Meet one of our Reservists, Andrew…
Andrew, based in South Wales, moved into safety engineering after a 22-year career in Regular Army, starting as a Craftsman Armourer and finishing as a Warrant Officer in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). He was then recruited as a Specialist REME Territorial, joining the REME Central Volunteer Headquarters.
Andrew is employed by the Army Reserve as an Artificer Weapons – a role that combines mid-level engineering management and being functionally skilled in the repair of small arms, machine guns and support weapons used by the Army. He is also able to repair artillery and tank guns when given appropriate technical information.
Currently, Andrew is part of 160 Field Company REME, a sub-Unit of 105 Battalion REME, based in South Wales. He parades weekly with his unit at the Army Reserve Centre in Cwmbran, which involves physical training, revising military skills, teaching trade skills or essential preparation for forthcoming training weekends – occasionally attending Command Conferences at the company headquarters in Bridgend.
Andrew has taken on the task of training new Armourers within the Army Reserve. This involves running a series of training weekends, aimed at teaching the repair aspects of a specific weapon systems. He is also qualified to run shooting ranges, so these weekends often include an opportunity for the students to fire the weapon that they have repaired.
“The Reserves enables me to ensure that the skills gained over many years are not wasted and I enjoy being able to pass them on. The role as a Reserve also crosses over into my job at General Dynamics UK, where I am able to use my weapon repair skills to maintain the weapons held by the Company for the AJAX programme, occasionally supporting firing trials. I am grateful for the support that General Dynamics UK gives to me as Reservist as much of what I do in the Reserve would not be possible without that support.”
A key part of a Reservist’s commitment is to deploy for two weeks on ‘annual continuous training’ (ACT) or ‘annual camp’. Over the last few years, Andrew has completed his ACT in a variety of roles, including working in an Armourers’ repair workshop clearing weapon faults, as the Brigade Artificer in an Armoured Brigade headquarters and a battle camp/range package that developed a wide spread of shooting skills, including night shoots, firing from vehicles and Close Quarter Marksmanship using a rifle and pistol simultaneously. This year, he is expecting to deploy in support of 165 Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps on their Battle Camp where he will be running shooting ranges and conducting repairs on any weapons that break.
We support service veterans seeking employment, as well as offering support to existing employees undertaking Reserve service with up to four weeks paid leave and cadet instructors with up to two weeks paid leave, to join the team, search and apply for roles here