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Army Reserve recruit in Cardiff

Members of the public had the chance to speak to soldiers and get a real understanding of Army life at a recruitment event held at Cardiff Castle. Cardiff's Army Reserve units showcased a variety of the latest kit and equipment used by the military.

The event was designed to help boost the Army's nationwide recruitment drive. There are over 6,000 jobs on offer across several hundred different roles in the Army Reserve, from mechanics, to veterinary technicians and fitness instructors.

Brigadier Andrew Jackson, the Director of Army Recruiting and Training said, "Joining the Army Reserve is an exciting opportunity for anyone looking to do something extra with their time and benefit from a rewarding experience outside of normal working hours.

"No matter what your skills or background, the Army Reserve has something to offer you. There is much more beyond military skill; it can take you abroad, equip you with new skills, give you invaluable experience and develop strengths you didn't know you had."

The Army Reserve typically train for one night per week and often at weekends plus, in many cases, attend an annual two week training exercise. The minimum commitment is generally 27 days training per annum, though it is 19 days for some specialist units.


Plans for expansion of army reserve forces due

The Territorial Army will be renamed the Army Reserve under reorganisation plans. Credit: PA

Plans over the growing importance of the army's reserve forces are due to be set out today by the UK Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond.

A white paper is expected to set out how the number of trained reservists will increase from 19,000 to 30,000 by 2018, as the number of regular troops is cut by 20,000 to 82,000.

There are around 2,000 Territorial Army personnel in Wales, and hundreds more TA soldiers are being recruited here each year.

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What are the current terms for Army reservists?

The white paper measures being unveiled by the Defence Secretary today are expected to make it easier for Army reservists to balance their military duties with their normal jobs.

Their current conditions are as follows:

  • Expected to commit to between 19 and 27 days a year
  • Paid around £35 for each day
  • Expected to attend training in their own free time
  • Entitled to a tax-free "bounty" of up to £2,100 for meeting time quota

Incentives expected for reservists' employers

The white paper is expected to outline how reservists will work more closely with full-time regular members of the army.

A £42m budget will be provided for new kit and extra training for reserve forces.

It is also expected to reveal financial incentives for small firms employing reservists.

Concerns over the pressure that would be placed on employers to free up their staff for military duty have been highlighted by Wales This Week.

We are asking a heck of a lot from employers... the majority of Welsh companies are small to medium sized and they can't afford for people to go away for a long period. This will be part of the problem that will have to be solved if we want to make an effective Territorial Army in Wales.

– Col. Bob Stewart MP, former army officer


Territorial army recruitment drive starts in Wales

The government plans to double the size of the Territorial Army to 30,000 Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Territorial Army will start its recruitment drive in Wales today, with events starting in Cardiff and continuing across the country until the end of this month.

There are more than 100 TA units in Wales. The event in Cardiff today will have representatives from a range of careers including chefs, drivers, medics, caterers, infantrymen, engineers and signallers.

Welsh residents will also be able to see and try out the kit and weaponry for themselves.

Each unit will bring a range of specialist equipment and supplies to put on demonstrations and educate the public about the role of the TA and its importance to the UK Armed Forces. Those who go along to the event will be able to see and try out the kit and weaponry for themselves.

Last year the UK Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond set out plans to double the number of people in the territorial army from about 15,000 to 30,000, while also renaming it Army Reserves.

'There has never been a better time to join'

We think this is a great way to demonstrate and educate people in Wales about the opportunities available with the TA and its contribution to the defence and security of the nation.

There has never been a better time to be a Territorial Army soldier and we have so much to offer potential candidates - an active lifestyle, the opportunity for travel and adventure, as well as first-class training and access to further skills and qualifications. No matter what your talents, you can get involved.

– Colonel Kevin Halus, Colonel TA Recruiting

Territorial Army parade in Monmouth

More than 170 Territorial Army soldiers from the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers will march through Monmouth town centre this afternoon. After the Freedom Parade, there will be a medals parade in the grounds of the castle for soldiers who have recently returned from Afghanistan.

The march will begin at the Old Monnow Bridge at 1pm, and go past Shire Hall, before a service at St Mary's Parish Church.

Guests include the Duke of Gloucester, who is Honorary Colonel of the Regiment, and Brigadier Philip Napier, Head of the Army in Wales.

Members of the Territorial Army do training and military duties in their spare time Credit: Chris Radburn / PA Archive / Press Association Images