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The Royal Navy celebrates her Reserve Forces

8 September 2016
Reserves Day today honours the work and commitment of our dedicated Servicemen and women who make up the UK’s Reserve Forces.

From postmen to pilots, Reservists represent a huge variety of careers across the country and today is a chance to highlight the incredible commitment they make.

Reserves make up one sixth of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force and are integral to protecting the nation’s security at home and overseas, including UN peacekeeping operations around the world in Cyprus, South Sudan and Somalia.

Minister for Defence Veterans, Reserves and Personnel, Mark Lancaster, who is today attending a UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in London to improve peacekeeping around the world, said: “Reservists are a vital part of our Armed Forces and make a massive contribution to operations in the UK and overseas, including UN peacekeeping operations, to which they bring an incredible variety of skills and experience.

Being part of the Reserves has given me so many opportunities to challenge and stretch myself to develop and gain confidence.

Petty Officer Natalie Corney RNR

“And just as important are the knowledge and skills they gain from the military which they take back to their employers.

“All our Reservists give up their time to serve their country and it is an honour to celebrate the work they do.” 

Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, said: “Reserves deliver critical operational capabilities for Defence every day, across the globe and across the range of operations. 

“Integrated with their Regular counterparts, as part of a Whole Force, they do an incredible job.  We are indebted to these men and women who give up their spare time to serve the nation.

“Reserves Day is an opportunity for all to recognise and celebrate both the work of the Reserve Forces and each individual. 

“We are extraordinarily proud of our Reservists: it is important we tell them, and show our gratitude on this day.”

Reserves Day is also an opportunity for the hundreds of employers across the country to recognise their Reservist employees.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon officially launched 2016’s Reserves Day at a recognition reception, hosted by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Tuesday, attended by over 100 Reservists and their employers including National Express, the Scottish Ambulance Service, HSBC, Vodafone and BT among others.

This year also saw the 1000th signatory from the private sector to the Armed Forces Covenant which promises flexible and supportive commitment to reservist staff.

London-based Royal Naval Reserves and Royal Marine Reserves from HMS President and RMR London held a reception for key employers at HMS President located in the shadow of Tower Bridge.

Mark Lancaster MP, Minister for Defence, Veterans, Reserves and Personnel, together with Rear Admiral Simon Williams, Flag Officer Reserves, joined 40 employers to find out more about life in the Reserves and what skills reservists bring to their civilian workplace.  

Further afield, Reservists currently deployed on operations in the Middle East were recognised for their contributions to operations in the Gulf by Deputy Commander Combined Maritime Forces (DCCMF), Commodore William Warrender.

Taking the opportunity to talk to all the Reserves under his command, who come from five different countries including Canada, Australia, France and Germany, Commodore Warrender said: “The Reserves are a big part of the UK Armed Forces and are well represented at CMF.”

In Portsmouth, Naval and Royal Marine reservists and Royal Fleet Reserve personnel who work at Navy Command Headquarters, across HMS Excellent and at the RNR Unit HMS King Alfred, all co-located on Whale Island, gathered to hear an address from Commodore Martin Quinn, Commander Maritime Reserve.

Commodore Quinn said: “The Maritime Reserves are playing their part in the development of the ‘Whole Force Concept’ and we can expect to see even further integration and increased utility of the Maritime Reserve Force. 

“In the future reservists will undertake many more new roles and we will see greater opportunities for the Maritime Reserve.

“I would like to thank those present and those across the Fleet who continue to support the Royal Navy both here in the UK and deployed around the world. 

“I, of course, also acknowledge the invaluable role of family, friends and supportive employers on Reserves Day.”

Reservist Petty Officer Natalie Corney is a Corporate Communications Manager, managing Public relations and marketing for Brent Council in London.

Natalie said: “I think that the management and leadership training I’ve received through the Royal Navy is second to none and I’m convinced that I would not be in my job if it were not for the Reserves.”

She continued: “Being part of the Reserves has given me so many opportunities to challenge and stretch myself to develop and gain confidence.

“I’m able to work quickly under pressure, being adaptable, staying calm and focused even when everything around me is falling apart, finding solutions to problems and making confident decisions.

“Most importantly for me though, being part of the Reserves has given me the belief that I can achieve almost anything if I put my mind to it.”

Nursing Sister Katherine Pink celebrated Reserves Day by swapping one uniform for another.

Katherine, who works as neurological rehabilitation nurse at the QA Hospital in Portsmouth, serves as a Petty Officer (Logistics) in the Royal Naval Reserves in HMS King Alfred.

She has just returned from Djibouti where she provided supplies to ships deployed on military operations worldwide.

Her employer, Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust is a supportive partner of the military allowing reservists to conduct their training and military duties in times of need.

The Matron at the Stroke and Rehabilitation Services, Marion Moffatt, said: “Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust hosts a large Medical Defence Unit and has a proud history of supporting service personnel in substantive and reserve roles.

"Kathy is a positive role model for other staff, demonstrating that it is possible to balance a career in the NHS and with a role in the Naval Reserves.

“Kathy's leadership qualities are mutually beneficial to both roles and she engages in these roles with both gusto and enthusiasm.”

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