You can’t always see them, but Reservists are everywhere.
They make up around one sixth of all Armed Forces personnel and as such play a vital role in protecting the nation’s security at home and overseas.
Today is Reserves Day – the day Reservists can wear their uniform to work – and we’re paying tribute to their hard work and dedication. After all, it’s not easy juggling two careers.
One person who has made a success of doing just that is Bob Mayes (61), a member of the Royal Logistics Corps and a Regimental Catering Warrant Officer attached to 105 Regiment Royal Artillery based in Edinburgh.
Bob’s also a Transport and Logistics Manager with NHS Tayside, based at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.
He was a Regular in the Army Catering Corps for 23 years. He joined the Reserves in March 1995 and has visited numerous places including the Falkland Islands, Cyprus, Denmark, Gibraltar and Romania and will be heading for Malta later in the year.
Bob says he wanted to continue his Army career with the Reserves because he had enjoyed being a Regular so much.
He said that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of his employer, NHS Tayside.
He said: “They are very good. I get away for camp every year without any hassles. They’ve never said no to any requests, they’ve always been very supportive.”
He added: “The skills I brought to NHS Tayside were all about catering. They’ve gained from that and I’ve gained from the NHS by being given responsibility for managing domestic and portering staff. The Army taught me skills and helped to push me forward by taking on more roles and responsibilities.”
He said of the benefits to employers of having Reservists on their staff: “There are always benefits to having Reservists around. They are very disciplined and always on time or five minutes early. They always support their colleagues and want to work together and promote strong teamwork.”
Compared to civilians he said a Reservist “just brings that little bit of discipline to the workplace”.
Adding NHS Tayside’s support to Reserves Day, Vice Chairman Mr Doug Cross, said: “We are very proud to be supporting Reserves Day.
“Reservists who work here in NHS Tayside bring so many transferable skills to our workplace from teamwork to decision-making, leadership to project management.
“We, as an employer, gain so much from employing Reservists and today we are thanking each and every one of them for the great work they do, both for NHS Tayside and for the valuable contribution they make to the UK’s Armed Forces.”
Bob says his stand-out moment in the Reserves was being promoted to WO2 and credited his Regiment for giving him the opportunity to get there.
Asked what he would tell a colleague who was thinking of joining the Reserves, he said: “I would definitely encourage them and tell them to just give it a go!”
The hard work of Reservists often goes unrecognised but today, on Reserves Day, HRFCA salutes you all.