaican Rum
  • 0.75 oz Puerto Rican White Rum
  • 0.5 oz Cointreau
  • 0.5 oz Falernum
  • 0.5 oz Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 6 Drops Pernod

Combine all the ingredients in a blender, and blend for 5 seconds. Pour into a fun tiki mug. Garnish with anything you have on hand, but lime wheels or maraschino cherries are popular.

B52 Shot

You will need:

  •  ½ oz Coffee Liqueur
  • ½ oz Irish Cream (Baileys)
  • ½ oz Orange Liqueur (Grand Marnier)

This shot is meant to be layered. You will be able to see the layers in a clear shot glass. First, pour the coffee liqueur into the glass. Next, carefully pour the Irish Cream into the glass. The best way to do this is to pour the liquid over the back of a spoon; the Irish Cream should float atop the coffee liqueur. Finally, carefully pour the orange liqueur using the same back-of-the-spoon layering method. Serve immediately. (If you love the B52 plane, you definitely have to check out this awesome B52 decanter!)

 B52 Decanter Shot

Our Awesome B52 Glass Decanter

Fly. Fight. Win.

President Harry S. Truman founded the Air Force Reserve Corps in 1948. This year, we are celebrating the 74th year of the Corps’ existence. You can do your part in honoring those that have served in this branch of our military by volunteering. Or, simply toast your servicemen and women with a finely crafted cocktail. Are you or someone you love in the AFRC? Let us know in the comments below!  We here at Prestige Haus thank you for your service.