The Life

Commitment doesn’t go unnoticed

On paper it’s 24 days of service, but in reality, it’s much more than that. It’s driving ships. It’s staying calm when things get tough. It’s holding your own with military professionals. It’s discovering you can do things you never imagined doing as a full time civilian.

Keith

Seaman specialist and School Travel Plan Adviser for Hampshire County Council

Being a Reservist has really pushed me. It’s fantastic when you realise that you can actually do some incredible things.

How do you balance your civilian life with your commitments as a reservist?

I think it all comes down to discipline, creating a schedule and a plan and then sticking to it. You’d be surprised at what you can achieve when you’re organised!

Training

Which one is the Reservist?

You step into the shoes. You put on the uniform. You walk into a room of military professionals. You shift out of civilian mode, put aside your everyday life and you hit the ground running. You’ve worked hard to be here. No one can tell who is the Reservist and who isn’t.

What did you enjoy the most about your training?

Being with all the people. Everyone was a different age and from different backgrounds but we all had the same aim. The passing out parade was fantastic as well.

Travel

Round the world in 24 days

You’ll give things up when you become a Royal Naval Reservist. Things like boredom. Routine. Insignificance. Then over a few evenings and a couple weeks a year you will gain the right to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and see the world while you’re at it.

This sounds great but do you really get to go places as a Royal Naval Reservist?

Absolutely. You won’t be sat on a beach reading! You get to go to lots of interesting places and do some incredible things while you’re there too – whether on military exercise or on deployment.

Skills & qualifications

Something to smile about

This isn’t just a fun way to spend your evenings and weekends. You also shouldn’t underestimate the importance of wearing the same uniform as the full time Regulars. You’ll learn skills that enhance your life and career. When you take your seat among the Royal Navy professionals, it’s an enormous vote of confidence in what you can do and what you can bring to the table. Remember that, because it will boost your confidence no end.

Jamie

Amphibious Warfare specialist and Project Manager for a manufacturing company

I have the chance to better myself. What more can I ask for? It’s extremely rewarding.

Do you learn any skills that are useful in your day job?

Absolutely. The leadership skills and self-confidence alone were invaluable. My employer really appreciated all the practical knowledge and organisational skills I learned while on operations as well.

Sports & recreation

Counting on you

In this team, there’s no difference between club and team. You have a part to play. You have to turn up. Be dependable. Follow the plan. Deliver what everyone expects of you.

Sports you could play include:

  • Climbing
  • Extreme speed boat racing
  • Martial arts
  • Motor sports
  • Rugby league
  • Triathlon

Keith

Seaman specialist and School Travel Plan Adviser for Hampshire County Council

I considered a full-time Royal Navy career, so joined the RNR with the aim of getting some experience. I’ve always been interested in fitness and the RNR has given me opportunities for adventurous training.

What exactly is adventurous training?

Every year, just like the full time Royal Navy, we can choose to go on a week away to develop individual and leadership skills on activities like offshore sailing, sub-aqua diving, canoeing/kayaking, caving, mountaineering, ski touring, paragliding/parachuting, gliding and mountain biking. It’s brilliant!

Equal opportunities

Standing out for the right reasons

On operations with the full time Royal Navy professionals. On exercise with the RNLI. You blend in because you wear the same uniform, but you also blend in because of your ability to do your job well, in all conditions. That’s all that matters to those around you.

Jamie

Amphibious Warfare specialist and Project Manager for a manufacturing company

I spent some time in the RAF as a pilot so I thought I’d give another part of the armed forces a go. It’s great to stay in touch with that world after I’ve retired as a full time Regular.

You work with the RNLI? How come?

We regularly work with the Coastguard and help emergency services during search and rescue incidents.

Wellbeing

The best things in life

It’s no secret. You’ll need to balance your day job, the school run, paying the bills, visits to the pub, watching films, and cooking the dinner – with being a reservist. You’ll sacrifice some time. What you give doesn’t even compare to what you get in return. New skills. New friends. And a whole new perspective on what you’re actually capable of.

Sheryl

Maritime Trade Operations specialist and residential home manager

It’s terrific, being paid for something so enjoyable. I joined as a rating – now I’m proud to command an RNR unit in Liverpool as a Royal Naval Reserve officer.

If you’re struggling to balance commitments, can I speak to someone about it?

Definitely. The Royal Naval Reserve are great about supporting us in our roles.