May 9th 2013

Exchanging Reservists home and aboard

A female Reservist from Wigston Harcourt in Leicester is going to be swapping places with a colleague in the United States (US) as part of a military exchange programme.

Corporal Rebecca Smailus, aged 32 years, from 222 Medical Squadron, based at Brentwood Road Army Reserve Centre in Leicester is set to travel to Camp Rapid in South Dakota (Joint Forces HQ) to take part in a US Army annual camp.

Miss Smailus, who works as a Registered Nurse at Leicester Royal Infirmary in her civilian life, will be in America for two weeks in which time she will take part in activities including adventure training, medical exercises and training related to her military role in the Medical Squadron.

Rebecca joined the Army Reserve around two years ago after completing six years regular service in the British Army where she took part in operational tours of Kosovo and Northern Ireland.

As Miss Smailus travels to America – Staff Sargent Caren Evangelista will travel from Guam in Hawaii, where her parent unit is based, to Halton in Lancashire where our local 222 Medical Squadron will be taking part in their 2013 annual camp.

Corporal Smailus said: “I feel privileged to represent my Country, the Army, Nursing and the Leicester Royal Infirmary Emergency Department where I work as a civilian. I am elated to go to the USA and become part of an American unit to see and learn from them within the field environment.

“I’m going to be traveling to America in June so it’s not long now really. The exchange programme has been happening for many years and I feel honoured to have been chosen to take part. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Reserve Forces work in-practise in the US and hope to bring some learning back home to share with my fellow colleagues in Leicestershire.”

The City of Nottingham will be hosting this year’s Armed Forces Day national event.  Festivities on Saturday 29 June will include a spectacular tri-service parade and Drumhead Service in the Old Market Square. Celebrations will continue in the afternoon at the Victoria Embankment where there will be military displays.