January 5th 2015


Army Reservists have marked the first step in their military career by taking part in a pass off parade at Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, Grantham.

Proud family and friends braved the elements to watch the 74 reservists take part in the parade that marks the completion of their basic training.

The Commander of Land Forces, Lieutenant General James Rupert Everard CBE inspected the parade and presented a series of awards including the Best Recruit and Best Shot.

Addressing the parade, Lieutenant General Everard said: “It is a great honour for me to be here as you complete your Phase One training and become not just a part of the Army Reserve but the Army.

Commander Land Forces, Lieutenant General Rupert Everard CBE talks to recruitsCommander Land Forces, Lieutenant General Rupert Everard CBE talks to recruits“I am well aware that all of you with the drive and commitment that you have shown this far could have chosen to do many other things and I am personally delighted that you have chosen to join the Army Reserve. I genuinely believe that it is an organisation that gives as much as you put into it and deeply enriches the lives of those people who enjoy it and take part in it.

“You join at a very interesting time. I have met reservists in Kenya, Poland, Morocco, Canada the Ukraine and the list goes on. So for those of you who want to make use of your time in the Army Reserves to travel the world and see some of it, those opportunities genuinely exist. Everywhere I go the Reservists are enjoy the opportunities put to them and I hope you will find the same experience. I am delighted you have got this far and I really hope this is a platform for a long and rewarding career with the Army.”

The Reservists have competed their training in two stages. The first stage saw the soldiers complete six weekend courses before attending the residential course at the barracks.

The two-week course has taught the soldiers everything they need to know to fulfil their role within the Army Reserve including military terminology, drill, shooting,  physical fitness, weapon handling, first aid, field craft and map reading.

Commander Land Forces, Lieutenant General Rupert Everard CBE awards Rifleman Russell Williams, of 6 Rifles, with the best shot awardCommander Land Forces, Lieutenant General Rupert Everard CBE awards Rifleman Russell Williams, of 6 Rifles, with the best shot awardThe course is delivered by Army Training Regiment (Grantham) whose instructors have been specially selected and trained for their role. Their main task is to lead recruits through their training and assist them with passing all aspects of the course.  The Reservists will now return to their Regiments and begin their trade training.

The Army Reserve has a key role to play in our Nation’s security; offering soldiers plenty of challenge and adventure.

Reservists from the 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment are currently deployed as part of the UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus.  Working alongside their regular counterparts: the 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, the troops are patrolling the “Green Line”, the buffer zone that divides the north and the south.  The peacekeeping mission is one of the longest ever running United Nations missions. The British contribution to the United Nations Forces in Cyprus is known as Op TOSCA.

Reservists are also currently deployed in Sierra Leone where they are training healthcare workers and hygienists on how to protect themselves from the Ebola virus and how to prevent it in others.