Reservists across the country wore their service uniforms with pride at work in their civilian jobs on Wednesday 27 June. The nation celebrated Uniform to Work Day, a national event when Reservists demonstrate the huge contribution that ordinary citizens can make to the Armed Forces.
Thousands of Reservists across the country – from gardeners to bankers – hung up their usual work clothes and proudly donned their service uniforms to show that the Armed Forces are made up of people from all sections of the community. Many of those wearing their uniforms will have deployed on at least one tour of duty.
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is one of many employers throughout the nation that are showing their support for their Reservist employees.
Des Thurlby, HR Director, JLR said:
JLR has a long association with the military and is a supportive employer of reserve forces. Uniform to Work Day recognises the contribution reservists make to national security and the invaluable experience and skills they gain through their service which benefit the company."
Royal Naval Reservist Leading Hand (LH) Karen Noble has worked at JLR for five years and works at both Gaydon and Whitley sites where she is a Senior Workplace Health Advisor in Occupational Health.
Karen is part of the Medical branch and her role is predominantly to provide medical support on the Primary Casualty Receiving Ship HMS ARGUS.
I joined the reserves because I wanted to gain medical experience in a different environment from the NHS, and the Military medical environments that I have worked in have given me some invaluable experiences. Uniform to Work Day is a chance for people to be aware that there are reservists in their workplace and their contribution to their regular counterparts."
Territorial Army Signaller Stewart Bailey is a Business Process Consultant at JLR Whitley working in IT on a major business transformation programme to improve business processes and increase efficiency and has worked at the company for three years.
Stewart has been a Communications Systems Operator in the Territorial Army for over two years where he sets up and manages communications detachments and provides communication options to senior commanders during UK emergency operations such as terrorist attacks, natural disasters and industrial strikes.
I wanted to be involved in the military, to do something new and challenging after university as well as serve my country in some way and the TA gave me the perfect opportunity to do all of these. Uniform to Work Day is all about raising awareness and promoting what the TA is really about now. It’s a chance to help people understand our role and the value we can add not just to the Armed Forces at large but also as a voluntary service in times of emergency in the UK."
David Cotterill from Tamworth, Staffordshire, is a Group Leader at JLR’s Castle Bromwich plant, where he has worked for 14 years.
David, 46, is a Senior Aircrafts Man in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and has served for 14 years. During that time, David has had six mobilisations, most recently to Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2009 and Bashar, Iraq in 2007.
I am proud of my career in the RAuxAF and all I have achieved in my career. I will be wearing my uniform in the plant with pride today. I think Uniform to Work Day is a good opportunity to celebrate the important work of reservists in the UK and overseas, which benefit both employers and their employees."
Waitrose is another employer who supported their Reservist employees on Uniform to Work Day.
Kimberley Chandler has worked for Waitrose for over four years and is a Team leader at their store Caversham. She joined the TA in December 2011 and is training to be a Combat Medic which means she will ultimately serve on the front line in combat zones with Infantry soldiers giving immediate first aid to both the soldiers and any locals as well.
She has just completed her basic training at Pirbright (this is completed by all TA soldiers and mirrors the Regular soldier basic training). Kimberley is due to start her Medic Training at Keogh Bks in Ash Vale near Aldershot in the next few months.
I wanted to support this years Armed Forces Day and Uniform to work Day was the ideal opportunity to show my support."
There are around 38,000 people across the UK who give up their time to be part of the Armed Forces Reserves. Reservists have been deployed around 27,000 times since 2003 on operations around the globe, including Afghanistan and in support of operations in Libya last year.
Uniform to Work Day is just one event in a week-long celebration of the Armed Forces, which culminates in Armed Forces Day on Saturday 30 June. This year, the national focus of celebrations will be in Plymouth.
To support Armed Forces Day, the public are being encouraged to organise or attend events on Saturday 30 June or to ‘like’ the Armed Forces Day Facebook page. For further information on Armed Forces Day, log on to www.armedforcesday.org.uk
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