From Regulars to Reserves

Leaving the services doesn’t mean you have to break off all your connections with the past. Many people join their service, corps or regimental associations. Others continue to serve as members of the Reserve Forces or as Adult Volunteers in the Cadet Forces.

With the restructuring and reduction in numbers of our regular forces it means that there are vacancies in all the Reserve Forces and people with existing skills and the appropriate training will be regarded as valuable assets.

Service in the Reserves combines a hobby, adventure and public service with a paid part-time job. And it encompasses all the training camaraderie that one experience in the Regulars.

The Army Reserve (formerly the Territorial Army) is the largest of the Reserve Forces, the others being the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR), the Royal Marines Reserve (RMR) and the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RA FVR ). The Army Reserve provides support to the Regular Army at home and overseas, and throughout its history almost every major operation has seen reservists operate alongside their Regular counterparts.

• Army Reserve Soldiers come from all walks of life and work part-time as soldiers for the British Army alongside full-time Regular soldiers.
• Regular Reservists are soldiers who have left the Regular army but are recalled in times of need to come back and join operations alongside Regular soldiers.

The role of the Army Reserve
The Army Reserve has two clearly defined roles. Firstly, it provides highly trained soldiers who can work alongside the Regulars on missions in the UK and overseas. Secondly, it gives people who have specialist skills, like medics and  engineers, a range of exciting opportunities to use them in new ways.

Over the next few years the role of the Army Reserve will be expanded and they will work even more closely with the rest of the Army. This means that there will be more opportunities for people who want to enjoy the challenges that come with being a Reservist.

At the heart of life as a Reservist is the local Army Reserve Centre. This is where soldiers work and train, although they will travel as they gain experience. The Army Reserve Centre could be home to a detachment of over 30 soldiers, part of a company, squadron or battery of over 100 soldiers or a regiment of over 500 soldiers. Each of these elements has a military task and a variety of jobs within it.

Types of Army Reserve unit
Covering the United Kingdom, the Army Reserve is divided into three types of unit; National, Regional and Sponsored. Anyone thinking of joining usually has a choice of at least two types of unit, depending on how far they are prepared to travel to attend training. Reserve units mirror all roles undertaken by the Regular Army, including Special Forces. Joining the Army as a Reservist is the ideal option if you want to combine the benefits of an Army job with civilian life. It also provides opportunities to gain even more useful civilian recognised qualifications.

The Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
If you come from a light blue background you might prefer to retain your old loyalty. As an RAF Reservist, you’ll be part of a highly valued team. That’s why great emphasis is placed on the selection and training process, to ensure that Reserve Forces can attain the same high standards as full-time professionals in the RAF.

The RAF Reserves is made up of Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadrons across the UK, who employ part-time volunteer Reservists. A role in the Reserves offers you the best of both worlds. Not only will you get the chance to train and work alongside regular RA F personnel, at home and overseas, but you’ll also take the new skills you develop back to your day job.

The RAF and the RAF Reserves are bound by a strong sense of tradition and belonging to an organisation of which we are extremely proud.

The core values of the RAF and the RAF Reserves are exactly the same, namely:
• Respect: mutual and self-respect
• Integrity: moral courage, honesty, responsibility and justice
• Service: physical courage, loyalty, commitment and teamwork
• Excellence: personal excellence, discipline and pride

These values define the RAF Reserves and guide its behaviour, as well as forming the foundation of mutual trust and teamwork on which the Service depends. As part of the team, you’ll help to deliver on these values.

The RAF Reserves’ role
• defend the UK and its interests;
• strengthen international peace and stability; and
• be a force for good in the world.

They do this by fulfilling the RAF’s vision for ‘an agile, adaptable and capable Air Force that, person for person, is second to none, and that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission’.

RAF Reservists work shoulder to shoulder alongside regular RAF personnel, in the UK and on overseas operations, bringing their passion, dedication and team spirit wherever they serve.

How you fit in
As an RA F Reservist, you could serve your country in squadrons the length and breadth of the country. RA F Reservists serve in a wide variety of roles – from Movers to Intelligence Specialists.

In return for your time and energy, you’ll enjoy genuine challenges, improve your fitness, learn valuable career skills and meet a group of friends who will always be there for you.

The Royal Navy Reserve
Want to be there for your country when it needs you and inject some of the Royal Navy’s excitement into your civilian life? Then the Royal naval reserve could be for you.

As a member of the Royal Naval Reserve you could be giving vital logistical support to ship crews, sending detailed signal information to merchant shipping, or planning the landing of an amphibious task group. Reserves also get involved with humanitarian work worldwide.

Being a Royal Naval Reservist offers you a fantastic way of life. You’re financially rewarded for your commitment while remaining an indispensable part of the armed forces. You will almost certainly experience the excitement and responsibility of being deployed.

It takes dedication, ambition and enthusiasm but there is no better way to get a taste of a life without limits.

Most RN roles are undertaken within the Royal Naval Reserves but there is one particularly exciting innovation… The Joint Cyber Unit (Reserves).

In May 2013 the Joint Forces Cyber Group was established within the Joint Forces Command structure to deliver Defence’s cyber capability; its Reserve component is the Joint Cyber Unit (Reserve) The JCU(R) will provide specialist reservist support to the Joint Cyber Unit (Corsham), the Joint Cyber Unit (Cheltenham), and Information Assurance (IA ) units across Defence.

The JCU(R) is now seeking to recruit individuals with exceptional verifiable cyber and/or IA skills from three areas: regular personnel leaving the service; current and former reservists; and individuals with no previous military service. Personnel will be selected based primarily on their existing technical knowledge, skills, experience and aptitude for posts in the JCU(R) sub-units.

There is a whole host of information on all our Reserve Forces on the unit. You can also visit or telephone your local unit or contact the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for your region.

For a full list of associations visit