ARMY RESERVE SOLDIER
WHAT IS THE ARMY RESERVE?
Army Reserve soldiers (Reservists) get involved in everything that the Regular Army does - from combat to peacekeeping and humanitarian work. They are given the opportunity to learn trade skills, and can take advantage of the opportunities that Regular soldiers have too - like adventurous training. They are paid for the time they spend.
The difference is that Reservists are not full-time soldiers. Many Reservists have a day job.
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."
LIFE IN THE ARMY RESERVE
Once you've joined, most Reservists serve near their home, and meet once a week to train. You'll have occasional weekends away on exercise or adventurous training.
There's also a two-week training camp that you'll go on, to put your skills into practice. You may be asked to go on operations if needed, but we will make sure that you're fully trained for the task in hand.
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.
Most people serve near where they live. There are Army Reserve centres across Britain, who will welcome you in for a chat and to see what it's like. The 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.
To earn your annual bonus, you'll need to make sure you meet your time commitment.
It's not just about the money, you'll learn soldiering skills, but you'll also get the chance to develop more specialist skills - these could lead to gaining extra qualifications which will count outside the Army too.