Today (24 June), is Armed Forces Reserves Day and here, we talk to Scott Hughes, a plumber for Kier Specialist Services who joined 3 Royal Welsh Army Reservists in 2019 as an infantryman. Scott talks about why he decided to become a Reservist and how he has helped in the fight against COVID-19 as part of his role.
“The Army Reserve is the British Army's reserve force - and used to be known as the Territorial Army or TA. As a Reservist, you can get involved in everything that the Regular Army does - from combat to peacekeeping and humanitarian work. The difference is that Reservists are not full-time soldiers – many like me, also have a day job.
After being medically discharged from the Army early into my career, I trained to become a plumber before joining Kier in 2018. I work for Heart of Wales Property Services Ltd on one of Kier’s joint ventures with Powys Council on the Commercial property side of the business, carrying out general plumbing maintenance. My role also includes vital and regular risk assessment compliance testing for legionella.
As I was missing Army life, I applied to become a Reservist. The on-line application process culminated in attending a two-day selection centre in Litchfield which incorporated both a fitness and medical assessment. I successfully joined the 3 Royal Welsh Army Reservists in November 2019 and I currently spend 27 days per year fulfilling my Reservists duties.
Once a month, we have a training weekend where we take part in military exercises ranging from replicating battlefields, upskilling our medical first aid training through to camping in rough terrain in the welsh mountains and live firing exercises.
3 Royal Welsh was recently called up for mobilisation duties helping in the fight against COVID-19. The Reservists were asked to assist in unloading supplies from aircraft landing at Cardiff airport through to cleaning ambulances for the hard-stretched NHS.
Reservists are also given the opportunity to learn trade skills and can take advantage of the opportunities that regular soldiers have too - like adventurous training such as parachuting and rock climbing. You can even study to gain qualifications such as obtaining your HGV licence and the best bit is - you'll be paid for the time you serve!
I would love to still be in the Army if I could, but being a Reservist is the next best thing. The skills they teach you mean you remain calm within a pressurised environment, and there is a real an emphasis on teamwork and developing your leadership skills.
I find these skills are easily applied into my ‘day job’ with Kier, plus they have massively helped boost my confidence at a time I really needed it.”