Armed Forces Week – A Reservist Eye View

News and information from the Advent IM team.

We are at the start of Armed Forces Week with Armed Forces Day falling on June 26th. Naturally, we support our Armed Forces and have demonstrated this with our Covenant and our continuing support of the Armed Forces community.

We are very lucky to have some excellent ex-military colleagues, some of whom are Reservists. One of these is Leighton Hughes, who is a Security Consultant with us and who wrote this post about joining Advent IM and being a Reservist for the RAF.

When I left the RAF at the end of 2017, a part of me wasn’t finished with that journey, and I still wanted to continue to serve without all the short notice taskings or 6-month deployments. That is when I looked into becoming a Reservist in the RAF and within the RAF Police, which was my trade when I was a regular serviceman. There, I had the opportunity to join 3 (Tactical) Police Squadron based out of RAF Honington, where I met fellow Reservists from all walks of life and careers, including serving Police Officers, Prison Officers, an accountant, a retired Firefighter, and a property developer! We all brought something different to the party, as they say, and with my recent experience in the regulars, I was able to lean back into that, as well as my instructional side of my career.

For a lot of people, they choose to be Reservists because they want to try something different from their usual Monday to Friday job or they want to experience the military to a certain degree, but for me, it was still being involved in that great big family that is the RAF.

In the reserves, you can do as little as you want or as much as you want, it is completely your choice and you can in most cases you can make it work around your career and personal circumstances. Most of my Reservist days tend to be on weekends, so it doesn’t conflict with my career outside of the Reserves. When I told Advent IM that I am a Reservist and there will be a period where I will need to do things during the week, my line management offered and continue to offer me support. There is always a variety of things that you could do with your time in the Reserves, whether that is helping out with Law Enforcement on units, air shows, instructing, overseas taskings, or just continuation training days. My passion grew for instructing through doing training days. What made it easier for me was instructing on subjects I knew well and could relate back to the students, using my own experience and being able to provide context, which allows them to visualise the subject matter. When I interviewed for my role at Advent IM, one of the biggest draws for me was the opportunity to use the skills I have gained in the RAF, developed in the Reserves and being able to continue to use them in my career, as well as continue to develop and enhance those skills offering them back to the Reserves.

I have recently transferred Squadron to one that is closer to home, and again this reiterates how flexible the Reserves can be, in that you are not always tied to a certain location, that there are options to move to not only another unit but you can also learn a new trade and develop new skills that can be used in your day-to-day career. This is what makes the Reserves an attractive opportunity for a lot of people.

Leighton Hughes

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