Nottingham Reservists get their kit on for Uniform to Work Day
On Wednesday 27 June three Nottingham-based Reservists joined thousands of their fellow officers in wearing their military uniforms to work.
‘Wear Your Uniform to Work Day’ is one of a series of events intended to raise awareness of Armed Forces Day which takes place this year on Saturday 30 June. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate the role of Reservists and show the public how the country is served by all sections of the community.
Group Captain Nick Sharpe of the East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadet Association, said: “Wear Your Uniform to Work Day was again an excellent opportunity for employers to show how much they value their Reservist employees and acknowledge the contribution they make to society.
“It’s a great way to raise awareness of the fantastic work these officers do. I hope the people our officers work with have learnt a little bit more about their colleagues this week.”
There are around 38,000 military reservists across the country today, who have been involved in more than 24,000 deployments at home and across the world over the past decade. Reservists spend most of their time in normal civilian roles like the rest of us. But at times, they are called on for service and deployed to different parts of the world.
Lieutenant Corporal Ben Standen works for House of Fraser in Nottingham. He said: “I’ve always wanted to be part of the Armed Forces, but was settled into a full time job. Becoming a reservist gave me the best of both worlds. I get all the training, opportunities and experiences of being in the Army, but can still be around my friends and family.
“My employer is very supportive of my role with the TA, in fact they encourage it as I gain many skills and qualities such as teamwork, leadership and use of initiative, which help in my civilian job.”
Last year Ben spent five months in Germany training for Afghanistan with a regular army regiment. On his return to the UK he went straight back his job. In three years with the TA, he has also done a number of training exercises across the country, as well as overseas training in Cyprus. Later this year he will head to Denmark for further training.
Caroline Holland is an officer in the Royal Navy Reservists and works locally for Nottingham University Hospitals Trust. She said: “In the Navy I am based with Maritime Trade Operations. It is almost entirely manned by Reservists and plays an important role in ensuring the free movement of international merchant ships and other vessels.
“It takes some great time management and organisational skills to successfully combine the training my job, the Navy and family life – but it’s all worth it.
“Nottingham University Hospitals has been hugely supportive and understands the benefits my role in the Reservists can bring to me day-to-day role in the hospital.”
Caroline passed out of Raleigh in October 2011 following a challenging and exhilarating training regime. Shortly afterwards, whilst on a training weekend in Portsmouth, she was able to take the helm of a P2000 coastal patrol vessel and sail her in the Solent.
Dominic Symes works as a conductor for East Midlands Trains. He is currently based at HMS Sherwood as part of the Royal Navy Reserves. He said: “Having previously spent time as a regular in the RAF and TA, I felt I still had a lot to offer the Armed Forces.
“In 2010 I was informed that I had been mobilised, and my employer was amazing. I was given time to complete all my pre-mobilisation courses and some precious time to spend with my family.”
Dominic has spent time with the Royal Navy Reserves on a six month tour of the Balkans, completed his first sea draft in the Middle East as force protection on the RFA Lyme Bay and is due to mobilise for the Olympics in July.
For more information on joining the TA, please visit the website: www.army.mod.uk