News

April 18th 2015

MOTHER-OF-THREE ENCOURAGES OTHERS TO JOIN THE ROYAL NAVAL RESERVE

After walking away from a possible career in the Royal Navy two years ago, a mother-of-three from Lincolnshire is now living out her dream job by balancing being a Reservist and her family commitments.

Officer Cadet Victoria Rogers, aged 39, joined HMS Sherwood, the East Midlands’ only Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) unit, in April last year after realising she could make a ‘real difference’ by becoming a Reservist.

Victoria, who lives in Digby with her family and works as an Environmental Health Officer for a local council, said: “Originally, I had looked at going into the Royal Navy on a full-time basis but having such a young family at the time, I made the decision that it was too much to be away from them for long periods. As the time passed, I met more and more people who had been in the Navy or knew someone who had a career in the Forces and this just made my interest flourish further.

“At first I was a little dubious about joining the Reserves. I had an image in my mind of middle aged men playing at being soldiers, but I soon realised this couldn’t be further from the truth. I was really surprised how much the RNR do and the value that members of the RNR bring to the Royal Navy generally.

“I may not have joined the Royal Navy full time but I am certainly encouraged to do my bit on a part-time basis and really feel like a valued member of the team.  I would say to anyone looking for a new challenge to look into becoming a Reservist.  I feel amazing and at times 10 years younger – thanks to the activities and training I have undertaken.”

Having a busy civilian career carrying out food and health and safety inspections, as well as being a mum can be challenge in itself but Victoria has embraced the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people.

Victoria continued: “I’m extremely lucky to have a supportive family and a partner that has been great in helping look after the children when I have completed my training. Lots of people have said to me ‘how do you have time to be a Reserve’. For me it’s my night out. I love going to the unit, I’ve made lots of new friends and believe there is a true sense of camaraderie in the team.”

Newark and Sherwood District Council, Victoria’s civilian employer, are happy to support her in her duel role and they believe that being a Reservist has brought a new dimension to her work.

Alan Batty, Business Manager in Environmental Health, at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “Victoria has always had a positive attitude but since she joined the Royal Naval Reserve you can really see a difference in her work.  I think she now looks at things in very different ways and seeks solutions to problems out in the field rather than bringing them back to the office. I have also noticed that she is keen to ensure that her colleagues appreciate the need to work as a team to achieve more as a whole than as individuals.”

Since joining HMS Sherwood less than a year ago, Victoria has been busy completing her basic military and marine training weekends, and spent a weekend on the aviation training ship RFA Argus at the Bournemouth Air Show where she learned about living and working at sea and got to view the whole air show from the flight deck. She has also under gone leadership and team work training in Sussex and the Peak District, learned field survival skills and been abseiling.

She also received an award from her unit at Christmas for going ‘above and beyond’ in her Reservist role, something she describes as her ‘proudest moment to date’.

To find out more about joining HMS Sherwood call 07818 017825 or email navymr-sherwoodsm@mod.uk.