Blog: My Journey as a RAF Reservist

News and information from the Advent IM team.

We are at the start of Armed Forces Week with Armed Forces Day falling on June 29th. 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 Senior 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, part of me wasn’t finished with that journey, and I still wanted to continue to serve in the military without the short notice tasks to be away from home for weeks at a time or 6-month deployments, some extremely short notice. This is why I decided to become a Reservist in the RAF and returning to the RAF Police, which was my trade when I was a regular serviceman. When I joined the Reserves, I joined 3 Police Squadron based out of RAF Honington, where I met and work with Reservists from all walks of life and careers, including serving Police Officers, Prison Officers, an accountant, a retired Firefighter, a former airline pilot and more! The great thing about working in such a diverse environment is that we all brought something different to the party, as they say, and with my experience in the regular service, I was able to lean back into that, as well as utilising instructional experience.

For a lot of people, they choose to be Reservists because they want to try something different from their usual Monday to Friday job, a chance to deploy overseas to various operational theatres and experience the military. For me, it was continuing my journey in the RAF and having the opportunity to continue to progress in rank and exposure to a variety of personalities and their experiences and knowledge.

With the reserves, your personal circumstances allow you to do as little as you want or as much as you want, it is completely your choice and, in most cases, you can make it work around your career, such as shift patterns and home life. Most of my Reservist days tend to be on weekends, so that it doesn’t conflict with my civilian career. When I told Advent IM that I am currently serving as a Reservist in the RAF and there will be occasions where I will need to do things during the week, my line management offered and have continued to offer me support over the last 3 years.

Within the Reserves, there is always a variety of things that you can do, whether that is helping out with Law Enforcement on units, air shows, instructing, overseas tasks, 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 and wider air force, which I am proud to say that I have done on recent annual camps, where I used my time working with the Protective Security Section at RAF Brize Norton and RAF Cosford.

There are several Reserves posts around the United Kingdom, which in some cases are close to your home as well as numerous opportunities to learn something new and challenging which can be beneficial in your day-to-day life and career outside the Reserves. This is what makes the Reserves an attractive opportunity for a lot of people.

Leighton Hughes


Image – © UK MOD Crown Copyright

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