Randall & Payne learn about the Reservists | Tim and Sim flanked by soldiers
Category: R&P News

Supporting the Armed Forces and helping to raise awareness of the Reservists

Earlier this year we signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant and have been awarded the Bronze Award in recognition of our commitment as an employer to the Armed Forces.

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What is the Armed Forces Covenant?

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise that together we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy, and society they serve with their lives.

Its two principles are that, recognising the unique obligations of, and sacrifices made by, the Armed Forces:

  • Those who serve in the Armed Forces, whether Regular or Reserve, those who have served in the past, and their families, should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services.
  • Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved.

View the Randall & Payne signed Armed Forces Covenant

Understanding more about the Reservists and their role in the community

Sjt Paul Kemp and LCpl Lewis Pearce from A Company  6th Battalion Rifles Infantry, who are based on Eastern Avenue in Gloucester, came in to speak to our staff about the Reservists and we quickly established that no-one in the room knew much about the who the Reservists are and what they do.

Randall & Payne Staff Meeting with talk about the Reservists

After showing us a video about the Infantry for the British Army, Sjt Paul Kemp explained that their principal mission is to train and prepare soldiers for front line operations and they routinely support Regular units within a multitude of operations. The Reservists represent 24% of the Army’s service personnel.

To join you need to be aged 18 to 43 and must be able to commit to the equivalent of 27 days as a minimum each year but most average 50 days. There is a joining bonus and an annual bonus depending on years served and they are paid to attend activities, but most don’t do it for the money.

They do it for the many opportunities offered, the access to skills and qualifications, from how to use combat gear and map reading, to leadership courses, driving and medical qualifications. Plus, a vast range of adventurous activities such as diving, kayaking, skiing, rock climbing, abseiling and many more.

They train in their spare time, on Tuesday evenings and weekends at our local Reserve centre, learning the fundamentals of becoming a British Soldier. Once signed up, having completed the medical and two-day assessment, Reservists attend on their own terms and can choose which activities and trips they take part in.

This includes whether they attend when required to support the Regulars with combat or humanitarian needs overseas, or in the UK with examples including supporting the Covid and local flood relief efforts, and the Olympics. They can also choose to leave if it’s not for them.

At the end of the session staff were invited to ask questions and handle some of the weapon systems and combat equipment they had brought along with them. There was some interest within the team, whether for themselves or for their immediate family or relatives so it was a worthwhile session for Sjt Paul Kemp.

It also served as a reminder about the role that the Armed Forces play for our country and that they need support from employers, whether as a reservist and being granted additional leave to carry out training or duties, or having served and re-entering the workforce as a civilian.

Find out more about signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant here.