Time for a new challenge?

Mary Youlden
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Sunday, November 9, 2014 - 11:52am

From diving to mine warfare and nursing to media operations, the Royal Naval Reserve is offering potential recruits the chance to gain an insight into the valuable work of the Navy’s own volunteer force.

Plymouth’s reserve establishment, HMS Vivid, which has volunteers from across Devon and Cornwall, is holding a ‘Live’ event on Wednesday 12 November.

There will be opportunities to meet the local team and discuss the benefits of being a reservist, the wide range of activities on offer and a chance to see some of these specialist roles in action.

Lt Serena Davis, of HMS Vivid, said: “Being a member of the Royal Naval Reserve is an excellent way to make a positive contribution to the country, gain additional skills and knowledge, make new friends, and participate in sports and adventure training activities and challenges.

“We would like to welcome everyone interested in learning more to our RNR Live event where experienced reservists will be on hand to answer questions and give advice based on their own experiences.

“This is an exciting time of expansion in the reserve forces and for those who wish to travel, the Royal Naval Reserve conducts training around the world.”

More than 2,300 men and women currently serve as Reservists in the Royal Navy, alongside their normal day job and most have no previous military experience when joining.

Jobs within the Royal Naval Reserve are varied, whether they are on shore or at sea. They can include: logistics, intelligence, diving, mine warfare, information systems, submarine operations, maritime trade operations, communications, nursing, and media operations.

When needed, the Royal Naval Reserve supplements the full-time ranks with extra manpower, and in some cases provides additional specialist civilian skills. New recruits must be aged between 16 and 40, have a basic standard in English and Maths, and be able to complete a one-and-a-half-mile run.

Reserves need to be able to commit the equivalent of 24 days a year for training, which can include evenings and weekends and a single two week continuous training course. All reservists are paid for their time. They will also qualify for a yearly tax-free bonus, depending on length of service.

Those aged between 16 and 40 – (previous RN Service age extensions are possible) who wish to register for the Live event can call 08456 00 32 22 to book a place.

Lt Cmd Chris Parry, 40, who lives in Exmouth, was a cadet at school before joining the Royal Naval Reserve while at university and has not looked back since starting his part-time career.

The former media sales employee now works for the Hydrographic Office and has enjoyed a varied and active service with the Reserves, most recently working in Maritime Trade Operations, providing intelligence and advice and creating networks to provide information to merchant shipping in pirate areas such as Somalia, for which he was awarded the MBE.

In addition to contributing to the safety of mariners in international waters, Chris has other personal reasons to be thankful to the RNR. He met his wife, Rosie, a former Reservist, through the service.

“Joining the Reserves gives you the opportunity to meet a lot of people and have a lot of fun being part of a team in your unit,” said Chris.

“I’ve also had the opportunity to do things I would never have been able to in civilian life, such as working at the recent NATO summit in Wales, taking part in the Trafalgar 200 celebrations and acting as an usher with the Royal family at the Golden Jubilee event in 2002.

“Joining the RNR can also be good from a career perspective, as you can gain practical experience in everything from management and leadership courses to professional qualifications and you also get paid for attendance which is a useful bonus to have.”

Chris added: “One of the best things about the Reserves is you don’t have to be tied-down to commitments all the time – your time and commitment can be flexible as your life and career changes but you always have opportunities to stretch yourself and do exciting things.”

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