Army Reservist Craig Hallas from Somerset, swapped his work clothes for his military uniform when he headed to work on Wednesday (24th June) to celebrate Reserves Day (formerly Uniform to Work Day).
Craig is a Transition Manger for Mott MacDonald who is currently carrying out extensive work at RNAS Yeovilton, and also a Captain with 675 (Rifles) Squadron Army Air Corps in his spare time.
Reserves Day is part of a week-long series of events culminating in Armed Forces Day on Saturday 27th June. These events are organised to recognise and celebrate the significant contribution that Reservists and the Armed Forces make to the nation’s security, both at home and overseas.
Craig, who originally hails from Yorkshire, was a member of the Territorial Army (now the Army Reserve) with 4th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, gaining the rank of Corporal. In 1985 he joined the Regular Army with the Army Air Corps, working his way up to Major during his 29 year career.
When Craig left the Regular Army in February 2014, he was awarded an MBE in the Birthday Honours List.
Shortly after leaving the Regular Army, the local Reserve unit called on Craig’s wealth of expertise to help transfer B Company 6 Rifles, into 675 (Rifles) Squadron Army Air Corps. “It surprises me how dedicated our soldiers are. When I first joined the TA, many of the soldiers were out of work. Today a high percentage of Reserves are in full-time employment. The fact they give up their evenings and weekends to train is amazing.”
675 (The Rifles) Squadron Army Air Corps is based in Yeovil and Taunton, and is paired with Regular unit 1 Regiment Army Air Corps at Yeovilton. The Reserves assist their Regular counterparts with support for the Wildcat aircraft. “1 Army Air Corps appreciate the support we give them, and rely on our Reserves, which is testament the skills of our Reserve soldiers.”
Craig says that he enjoys the challenge of balancing his work life with his spare time commitments, and goes on to say that his employer Mott MacDonald; “is fully supportive of the activities I carry out as a Reserve”.
A package of financial and other support is available to all employers to help them accommodate absences and minimise the impact on their business. Additional financial help is available for SMEs, recognising the greater impact that absences can have on smaller companies.
For more information about 675 (The Rifles) Squadron Army Air Corps, call 01823 354570 or to find out about wider opportunities in the Army Reserve visit http://www.army.mod.uk/aviation/27836.aspx
Information on support for employers can be found at: http://www.sabre.mod.uk/Employers/The-Mobilisation-process/Financial-assistance