National Reserve Corps
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|Korps Nationale Reserve|
|Active||April 18, 1948 - Present|
|Allegiance||Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands|
|Type||Military reserve force|
|Size||3 regional battalions, 3800 men|
|Part of||Koninklijke Landmacht|
10 Natresbataljon - 43 Gemechaniseerde Brigade
20 Natresbataljon - 11 Luchtmobiele Brigade
30 Natresbataljon - 13 Motorized Brigade
|March||Defilémars Korps Nationale Reserve|
|Ceremonial chief||Col. Gerard van der Thiel|
The National Reserve Corps (in Dutch: Korps Nationale Reserve, abbreviated Natres) is a part of the Royal Netherlands Army. NATRES is a corps in the sense that it is a regiment which recruits nationally. The part-time reservist is like all Dutch military personnel a military volunteer.
Since the 13th century, the Dutch government relies on voluntary armed citizens to defend their homes and to maintain public order. At first this task was carried out by so-called 'shooter guilds'. In the 16th century the voluntary armed citizens, under the influence of William I, Prince of Orange, were organized into militias. These militias were dissolved in 1908.
The outbreak of the First World War and the growing foreign threat lead to the formation of a new unit called the 'Voluntary Landstorm' on August 4, 1914. At the end of WWI this unit consisted of 6,000 men. In the turbulent times of the Interbellum the Dutch Prime Minister Hendrikus Colijn decided to extend the 'Voluntary Landstorm'. At the beginning of World War II this unit consisted of around 98,000 men.
In the years after WWII again the need was felt for a rapidly deployable unit for the defense and security of Dutch territory. While the majority of the Dutch forces then were deployed in Indonesia, the threat of the Soviet Union increased. Therefore the National Reserve was established on April 14, 1948. During the Cold War the National Reserve developed into a versatile part of the Royal Dutch Army and received the status of Corps. In the 80s the first women entered the National Reserve Corps. After the Cold War, the Royal Dutch Army changed dramatically in character. Conscription for military service was suspended. The Royal Dutch Army shrank and became more frequently involved in peacekeeping or peace-enforcing missions abroad which resulted in a renewed relevance of the corps.
Task and roles
- General defence of national territory
- Surveillance and security at strategic objects as bridges, power stations, etc.
- Disaster relief during floods, fire, etc.
- Ceremonial duties, guards of honor
- Military assistance to civil authorities to maintain public order
- Assistance of operational units during exercise and missions
- Two NATRES battalions gave assistance during the flooding of the province of Limburg in 1995.
- Fanfare Korps Nationale Reserve.
- The corps' regimental headquarters and a special reservist department at the Royal Netherlands Army headquarters.
- Attached to the Corps, but not part of it is No.1 CIMIC battalion; for Civil-Military Co-operation and CA.
- The corps has its own museum in Harskamp, the Netherlands.
NATRES units and personnel are not deployed abroad as their charter does not allow this. Individual soldiers (mostly NCO's and officers) are deployed as individual replacements or specialists, but always voluntarily. When a reservist is deployed, he does so under the capbadge of the regular unit he is attached to.
- Korps Nationale Reserve official website