ARMY RESERVE SOLDIER
Reserve centre finder
MEET THE TROOPS
- Michael, Student and member of the Royal Signals
"For me, what makes the Army great is the camaraderie in everything you do and of course the adventurous training - so far I've had opportunities to go rock climbing, mountain biking, surfing and skiing. In my time with the Army Reserve, I have already had many experiences unrivalled in my civilian life, making me immensely proud to serve my country."
TRAINING TO BE A RESERVISTAs a Reservist, you do your training in the evenings and at weekends and you get paid for the time you spend training. You'll need to do your basic training - but this can be arranged to fit in around your day job. You don't have to do all the training at once. It can be completed in shorter modules or in one go.
Further training also takes place in your spare time. It can take weeks or months depending on your role, course and how much time you can give. Your unit will be happy to support you during your training.
HOW TO APPLYYou'll need to be 18 to join as a Reservist, but you can apply when you reach 17 and 9 months. The best way to join is to go to see your local Army Reserve Centre (ARC) and find out what is on offer and whether you like it. The team there will talk to you and give you a taster of being an Army Reserve soldier. They'll then help you with your application and getting ready for the Army Assessment Centre. You will need to start your application online. Maximum age is 43 in most cases.
Local Reservist units usually meet weekly, and often invite interested people to join them for a couple of weeks to see if they'd like to join. Usually you'll find your unit first, and then work out your role based on what's available there.
If you have specialist skills, you may serve with a national unit. These are units for Reservists with specialist skills, eg medics or cyber expertise. As you would need to travel to these, they don't expect you to meet weekly.
How much time you spend is really up to you - training is flexible and can fit around your life.
Most roles will ask you to aim for 27 days a year - and your weekly training session at your unit will count towards this. If you join a specialist skills unit - it could be as little as 19 days a year.
There are many reasons people join the Army Reserve - whether it's the chance to do something different, or something they've always wanted to do - but full time wasn't an option.
Whatever reason you join, you'll be paid for the time you work, and have access to other benefits too.