HMS King Alfred Royal Naval Reservists

Navy Petty Officer Denise Wright – HMS King Alfred 


Working with the NHS, Denise still finds time to accommodate her role as a reserve with HMS King Alfred.

She believes that her time with the reserves has hugely benefitted her civilian job and is grateful that her employers have been so supportive.

Denise said: “I have two very exciting careers and I am passionate about them both.  I love what I do and all the exciting opportunities that it presents. I’ve never been more proud of the reserves, it inspires me to just keep going and I am hugely grateful that my employer supports me in that.”

Res Bio Navy - Petty Officer Denise Wright

Denise has found that there are so many professional opportunities and fun aspects within the reserves. There are so many different activities available and it has expanded her knowledge and skill set.


Sub-lieutenant Graeme Nolan RNR – HMS King Alfred


A primary school teacher from Hampshire, Graeme Nolan has gained invaluable experience whilst being a reservist including embarking on HMS Iron for Exercise Joint Warrior. Based in HMS KING ALFRED in Portsmouth, Sub-lieutenant Nolan is one of the growing numbers of Reservists that spend their free evenings and weekends training as a member of the Royal Navy.

As part of his training as a RNR Officer, Sub-lieutenant Nolan has been getting to grips with all of the elements that combine to make a Royal Navy warship function. From time spent with Marine Engineering maintaining diesel generators, time spent up on the Bridge witnessing a live gunnery off the Cost of Cape Wrath to seeing HMS Iron Duke during a war fighting exercise, it has allowed him to witness the RNs capability against Air, Surface and Sub-Surface threats.

Res Bio Navy - Sub Lt Nolan

Sub-lieutenant Nolan said:  “During Exercise Joint Warrior I undertook tasks throughout the ship with all departments on board.  The opportunities provided have been invaluable.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the highly-trained chefs, conducting Replenishments at Sea, conducting rounds with the Weapon and Marine Engineering departments.  The experiences I have gained with the reserves will provide a solid foundation for the rest of my RNR career and will leave lasting memories.”



Hear from our Army Reservists…

LCPL Caroline Cohen – Battalion Head Quarters, 4PWRR – Crawley

Caroline was recommended to join the reserves by an ex-regular that she met through her work as a solicitor.

Wanting to expand her skill range, the reserves has given her the opportunity to push herself further than she thought was possible.  Caroline has learnt how to overcome challenges such as working alone and being the only armourer supporting infantry battalion exercises.

Caroline said: “The best part of being a reservist, has been the chance to learn new skills and meet new people.  It opens your eyes as to what is available out there and what you can achieve with the right support.”

Res Bio Army - LCPL Caroline Cohen

Sapper Daniel Wrixon – CIS Troop, 8 Engineer Brigade

Working as a site manager SPR Daniel Wrixon has always wanted to sign up to the Army and the Reserves is the closest he felt he could get whilst still supporting his family.

Daniel enjoys the military lifestyle and the different people you get to meet.  The mentality of those in the military is that everyone mucks in to get the job done and he enjoys the drive and the push that comes with the Reserves.

The military training he has received has benefitted him in his civilian job and he has taken the structure into his role which he has used to plan and prioritise tasks.

Having never run before Daniel is now completing charity runs and marathons being inspired by his Reserve colleagues.

Daniels enthusiasm has now also encouraged his daughter to enrol with the Sea Cadets, which she thrives off.  She is really enjoying the trips, exercises away and being part of the military family.

Res Bio Army - SPR Daniel Wrixon

No. 4624 Squadron RAuxAF

Senior Aircraftsman – Richard Harris


Proudly watching his children progress into adults, Richard decided it was time for a challenge and to learn new skills to develop himself.

Initially, changing his mindset to adapt to studying again was a challenge but Richard soon found that his confidence increased, along with his fitness helping with his abilities to focus and complete set tasks.

Res Bio RAF SAC Richard Harris

Richard said: “ The best part of being a reserve is being part of a team who you can depend on both in a work and social environment.  The courses that have been made available to me have also helped me in my civilian career as there are so many transferable skills.  The life experience and team spirit are second to none.”


Senior Aircraftsman – James Crawley


Having been with the St Johns Ambulance, James knew he wanted to become a medic and with his family connections, knew the RAF was the obvious choice.

Having enjoyed exercises in Cyprus and the USA, James has had the opportunity to expand his skills in realistic environments.  As a flight medic, his role includes logistics and medical care to sick and injured personnel, escorting patients to suitable treatments facilities.

Res Bio RAF - Senior Aircraftsman James Crawley

James said: “ It has made me more focused than I was before.  Alongside becoming fitter and healthier, it has made me more confident and much more aware of my abilities than I thought possible.  I take great pride in my service and making a difference to others.”

2260 Waterlooville Squadron continued

Cadet Charlotte Cook – 2260 Waterloo Squadron


With her family in the RAF, Cadet Cook aspires to become a Royal Air Force Pilot and wanted to get involved with the activities offered by the Air Cadets.

ATC 2260 Cad Cook.jpg

Charlotte has learnt lots of new skills, achieved her Heart Start Badge and is about to complete her Youth First Aid.

Charlotte said:  “The best part is going on the camps and making new friends as well as doing fun activities at the squadron such as sports and radio activities.  There is a lot of information to learn but it has all helped me come out of my shell as I have always been really shy.”


Cadet Louisa-Mai Dyer – 2260  Waterloo Squadron


Cadet Dyer would like to become a nurse or doctor within the RAF as she finds enrichment in helping others.

ATC 2260 Cad Dyer.jpg

Currently working towards completing her Youth First Aid and Heart Start, Louisa-Mai has enjoyed many achievements and many new friends whilst being with the cadets.

Louisa-Mai said:  “I have overcome my fear of presenting to people I don’t know and all the fun things we get to do.  We even have a chance to experience cooking and making pancakes for fun.”


Cadet Joanne Maloney – 2260 Waterlooville Squadron


With a passion for aviation and discipline, Cadet Maloney thought the Air Training Cadets (ATC) would be the best place to enrol.

Joanne has gained many qualities which will benefit her in the future such as social qualities, friendship and not only achieved her Blue Wings but also Best New Recruit.

ATC 2260 Cad Maloney.jpg

Joanne said:  “I would say the biggest challenge so far has been annual camps as the days are long and can be emotionally battering.  But I don’t know what I would do without the ATC because it has helped me so much.  I have really enjoyed making new friends, meeting all sorts of people and I am excited about what is still to come.”


Cadet Amelia Evans – 2260 Waterlooville Squadron


Cadet Evans is really interested in joining the Royal Air Force and believes that joining the Air Training Cadets (ATC) will help with her future career.

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Amelia has gained lots of skills and qualifications including Youth First Aid, Bronze Cyber and Bronze Communication Award.  She has also learnt what it is like to be a good leader and the best ways to work as a team.

Amelia said:  “It has been great to make so many new friends and meet interesting people.  I am really grateful for the amount of opportunities available for us and the constant support from the adult volunteers giving up their time.  I have been supported in learning to adapt to different environments and overcome my fears.”

2260 Waterlooville Squadron

Corporal Ben Sheppard – 2260 Waterlooville Squadron

Corporal Shepherd found an interest in flying whilst visiting an air show and thought that the Air Cadets looked really interesting and fun.

During his time as cadet, Ben has not only learnt to fly but has also been promoted, learnt about radio communications, First Aid and many valuable life skills.

ATC 2260 Cad Shephard.jpg

Ben said:  “The best part of being involved has been flying and the drill.  It was a challenge to overcome commanding people my own age and older when I successfully promoted.”


Cadet Jack Ferguson – 2260 Waterlooville Squadron

Cadet Jackson is keen to join the Royal Air Force and became a cadet due to his interest in flying.

Jack said:  “I really enjoy the flying, sports and the drill which was quite challenging.  From joining cadets, I have found respect for myself and gained confidence.”

ATC 2260 Cad Ferguson.jpg

Cadet Anna Talbert – 2260 Waterlooville Squadron


Cadet Talbert enrolled as a cadet after a presentation in assembly sparked her interest, believing it would be a place to better herself and gain qualifications.

Along, with First Aid qualifications, Anna has also received her blue level radio communications and first class qualifications.

ATC 2260 Cad Talbert.jpg

Anna said:  “My confidence has grown hugely and I have made lots of new friends.  I feel like I have matured quicker than others my age.  I have really enjoyed making friends of different ages across the county and now feel comfortable to meet new people to engage in conversation.  Previously, I would have avoided engaging with people I didn’t know.”


Cadet Livia Foulds – 2260 Waterlooville Squadron


Following a school visit, Cadet Foulds enrolled looking for something to get her out of the house and to socialise with others.

ATC 2260 Cdt Foulds.jpg

Livia has enjoyed learning First Aid Skills, radio communication and has completed Nijmegen (160km in 4 days).

Livia said:  “I used to be quite shy and joining the cadets has given me the confidence to interact with lots of people.  The best parts have been the camps and making friends.  Nijmegen was an amazing experience as the crowds cheered you on to finish the walk.”

18 Troop Household Cavalry

Sergeant Instructor Meghan Leaver – 18 Troop Household Cavalry

Previously a cadet, SI Leaver choose to return to become an adult instructor.

Enjoying the opportunity to able to shoot, SI Leaver also likes being able to engage with the cadets in the outdoor activities.

Cadet ACF SI Leaver

Meghan said:  “Cadets really helped me through my childhood.  Returning as an Adult Instructor and giving back to cadets, who might be in the same situation I was in, is very fulfilling for me.  It is a very technology based world so it is good to get the cadets involved with outdoor activities away from PlayStation’s and phones.”


Detachment Commander Michael Sharp – 18 Troop Household Cavalry

Michael has been an Adult Instructor for 38 years after being inspired by his older brother to become involved.

Cadet ACF Ad Inst Sharp

Michael said:  “ I used to assist the county shooting officer, where we have had the opportunity to take cadets to Canada to compete.

I really enjoy the outdoor activities and being involved with the field crafting and concealment exercises.  As an adult instructor, you can never under estimate the demands of being involved with cadets but it is a worthwhile and fulfilling experience.”


Cadet Millie Lewis – 18 Troop Household Cavalry

Millie has always been interested in joining the Army as her Dad is currently a Regular soldier.  Having been with the cadets for two years, Millie really enjoys going on the camps and the overall cadet community.

Cadet ACF Millie Lewis

Millie said:  “I have two years left as a cadet and afterwards, I really want to join the army but unable to due to my eyesight.  I would like to become an Adult Instructor and then enrol with the OTC at University, where I am going to study art.”

Cadets gain first-hand experience of the inner workings of the British Army

Cadets from Nivelle Company, South Oxfordshire visited the Royal Engineers and Royal Artillery over the half term holiday to gain an on the ground experience into how the Armed Forces operates at a regimental level.


On a cold and wet Tuesday 13th February the cadets visited the Royal Artillery in Larkhill. The day started at a pace with a visit to the gun line to observe some live firing of the 105mm Light Gun. They had a chance to get up close and discover a little more about the equipment and the role of the RA, after a very welcome hot brew and range stew it was a quick move to the target end. This time the cadets, from a safe distance, were able to observe the fall of shot and how the gunners ranged onto their target for the main all guns fire mission. Finally, it was back to camp to get closer to, and hands on, some of the other equipment in the gun park, including the AS90.


On Wednesday 14th February the cadets went to Gibraltar Barracks to see the Royal Engineers in action. The visit started with an enthusiastic brief about the RE and the multitude of trades available within the Corps. A quick move to the training area saw the cadets thrown into a mental and practical challenge. With a limited range of equipment they were set the task of clarifying some distinctly muddy water. Four teams one result, clear water! This activity was closely followed by hands on experience of operating plant such as cranes, grabs and drops lorries. Finally the RE gave a demonstration of the use of pyrotechnics to produce simulations of air strikes and other weapon systems an important element to the safe training for regular soldiers, but for cadets simply awesome to see and hear.


Cadet Lance Corporal L Sprules-Hayden was one of the cadets who attended.

“I was interested in going to these educational visits as I wanted to see how the Army operates. We learned a lot about the wider Army and I had great fun moving the crane and feeling the ground shake with the Royal Engineers!”


Sergeant Instructor Jack Settle was one of the Cadet Force Adult Volunteers.

“It was very enjoyable for the Adult Instructors as well as the Cadets. This is one of the fantastic opportunities the Army Cadet Force can offer, you don’t need to have a passion about joining the Armed Forces it’s just an exciting youth organisation where young people can learn life skills and have a fun and adventures time!”


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