June 26th 2020


Chris MADDEN 2

Aircraftman Chris Madden marching at Pride London 2019

Armed Forces Day this year falls on the same day as London Pride, and indeed Global Pride, and both will be celebrated virtually. We spoke to RAF Reservist Chris Madden about what it meant to him to take part last year.

Aircraftman Chris Madden serves with the RAF Reserves as well as pursuing a full-time civilian role as a solicitor. To celebrate both Armed Forces Day and London Pride, we are shining a light on the unique skills of our Reservists.

We spoke to Chris about why he joined the Reserves and what it means to him.  Chris explained: “I joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) because I wanted to do something a bit different and learn a new skill set. I also wanted the opportunity to contribute to the RAF’s defence role. I have really enjoyed the training, which teaches you skills such as how to live in the field, weapons handling, and first aid. It’s very different from my day job of being a solicitor!

Chris Madden

Chris Madden, Solicitor

“It’s the people in the RAF make it a particularly enjoyable experience.  Reservists come from many different backgrounds and professions across the UK.  I have also been able to take part in a number of ceremonial events, including marching in the annual London Pride Parade. Hundreds of members of all three Services of the Armed Forces took part. It was an immense source of pride marching in ceremonial uniform, cheered on by over 1 million people,” Chris said.

Supportive employer signed the Armed Forces Covenant

Chris’s employer, Herbert Smith Freehills, has also signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant and allows him additional time off to complete his Reservist commitments.  Chris was recently mobilised to help support the NHS with the Covid 19 crisis:  “I had been keen to go on deployment with the RAF for a while, but I didn’t think the moment would arise so soon and in a time of national emergency. The training Reservists undergo is such that, in such times, we can be called upon to assist the nation doing whatever is required. It is a privilege to be able to put the training I have received to use. To be able to help out our brilliant country and its people in this hour of need is great.”

“I don’t view my career with the RAF Reserves as a ‘secondary’ job – for me, it is concurrent employment alongside, and equal to, my role as a solicitor.”

Learn more here about becoming a paid Reservist in your spare time.

“I don’t view my career with the RAF Reserves as a ‘secondary’ job – for me, it is concurrent employment alongside, and equal to, my role as a solicitor,” Chris Madden.