Volunteer Reserves will be able to use the letters VR after their names after 10 years of service, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced today.
This will allow them to identify publicly their contribution to the armed forces and the skills and experience gained as a reservist. These letters will follow their name, alongside any other qualifications or awards.
And in recognition of the time and dedication invested in their military careers, Regulars could be given a new Long Service medal.
The post nominal will be for all members of the Reserves, regardless of rank or service, and will be backdated to 1999. The new award demonstrates the Government’s enduring appreciation for the commitment of the Reserves.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
As Reservists are members of the Armed Forces on top of their civilian roles, they give significant and noteworthy service to our country. Each is truly twice the citizen and it is right that we recognise this publicly.
The new post nominal will allow experienced Reservists to highlight their service and enable employers, colleagues and wider society to recognise the unique abilities and commitment they offer.
In line with the recommendations set out by Sir John Holmes’ 2014 independent medal review, Mr Fallon will seek agreement for the introduction of the Long Service medal. This will be issued after 15 years of service, regardless of rank, to recognise the sacrifice and commitment made by Regulars.
After suitable transition arrangements, the current Long Service and Good Conduct medal, which is only awarded to those of other ranks, will no longer be issued. It means officers, who have no medallic recognition for long service, would also be rewarded for their dedication.
Mr Fallon added:
We ask a great deal of our Armed Forces and part of our commitment to servicemen and women is to recognise their service. Fifteen years of service is a significant commitment and it is right that we have a medal that rewards that, regardless of rank.
The good conduct element of the current award has been reviewed and deemed to no longer reflect a modern force: individuals who commit an offence early in their career can be exempt, even if they have many more years of unblemished service. However, the MOD still expects the highest standards and the good conduct element will apply to the last five years’ of the 15-year period for the new Long Service medal.
Subject to agreement from Her Majesty The Queen, the MOD will commission a new medal design and aims to make the first presentations in 2016.