January 26th 2015


The Minister for Reserves, Julian Brazier, has inspected the next generation of Army Reserves at their Passing Out parade at the Army Training Regiment (ATR) Prince William of Gloucester Barracks.

31 soldiers marched onto the parade square in front of family and friends having completed their basic training.

The reservists have completed their training in two stages. The first stage saw the soldiers’ complete six weekend courses before attending the two-week residential course at the barracks.

The 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.

MP Julian Brazier inspected the parade and presented a series of awards including the Champion Soldier, Best Shot and Champion Section.

Addressing the soldiers he said: “This country needs Reserve Forces. It needs Reserve Forces because whilst we have the best and the most professional regular forces if we ever face major crises we need to be able to expand them, to provide something larger to cope with whatever that is around the corner.

“And you through giving of your time and sometimes cutting into your civilian employment and your family time,  because you make that very special commitment each of you has the right to call yourselves what Winston Churchill use to describe as ‘twice a citizen’. He was of course a long serving member of what we then called the Territorial Army, the Army Reserves as it now is.”

Julian Brazer, Minister for Reserves at Prince William of Gloucester BarracksJulian Brazer, Minister for Reserves at Prince William of Gloucester Barracks22 Reservists are 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. 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. A platoon of soldiers from 3 PWRR will also shortly deploy to Afghanistan with the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment.

A former reservist himself the Minister continued: “I envy you, my time as a Territorial was for me the best experiences of my life. Many of my best friends were made doing exactly the sort of things that you’ve been doing over the past fortnight; getting wet and cold and miserable with other people, people who you build up bonds of comradeship with. And in your units you will be doing more and more of that.”

He concluded by congratulating all the soldiers and thanking the soldiers, their families and the military trainers.

The 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.