Four Army Reserve units based in Swindon threw open the gates of the town’s Army Reserve Centre at Church Place to stage a multi-badged Open Day for the people of Wiltshire.
The primary aim was to attract new recruits – men and women aged 18-49 – but it was also a reminder to local people of the vital role that the Reserves play within the nation’s defence forces and to thank communities for their support.
A number of visitors expressed interest in becoming Reservists and were offered a wide choice of opportunities among the four Army Reserve units:
- Challenger 2 tank crew (Y Squadron, The Royal Wessex Yeomanry)
- Armoured infantry (B Company, 7 Rifles)
- Logistics specialists (280 Movement Control Squadron, 162 Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps)
- Engineering (104 Battalion, The Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers)
All units set up stands displaying equipment and providing information, with Reservists on hand to explain their roles and what they get out of being Army Reservists.
Lance-Corporal George Mackay, is a ‘mover’ with 280 Movement Control Squadron, which is responsible for ensuring that personnel, equipment and supplies are transported anywhere in the world when needed by the Armed Forces on training exercises or operations.
“I’ve been to Germany, Cyprus and Jordan, helping to manage the movement of troops, equipment and vehicles. It’s a great thing to do and it helps me in my civilian career as well,” added George, who works in business operations at the Defence Academy, Shrivenham.
Captain Paul Woolman, of 7 Rifles, who co-ordinated the Open Day effort on behalf of the four Army Reserve units in Swindon, said: “It’s been a joint effort from all the units in the Army Reserve Centre.
“Throughout the preceding two weeks we’ve been out across Wiltshire on surges in the community, raising our profile. If a leaflet or poster in a local shop prompts an inquiry, it will have been worthwhile.
“Not everyone here is a potential recruit – we’ve got families and lots of veterans too – which is exactly what we wanted. “Being part of the community is really important, which is why the gates are wide open, encouraging people to stop by and have a look at what’s on their doorstep.”
Wiltshire Army Cadets, who are always looking for adult volunteers to lead and inspire young people, also had a stand to promote their A (Ferozeshah) Company detachment. Cadets train on Mondays and Thursdays at Church Place.
For more information on any of the units mentioned email: firstname.lastname@example.org