Army Reserves winter Highland tour

If you've ever wondered who the Army Reserves are and what they do, Sgt Tommy Stewart has some facts, figures and further information about their next 'Look at Life' event on the 18th of January:

"Christmas is over, the days are short, grey and cold with nothing to look forward to until Easter time, or so you thought! The Army Reserves are in town offering you a wide variety of roles and jobs that can all be undertaken in your spare time, while at the same time helping you gain vital spare cash for your summer holidays.

Some of you may have heard the phrase “Voluntary Army Reservist”, but just who are the Army Reserves and what do they do? And how do they affect me? These are questions I will get to shortly, but first I must dispel some myths about the Army Reserves.

The Reserves is 100% voluntary organisation, with one big difference - it pays its members for any time they may volunteer to give. A typical Volunteer Reservist, once they've finished training, does 27 days a year.

The big myth busted - “once you join you will be sent on overseas operations.”  Nothing could be further from the truth. Going back to point one from above, the Reserves is a voluntary organisation where an individual, if they so wish, may be able to serve with their regular counterparts on an overseas deployment. Just ask our own Lt Col Crawford MacLellan.

Another myth - “it’s a boys own drinking club”.  Many years ago this might have been true, but not any longer. The Reserves are simply a group of men and women (females make up over 10% of the Reserves strength) who simply want a little more out of life, be that travel, adventure, a chance to do something they simply could not do in their normal 9 to 5 life, while at the same time being paid to do it. You don’t have to be Superman or Superwoman to pass the fitness tests either.

So who are the Army Reserves? The Army Reserves is the organisation that just over 10 years ago took over from the old Territorial Army (TA), a point many people still do not know.  The TA ,while fantastic in its day, was a unit in truth that was no longer fit for the 21st century. So while the TA and the Reserves may look similar to many people. there have been huge leaps and bounds made in the last number of years on how the Reserves goes about its day to day affairs.

FLEXABILITY is the key word, the Forces recognises that we all lead busy lives and free time is a very precious thing, but turning some of your free time can be a very rewarding experience, and we are not just talking money here. Learning new life skills like being paid to learn to drive is just one example. Making new friends and challenging yourself in ways you never dreamed of are just another couple of things the Reserves can give you.

Travel and adventure is still a big part of what the Reserves do. In 2017 alone, members from 7 SCOTS (the local Reserves for the Highlands and Islands) had members in the Far East (including Singapore and Hong Kong) Sweden, Cyprus, France, USA and Gibraltar, taking part in events like hockey, sailing, skiing and SUBA diving as well as other activities.

So if you want to see just how far the Reserves have come and how it can help you in becoming a better you, or if you simply want to know a little more about doing something positive with your spare time while earning some spare cash (you could earn over £4,000 in the first year alone), why not come along to the next Look at Life event been held at the Drill hall on Church Street Stornoway on Thursday the 18th of Jan at 6.15pm. You can also stop and speak to any member of the Reserves who will be walking about Stornoway or in Percival square during the daytime. If you need any more details Contact Sgt Tommy Stewart on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.."

Click here for directions and further contact details.