Lt Dr Michael Guilbert

June 22, 2022

Reservists give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces, balancing their civilian life with a military career to ensure that should their country require them, they would be ready to serve as part of the military.

The Reserve Forces make up approximately one sixth of our Armed Forces personnel and as such are integral to protecting the nation’s security at home and overseas, particularly providing capability in specialist areas such as medical and cyber.

Wednesday June 22, 2022, 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 holding down two careers.

Lt Dr Michael Guilbert
Lt Dr Michael Guilbert.

Lt Dr Michael Guilbert (28) lives in Dundee and is a Reservist with 225 (Scottish) Medical Regiment as a Medical Support Officer (MSO). He currently holds the rank of Lieutenant.

Tell us about your career as a Reservist, when and where did it all start, what’s your current role, and what made you want to join up?

I initially joined the Army Cadet Force (ACF) in Guernsey, Channel Islands, after seeing a stall at a local show. I left the ACF at 18 as a Sergeant and Lieutenant-Governor’s Cadet and moved to Essex to read Biomedical Science. My next contact with the British Army was joining the Glasgow and Strathclyde University Officer Training Corps (GSUOTC) at the University of Glasgow whilst reading for a degree in Medicine and Surgery. I underwent preparation for the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) at GSUOTC and earned a place on Commissioning Couse Short (CCS) 192 after passing my briefing and main board interviews at Westbury officer selection. CCS was an unforgettable experience and after 6 weeks I was commissioned in the British Army as a Second Lieutenant, serving as a Platoon Commander at C Company 6th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland. After becoming a doctor, I moved to Dundee and transferred to 225 (Scottish) Medical Regiment as an MSO where I hold the rank of Lieutenant. 

My motivations changed as I progressed through my roles with the British Army. I joined the ACF with a view to developing skills in outdoorsmanship and the opportunities to travel. During my time there I certainly fulfilled both these goals with the highlight being a static line parachute course at RAF Netheravon. I joined the OTC with the sole purpose of joining the RAMC as a regular medical officer. Having already achieved by reserve forces officer commission, I decided to pursue a career in the Army Reserves and have very much enjoyed my career since. I now utilise the reserves to develop my leadership, teaching and medical acumen to great effect. Although substantially affected by Covid-19, courses available to reservists are starting to run again and this will be my main focus over the next few years. 

What’s the best part of being a Reservist?

Opportunities for self-development with leadership roles and courses provided within the Ministry of Defence. 

Where has your Reservist career taken you?

Nowhere sunny (yet)! Annual camps in England and patrolling competitions in the Brecon Beacons, I’m keen to find sunnier climes as the Covid pandemic abates. 

Do you have a favourite moment?

Competing and achieving a Silver medal in the 2018 Cambrian Patrol competition. An amazing sense of achievement having worked so very hard for something with some exceptional individuals. Unforgettable. 

Tell us about your civilian job.

I’m currently finishing my foundation year 2 as a junior doctor in NHS Tayside, Dundee and Perth. I intend to work as a locum doctor from August whilst studying for a diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene by correspondence with the University of Sheffield. I will also use this time to complete the Entry Officers Course for my role in the RAMC, amongst other courses. 

Being a Reservist requires time off work, how does your employer support those demands?

The Armed Forces Covenant affords reservists in the NHS 14 days of extra annual leave each year to attend Army training, allowing you to meet training goals and commitments.

What skills have you gained as a Reservist that enhance your civilian role?

Leadership, ability to act under pressure, ability to function with sleep-deprivation, teaching, physical fitness and mental robustness. Day-to-day, the skills I have developed in problem-solving and initiative make me a better doctor.

What would you tell a colleague who was interested in becoming a Reservist?

Talk to people already in the Reserves. Contact a local unit that interests you and talk to the staff there. All of the contact information is available at Make sure you do this before putting in a formal application as you can gain valuable advice from your prospective unit. There is no minimum commitment for joining the Army Reserves, it is fully-flexible and you only get out as much as you put in. If you’re someone that likes a challenge, wants to be mentally and physically fit and develop themselves as a well-rounded leader, teacher and team-member within a group of like-minded individuals, this is the place for you. 

● To find out more about the Army Reserve, click HERE.