Tag Archives: Military

128 Field Company VRSM Medal and Clasps Awards Ceremony


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Staff Sergeant John O’Callaghan, 44, has been an army reservist for eleven years and is based with 128 Field Company in Hilsea, Portsmouth, part of 103 Battalion REME.   He was awarded his Volunteer Reserve Service Medal for ten years of committed service at a special ceremony presided over by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller.    David is a Tech storeman by trade and deployed to Iraq on OP TELIC in 2010 and on OP OLYMPIC in 2012.  David works full time at the Army Reserve Centre as the Tech Quartermaster

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WO2 Albert Johnson, 55, has been an Army Reservist for 37 years and lives in Clanfield.  He serves in Portsmouth with 128 Field Company part of 103 Battalion REME, and is a Class 1 Vehicle Mechanic by trade.  Albert works for Pall Life Sciences as a manufacturing engineer for bioreactors and chromatography machines for making medicines and juggles this with his reserve commitment.  Albert was awarded the 3rd Clasp to his Volunteer Reserve Service Medal by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller, acknowledging his incredible service and commitment.  He said “Having joined at a very young age, the service has shaped my life both as a soldier and as a civilian.  The benefits are that I’ve always had something to look forward to in my calendar year.  My confidence grew quickly as a reservist and it has given me ambition to better myself in my civilian career, as well as giving me experiences that I would never have had”.

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Sergeant Alan Greatbatch, 52, has been a member of the Army Reserve for 25 years.  He serves in Portsmouth with 128 Field Company part of 103 Battalion REME and is a Class 1 Metalsmith by trade.  Alan was awarded the 2nd Clasp to his Volunteer Reserve Service Medal by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller, acknowledging his incredible service and commitment.  Alan works at the Ministry of Defence in Abbey Wood in Bristol n the Armoured Vehicle Programmes Office as a Logistics specialist.  He said “The Army Reserve has made good use of my skills and knowledge gained as an apprentice and has given me many opportunities.  It has helped me develop my man-management skills, to become a better problem solver and to become more delivery focused”.

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Sergeant John Baverstock, 46, has been a member of the Army Reserve for 19 years and was presented with the 1st Clasp to his Volunteer Reserve Service Medal by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller, acknowledging his service and commitment.  John, who also works full time for the Army Reserve, is a Class 1 Vehicle Mechanic by trade and has spent the past three years, both in the Portsmouth Careers Office and now in the Army Reserve Centre, dealing with new recruits.  Prior to that John deployed to Iraq on OP TELIC in 2004.  He said “Being a Reservist has helped with my fitness.  I’ve gained confidence and have a great social life and life-long friends”.

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Staff Sergeant Ian Parker, 46, has been an Army Reservist since 1995.  Originally a regular army infantry soldier having served in both Northern Ireland and Cyprus, Ian joined the Army Reserve’s Royal Logistics Corps as a petroleum operative and transferred to the REME as a Tech Support Specialist and now fulfils the role of Company Quartermaster Sergeant (CQMS) at the Peronne Road Army Reserve Centre.  A self-employed electrician, Ian was awarded the 2nd Clasp to his Volunteer Reserve Service Medal by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller, for his 21 years of service to the Army Reserve.

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Sergeant Andrew Baxter, 52, has served with the Army Reserve for 29 years. In his civilian life he is an HGV Driver with MTS Cleansing Services.  Andrew who is a recovery mechanic by trade has deployed to Iraq on OP TELIC in 2003/04 and serves with 150 Recovery Company who are now based in Croydon.  Andrew was awarded the 3rd Clasp to his Volunteer Reserve Service Medal by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller, for his long and committed service to the Army Reserve.

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Lance Corporal David Madgwick, 47, is a recovery mechanic by trade and serves with 150 Recovery Company in Croydon.  He has been a member of the Army Reserve for 15 years.  David is an HGV Driver and Crane Operator in his civilan life and deployed on two operational tours to Afghanistan in both 2008/9 and 2011/12.  He said “My experience as a Reservist has given me a more confident outlook as an individual and has given me more understanding of the world, plus more varied employment options.  I got my HGV licence and crane operator certificate through the Reserves.”  David was awarded the Volunteer Reserve Service Medal by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller, to honour his commitment and service to the Army Reserve.

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WO2 Howard Watson, 45, has been a member of the Army Reserve for twenty years.  He joined initially to learn the trade of vehicle mechanic because he was tired of garages telling him his vehicles needed extensive work and didn’t know what they were talking about.  He has since become a Class 1 Vehicle Mechanic and serves with 128 Field Company, part of 103 Battalion REME as the Company Sergeant Major.  In his civilian life, Howard is the National Sales Manager for the UK’s leading provider of occupational health software, Warwick International Computing Systems Ltd.  He said “My company is very supportive of my Reserve Service and I do not think that I would have gained the job I have with them today if it had not been for my army training and discipline.  They pay me for my annual camp commitment, and have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant.”  Howard has deployed to Iraq on OP TELIC 2 where he ended up running the Light Aid Detachment at the “stadium” in Al Amarah.   In my time with 128 Field Company I have travelled the world and have learnt many life skills”.  He added “I am so much more confident now and am far more time efficient and with the Reserves you are part of a group of diverse individuals with a wide variety of skills”.  Howard was awarded the 2nd Clasp to his Volunteer Reserve Service Medal by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller, to honour his service and commitment to the Army Reserve.

http://www.serfca.org/Reserves/Army-Reserve/REME/128-Field-Company-REME

 

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QinetiQ signs Armed Forces Covenant at Farnborough International Airshow


QinetiQ has pledged its continued support to UK servicemen and women by signing the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant at Farnborough International Airshow 2016.

Chief Executive Officer Steve Wadey met with Defence Minister Philip Dunne on Thursday, 14 July to sign the Covenant, which ensures fairness and equal opportunity for Service and ex-Service personnel, Reservists and their families.

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Originally signed by QinetiQ in August 2013, the Covenant has been updated to clarify the company’s commitments to its reservists, including improved line manager training and enhanced leave benefits. QinetiQ grants its employees 15 days a year in which to carry out duties as reservists in the Armed Forces.

Steve Wadey, QinetiQ CEO, said: “It is vital to recognise the role of our reservists, who go the extra mile in serving our country. They make a valuable contribution to our company by helping us to understand our customer, and to the Armed Forces through their innovation and commercial expertise. I have signed the Covenant because I strongly believe it is important for companies to support and encourage those who wish to go above and beyond in the name of public service.”

Philip Dunne, Minister of State for Defence Procurement, said: “I am delighted that QinetiQ – which already employs reservists and veterans – has signed the Corporate Covenant. I hope it encourages more defence suppliers to come forward and join over 1,000 private and public sector employers to have signed the pledge. Our personnel and their families play an invaluable role in our society and it is only right they get the recognition and support they deserve.”

Allison Lambert is Aviation Manager for QinetiQ’s Weapons business, and a Navy reservist specialising in air traffic control. She said: “After serving in the Royal Navy for almost 30 years, I didn’t want to cut my ties when starting a new career. Becoming a reservist has allowed me to maintain my military contacts and give something back to the Navy for its investment in my training. The great advantage for me is the mutual exchange of information that comes from being part of both industry and military. We have a common understanding that makes it easier to get the job done.”

Thomas Harvey is an Aircrew Systems Integration Engineer at QinetiQ and a reservist with the Royal Air Force (RAF). He said: “My service with the RAF allows me to see my work from the customer’s point of view. When I evaluate technology at QinetiQ, I have a first-hand understanding of how it needs to work in the field. When I’m with the RAF, my technical knowledge of a new system can help the user to adopt it. The benefit is a two-way street and it motivates me to do the best job I can.”

In 2014, The Ministry of Defence presented QinetiQ with a silver award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme. The MOD highlighted QinetiQ’s HR policy that supports reservists, its participation in Armed Forces Day, and its support of cadet units and spousal employment.

http://www.serfca.org/Civil-Employer-Engagement/Armed-Forces-Covenant

Alastair Allison MSc, CISM, SIRM, Chief Risk Officer from Zurich Insurance Plc (UKGI) talks about his career in the military and skills that can transfer into risk


Background

  • Former Chair of the Institute of Risk Management’s Cyber Special Interest Group
  • Project manager and co-author of the IRM publication Cyber risk for risk practitioners
  • Guest lecturer at University of Portsmouth on the IRM Risk Culture publication.

I left the Royal Air Force in 2002 after 16 years’ service in the fighter control specialisation – air defence of the UK specialising in electronic warfare. Despite struggling to find what I wanted to do, I got a job working for Amey Vectra as a risk consultant for a short while before taking a post as enterprise risk manager for Paradigm Secure Communications on the £3.2bn satellite communication programme for the UK Military; the SKYNET 5 project, which was a real success for me on a personal and professional level. I was at Paradigm for nearly 6 years and I joined a risk consulting division within a software company as head of Risk Services working with global companies such as Rolls Royce, Rio Tinto and Saudi Aramco. I was then asked to join Zurich Insurance to head up the Information Governance transformation programme. Since joining Zurich I have progressed to Head of Risk and most lately to the Chief Risk Officer for UK General Insurance

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Transition to Civvy Life

I personally found the transition to be difficult as I did not have a plan but I was lucky to have some support from other ex RAF people who helped me find that all important first job. Since then I have taken matters into my own hands; I have gained an MSc in Corporate Risk and Security Management, gained other qualifications and experience within my chosen area of expertise and created opportunities as a result. I prefer to operate in specialist areas than general roles but the military background enabled me to succeed in both by blending my new skills with the leadership and management skills from the RAF. By seeking new challenges and stepping out of my comfort zone, I have shown I am adaptable and open-minded to change and I think this is a great asset to all employers.

The business landscape constantly shifts and the competition needs to be responded to. As a consequence, being open to change and dealing with it in a positive frame of mind has helped me to see through many moments of change that would faze others. Yes it has been unsettling but facing up to the uncertainty and dealing with ambiguity are key skills service personnel have and they have served me well.

 

 

Skills transferred from RAF days

Enterprise risk management: This is a key skill of most military staff even if it is called other things. Any leadership role will help develop such skills but the basic skills required to “know your enemy” and how you can develop tactics to counter the enemy is basic risk management. Broaden that across the organisation and you have the “Enterprise” element.

Risk management: Practitioner in project, programme and corporate risk management including the use of quantitative models to support effective decision making and distribution of funding.

Information governance: Establishing Information Governance frameworks and practices within a UK subsidiary of Zurich and providing expertise to Global initiatives. The basic security rules in the Joint Services Manual stood the test of time. Military staff understand classification and security of data so these skills transferred very easily. This is a key risk to be managed in most businesses these days

Programme/project risk: Quantitative analysis of capital projects and programmes to determine confidence of delivery to time and cost prior to contract signature and to ensure ongoing confidence in delivery schedules post-contract. I learnt the basic skills in the RAF and continued to develop them further.

Training: Training needs analysis. course design and delivery of awareness and staff training regimes to affect cultural change of behaviours to protecting customer data or in support of implementing risk management methodologies and tools. I think anyone in the military will recognise these skills.

Alastair talks about the value of being involved with the Institute of Risk Management:

“I have heavily invested in training within my team fully aligned to the IRM to complete both the Certificate in Risk Management and the Diploma.  We have changed the   requirements of the risk roles to strengthen risk professionalism and to provide credibility in the business based on best practices.  This has involved over 14 staff across the business taking these qualifications in the last 12 months and we have completed over 12 other short courses to specifically learn new skills and get fresh insight into current risk practices.  These have included Risk Reporting, Developing KPIs, Risk Workshop facilitation, Fundamentals of Risk Management and several others – staying competent is a key factor in this role”.

http://www.serfca.org/Links/Jobs/Jobs4Reservists

3PWRR Andover Freedom Parade


Residents of Andover in the Borough of Test Valley came out in force yesterday to enjoy a Freedom Parade by the three military regiments who have been granted the Freedom of the Borough; 22 Engineer Regiment representing the Corps of Royal Engineers, the 3rd Battalion of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and the Army Air Corps.

Service personnel from the three regiments, led by the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regimental Band marched through the town centre in a show of ceremony and colour with bayonets fixed.  The parade concluded with a flypast of an Apache Helicopter by the Army Air Corps and a memorial service to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme took place in the Garden of Remembrance.

The civic party was led by the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson Esquire and The Worshipful the Mayor of Test Valley, Councillor Karen Hamilton.

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Colour Sergeant Billy Menzies, 34 is from Andover.  A Regular Army Soldier with the 2nd Battalion, Billy has been posted with the 3rd Battalion PWRR in a training capacity.  His role has been to provide training weekends focusing on developing their medical capability.  He said “Working with the Reserves has been absolutely amazing which, to be honest, was completely unexpected.  They are 100% professional as is their commitment because they have to juggle their careers and their families as well.” He added “I am really proud to march through my home town today and it’s nice to come back as I don’t get here very often.  Hopefully I’ll see some old friends in the crowds”.

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Private Chris Jones, 22, has been a member of the Army Reserve for almost four years, serving with 3 PWRR based at HQ Company in Canterbury. Chris worked in Customer Care for the National Trust but after deploying on Operation TOSCA in Cyprus and on Operation TORAL in Afghanistan with 1st Battalion Royal Anglian, he has now decided to pursue a military career.  He said “I’m just back from an operational tour in Afghanistan and I’ve decided that I’m going to transfer full time to the Royal Navy in January next year.  I’d like to become either Aircrew or a diver.”

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Corporal Russell Butler, 32, is an Army Reservist with A Company in Farnham and works for a logistics company.  He said “I’ve been a member of the Army Reserve for four and a half years.  I left the Regular Army in 2005 after serving more than six years with the 1st Battalion PWRR and toyed with getting back in.  Being a reservist is better than I thought and they are more experienced and more current than I thought they’d be.  There’s always something different to do whether it’s ceremonial, community based or green training”.  Russell is originally from Basingstoke and said “I feel quite proud to be on parade today especially as my wife and kids are here too”.

http://www.serfca.org/Reserves/Army-Reserve/Infantry/HQ-The-Buffs-Company-3PWRR

3PWRR Folkstone Training Weekend (Part.3)


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Private Oliver Stockle, 37, is a member of HQ Company in Canterbury and passed out in April 2015.  Oliver is a student nurse in this third year, based in East Kent, who regularly endures 12 and a half hour shifts in A&E.   He joined 3PWRR because he wanted to serve his country and he sought a different challenge. He said “This weekend has been great training for me.  We’ve done a lot and honed our skills as we are in training for the International Military Patrol Competition in Lombardy, Italy later this week. The competition will take place over two days and is based around an enemy threat that has invaded a state.  We have 18 hours in which o investigate, suppress and overpower it.  Participation in this competition is our reward for doing so well and getting a podium finish in last year’s Cambrian Patrols Competition!”

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Corporal Joseph Hewes, 26, lives in Haywards Heath and works for South East Water as a water regulations inspector.  He’s been a member of B Company 3 PWRR, based in Dyke Road, for seven years, having joined in 2009.  Joseph has deployed twice to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 15 and Operation TORAL and in 2014 was awarded Best Sussex Reservist for his enthusiastic approach to training new recruits from attestation to completion of their Combat Infantryman’s Course.  He said “I joined the Army Reserve for the opportunity to go on tour and that’s my motivation even now, after having completed two tours.  For me, it’s the chance to do the job that we’ve been trained to do”.

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Lance Corporal Miguel Edwards, 29, is a project manager and has served with B Company, 3rd Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment for seven years.  He said “I love being part of this.  The Army Reserve tests you in the harshest of conditions and it gives you a sense of purpose.  I deployed to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 15 and that experience has definitely changed me as a person.  I have much more self-confidence and I know that I was part of history being made, not just reading about it.“  He added “This weekend’s training was good for me.  I stepped up and was a Troop Commander and ran the fire support group.  It tested me as I had to think about and consider the ground, the enemy, the threat and it’s made me think that I should go for promotion as I enjoyed having that role”.

3PWRR Folkstone Training Weekend (Part.2)


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Recruit Himal Gaha, 21 works in a fast food restaurant.  From a proud Gurkha family, Himal’s father and grandfather both served in the Royal Regiment of Gurkhas, he has always been interested in the military.  He said “I’ve come along to HQ Company in Canterbury with some friends and I’m now four weeks into the recruitment process but at the very start of my journey.  I’ve got my interview on Wednesday this week and then I need to focus on my fitness.”  He added “It’s been an awesome experience so far. I’m meeting and making some good friends and brothers”.

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Private Liam-Grogan Edwards, 26, has been a member of the Army Reserve for two years.  Serving with 3PWRR’s A Company, based in Farnham, he works in landscaping.  He said “I joined the Army Reserve for the army life and the experience.  I enjoy being out on exercise and being part of a team”.  He added “This has been a good training weekend – focussing on section and platoon attacks.  But getting up at 3am to “stag on” was quite a challenge, but all part of it”.

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Private Dan May, 25, has been an Army Reservist for three years and serves with HQ Company, 3 PWRR, based in Canterbury.  Dan, a car mechanic by trade, has seen operational service in Afghanistan on Operation TORAL where he was part of the force protection and in Cyprus on UN Mission Operation TOSCA.   He said “I joined the Army Reserve because I thought it would give me a good insight into the Army as I hope to join the Regulars.  I really enjoy being with the lads and the camaraderie that we all have”.

3PWRR Folkstone Training Weekend (Part.1)


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ARMY RESERVISTS from 3rd Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and new recruits hoping to join them once they’ve passed selection and attestation, headed off to the training area in Folkestone for a weekend of training.    With the close down of recent overseas operations, the British Army is reroleing itself back into a conventional fighting force that can quickly adapt to a multitude of situations and conflicts.  To this end, 3PWRR has geared its current training year toward focusing on the mechanics of the low and mid-level conventional environment.  For some of the recruits it was their first weekend in the field which saw them building bashers, creating safe harbours and generally immersing themselves in the reservist experience helping to prepare them for Selection and Phase 1 Training.

For those more experienced infantryman, section and platoon level practise missions were created with an “intelligent” enemy able to dynamically respond to threats presented to it. By creating inventive and original training scenarios, the Battalion looks to test and improve its new generation of leaders as it propels the lead elements of the reserve forces into an uncertain international future.

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Luke Watts, 23, is a hard landscaper and has decided that he would like to join the Army Reserve.  Luke has passed Selection and is hoping to be attested on Wednesday this week.  He said “I thought I’d go along to C Company in Rochester as it’s my local unit and I’ve always been interested in the infantry.  I think the Army Reserve will be exciting and I will learn new skills and qualifications.  The training has been very good – we’ve been setting up harbours and bashers.  So far, it’s been exactly what I expected it would be – I’m really enjoying it”.

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Dave Arwas, 24, is a graduate project manager working for BAE Systems in Frimley.  Dave is hoping to join A Company, based in Farnham.  He said “I’ve been coming along to training now for 11 weeks and this is my second weekend away.  I wanted to join the Regular Army when I was younger but my career has taken over now and I see that being a member of the Army Reserve will allow me to get the best of both worlds, fulfilling my career aspirations whilst juggling a military career.”  He added “I’m enjoying it all very much.  The Battalion are working hard to get us through Selection and Phase 1 Training and are giving us a lot of support and preparation.”

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Megan Arpin, 21, works in a nursery and is hoping to join HQ Company, based in Canterbury.  Megan has had a lot of support and encouragement from her father who served in the Regular Army in New Zealand.  She said “I’ve done a lot of different jobs, in retail, in care homes and now in a nursery and I want to experience something completely out of the ordinary.  My Dad keeps telling me to be the best I can be and I think that doing this will help me to achieve that.”  She added “It’s been tough though, I won’t deny it.   I knew it was going to be hard.   I definitely need to work on my upper body strength.  But it’s been brilliant. You meet people from all walks of life and this weekend has been all about team work and learning to respect each other.”  Megan has completed her 1.5 mile run and will now needs to pass her interview, medical and then selection in order to become attested.