35 soldiers from Tidworth-based 104 Field Support Battalion REME are taking on a unique road trip this week which will see them ride hundreds of miles on their motorbikes â€“ stop at some of the UKâ€™s highest mountains, climb them on foot and get back on their bikes again.
It is all to increase motorbike safety awareness, raise money for two forces charities, as well as marking Armed Forces Day.
The team will be on their bikes around five hours each day, before climbing the summits of Scarfell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon.
Members of the Reserve Forces are today swapping their civilian clothes for military uniforms to celebrate ‘Wear Your Uniform To Work Day’, which highlights the crucial role played by Reservists in our country’s Armed Forces. There are some 38,000 Reservists in the UK Armed Forces and they have been deployed around 24,000 times since 2003 on operations around the globe, including Afghanistan and in support of the NATO mission in Libya.
Uniform to Work Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the role of the Reserves and to remind the public the Armed Forces are made up of people from all sections of the community, from office workers to taxi drivers.
Three London-based Reservists shown here cycling to work are Able Seaman Richie Wilkinson (Royal Navy Reserve) a Studio Manager for ITV who also serves as a Communication Warfare Technician at HMS President, Lance Corporal Mark Herbage (Territorial army) who is employed by the Royal British Legion in addition to being a Signaller in the Honourable Artillery Company and Flight Lieutenant James Morris (Royal Auxiliary Air Force) a Civil Servant working in the Department for International Development and a Royal Air Force Police Officer at No.3 Police Squadron, RAF Henlow.
Service Chiefs of Staff lent their support to Uniform to Work Day by joining Reservists who were wearing their uniform to work and hopping on public transport to the Ministry of Defence.
Army Chief General Sir Peter Wall met Lance Corporal Vergottini, a tube driver on the Northern Line. LCpl Vergottini spent six months in Afghanistan last year as part of the Counter-IED (Improvised Explosive Device) Task Force, providing infantry support for the specialist C-IED operators. LCpl Vergottini said:
“I’m proud of being part of the TA and all that I’ve achieved there and today is an opportunity for me to show the public that, behind my usual work clothes, I also serve my country. I completed a tour of Afghanistan last year, but most of the time I look like any other civilian. The support we get from the public and our employers on Uniform to Work Day is a huge boost to morale for me and my fellow TA soldiers.”
Britain’s largest forces recruitment organisation, which finds civilian jobs for ex-military personnel, has chosen Cannock for its new Birmingham North office – and wants to hear from local companies throughout the West Midlands wanting staff.
Forces Recruitment Services says they chose Cannock because the town and area is booming, while businesses throughout the region north of Birmingham are looking for well trained and disciplined workers who are reliable and trustworthy. Regional Director Stewart Stirling, based at Orbital Plaza in Bridgtown, Cannock, said: “Companies are becoming discerning and don’t want to make wrong decisions when it comes to taking on new staff. They know the standards that the armed forces set and maintain.” Forces Recruitment Services says it is now looking for companies that need staff. “We have a vast network of offices that can quickly identify potential staff for a variety of jobs, from administration up to skilled engineers, technicians and senior managers,” said Stewart, a former Royal Logistics Corps Warrant Officer. He added: “Forces Recruitment Services is the original British ex-military recruitment consultancy specialising in finding jobs for UK armed forces personnel. Our track record as demob specialists in assisting former military personnel is an impressive one and we’re here to help companies throughout the region.”