The British Army is giving Mansfielders a chance to chat to servicemen and women, and to experience a 36-degree virtual reality parachute jump as well as part of a recruitment drive.
Seven different Army Reserve units/corps will be involved in the recruitment drive in Mansield Market Place today and tomorrow July 15-16).
They are on hand to demonstrate a wide variety of paid opportunities to anyone seeking a challenge, adventure or training in their spare time with members of the 4 Mercian, 101 Military Working Dog Squadron, 162 Regiment RLC, 13 Air Assault Support Regiment and The Royal Yeomanry are on hand.
The drive is part of the british Army's new Reserve campaign 'A Better You' after it was discovered that over two thirds of potential applications between 18-35 were concerned by the personal sacrifice to the military, which may prevent them from signing up.
With high time commitments being a particular concern, the service said, there is a push to show that being an Army Reservist isn't such a commitment, with a minimum of 19 days a year, much of which is made up of short training evenings during the week.
The event will also give visitors an insight into some of the cutting edge technology and valuable equipment the Army uses every day. This includes virtual reality headsets powered by Oculus Rift to provide an amazing 360-degree experience of what it’s like to do an Army parachute jump, drive a Challenger battle tank and to take part in military exercises.
Major General John Crackett, Director Reserves, said: “Too many young people aren’t considering the Army Reserve because of false preconceptions: from thinking they don’t have enough time to be a reservist to believing that they will have to join for a long time and it’s difficult to leave when the reverse is true.
“The Army Reserve should be a top choice for all those wanting to make the most of their spare time. This event in Mansfield will help encourage young people to have open and honest conversations with current Reservists about their experiences, discuss any reservations and consider all that The Army Reserve has to offer.”
Local Sergeant Neil Orton, 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment, will be attending the event tomorrow and said: “I have been in the Army Reserves in Mansfield for 26 years now and I have loved every minute of it. The Reserves has allowed me to travel the world, on both exercise and operations, where I have made friends for life. The Reserves offers something for everyone, it is an amazing experience.”
Did you know, as an Army Reserve soldier:
· You have opportunities to travel overseas on exercises, sport and peacekeeping, from training in Kenya to supporting the UN in Cyprus.
· You can take up adventurous training from mountaineering in the Himalayas, to sky-diving in Florida
· You can earn an annual tax free bonus of up to £1,725 and could be eligible for a joining bonus of up to £2,300
· You will get paid for all the time that you spend training and your daily pay goes up every year and with each promotion
· You will be entitled to a non-contributory pension
· You will get one day of paid holiday for every 10 days in training
· You only need to commit to 19 days per year for national units and 27 days for regional units
· There are over 200 different roles on offer in the Army Reserve such as musicians, carpenters, chaplains, teachers, HR specialists, engineers, vets and dog handlers
· You can now gain an apprenticeship as an Army Reserve and the Army might even pay for you to get your LGV driving license, or to gain qualifications such as, City & Guilds qualifications.