This month marks the centenary of the formation of the Royal Air Force in 1918. The RAF have planned a summer of events that will rightly ‘Commemorate, celebrate and inspire’.
While it’s true to say that the RAF have been involved in some of the pivotal moments in British history, it’s also true that as an organisation, they’ve clearly got an immensely important role to play today and tomorrow. Indeed, as a Service-leaver, you too could be part of that, as the RAF pushes ahead with recruiting for Reservists.
Civvy Street has spoken with plenty of Veterans (from all of our three Forces) down the years and what’s become apparent are the common threads of pride and camaraderie. Joining the RAF Reserves is a way to continue to enjoy those factors ‘most missed’ by Service-leavers.
It’s difficult to imagine a better moment for Service-leavers looking for a gradual resettlement, to join the RAF Reserves. Serving alongside Regulars in the UK and overseas, they arguably enjoy the best of both worlds by balancing their own careers and home life, with the challenge and adventure of the RAF – and to be part of all that during their centenary year would definitely be something special.
Squadron Leader Simon Briggs spoke with Civvy Street about the importance of Reservists in this RAF centenary year.
Can you tell me about the role of Reservists?
The Reserves grew out of our requirements during the last 100 years. Now more than ever, in our hundredth year, Reservists are more important and that’s because, right now the RAF is supporting over 20 operations around the world. As a result, we’re stretched pretty thinly and that’s where our Reservists can step in and step up; filling those roles which are essential for the UK to deliver air power around the world.
We’re looking for around 650 Reservists to join our team this year and part of that number will be made up of 130 ex-Regulars.
Why focus on Service-leavers?
The experience ex-Regulars have is invaluable to us and can’t be found anywhere else. Where possible, those that transition from the Regulars to the Reserves within 12 months are able to retain their rank, which is fitting, given their contribution to the RAF, often over many years. They will also benefit from what we term ‘Seamless Transfer’, which allows ex-Regulars to retain their qualifications and competencies, rather than having to complete them all again on joining the Reserves. We offer over 40 roles, but in particular this year we’d love to hear from those with logistics (chefs, movers and drivers) and intelligence backgrounds. Search ‘RAF Recruitment’ to find out more.
Commemorate, Celebrate, Inspire
Those three words outline how the Royal Air Force will not only reflect on its history but also enjoy the present and look forward to a dynamic future.
The centenary year will be marked by special events, activities and other initiatives at local, regional and national levels running from April to the end of November 2018.
To find out more about centenary events taking place around the country, visit: www.raf.mod.uk/raf100/whats-on/
Civvy Street Magazine would like to congratulate the RAF on its centenary and wish them well in their celebrations during 2018.
Ex-Regular? Consider a Role in the RAF Reserves
There has never been a more exciting time to be involved with the RAF Reserves, offering you the opportunity to work in one of over 40 challenging and rewarding roles.
After life as a Regular, the RAF Reserves offer you the ability to Serve wherever you settle with new and re-roled squadrons stood up around the country. Serving as a Reservist provides you with the chance to maintain your links and connections with the RAF and the ability to increase your professional competencies while exploiting the range of adventure training, sport and personal development opportunities available.
An alternative income stream may provide much welcome support whilst you transition into civilian life and taking up a RAF Reservist appointment will enhance your CV, allowing you to demonstrate an excellent portfolio of management skills as you develop and manage two roles.
RAF Reservists are some of the most ambitious and dedicated people you’ll ever meet, and being around them will undoubtedly enhance your ability to succeed in your personal and professional life. Besides, you never know when one of your colleagues might happen to be the hiring manager for a Top 100 Company.
Mindful that you will be adjusting and settling into civilian life and may not be able to fully commit to the RAF Reserves initially, certain waivers (below) have been introduced for ex-Regular personnel that join within a year from their date of discharge.
• Direct transition in substantive rank (subject
to available positions)
• Reduced annual training requirement (just 15 days per year)
• Limited call-out liability (screened for the first 3 years)
Reservists Make Great Employees!
RAF Reservists are given world-class accredited training to develop key skills that form not only the foundations of an invaluable Reservist but also an invaluable employee. This training can amount to £8,000 per annum (for an organisation to implement). Core skills are developed that are valuable in business such as:
• Problem solving
• The ability to work under pressure
Transferable skills which add significant value to you as an employee are gained at all levels. These include:
• Communications and IT
• Language skills
• LGV licences
• First aid
• Health and safety
• Personnel management
Undergoing training and Serving on operations further develops resourcefulness, perseverance and the ability to improvise in unfamiliar or difficult circumstances. Individuals have exceptional team spirit with the ability to lead and follow, and acquire a variety of qualities that every employer looks for; such as commitment, respect, integrity and discipline.
Corporal Mike Brown*
Systems Analyst/Logistics Mover
As a former Regular, I missed the RAF! I missed the exciting challenges and opportunities that are available, the friends you make and sense of worth you have Serving in the RAF.
In civilian life, I’m an analyst at a national newspaper. My RAF role is as a Logistics Mover, based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. I’m responsible for accepting, preparing and loading cargo and passengers. I travel with the aircraft to destinations all over the world, drive a multitude of specialist vehicles, operate certain aircraft systems and have gained the Civil Aviation’s Dangerous Goods Operator’s Certificate.
The Reserves is all about doing something different, for example: learning a new career that is directly linked to civilian roles, therefore improving your employment prospects; and the sense of achievement in knowing your efforts make a difference.
Since being in the Reserves I have become more proactive in my civilian role and not simply being reactive to situations, this is due to the ethos in the RAF of ‘just getting the job done’.
*Name changed to protect individual’s online profile.