STUDENTS from colleges across South Wales will be among those attending when the Sully-based Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) opens its doors to the public on Thursday, February 12.
The ‘RNR Live’ open day at HMS Cambria in Sully is part of a campaign to encourage more people to think about becoming a Reservist in their spare time and achieve skills that also benefit them in everyday life.
More than 2,300 men and women currently serve as Reservists in the Royal Navy alongside their normal day job and most have no previous military experience when joining.
The open day on February 12 gives people the opportunity to find out more about life in RNR by meeting serving Reservists and taking part in physical and mental challenges and activities involving practical leadership, basic weapon skills, sea survival and damage control.
They will also visit a naval vessel based nearby and have the opportunity to use weapons and other equipment.
Twenty-four-year-old Benjamin Adams from Pontypridd works as a lifeguard at Rhondda Fach Sports Centre in Tylorstown. He joined the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) in 2011. Benjamin said:
“There are so many great opportunities available in the Royal Naval Reserve. You get to keep fit, really enhance your skills and employability and also have a great social life. Being a reservist certainly gives you some beneficial items to add you your CV and I would recommend it to anyone, especially if you are struggling to start a career."
He added: “I really enjoyed the ten weeks basic training and relish our regular adventure training weekends when we get to do things like climbing mountains, such as Snowdon and Pen-y-Fan. I also get real pleasure from taking part in parades and public events. In 2012 I was proud to be one of the guard of honour that escorted the Six Nations trophy to the Millennium Stadium where Wales defended their title.
Reservists normally commit to the equivalent of 24 days a year for training, which takes place mainly during the evenings and at weekends. Reservists are paid for their time, with pay increases with seniority. However, new recruits can easily earn over a thousand pounds a year, in addition to a yearly tax-free bounty which ranges from £400 to £1,600 depending on the length of service, money that can make a real difference.
The initial training to become a Reservist takes place one night a week or at weekends for the first 20 weeks, followed by a two-week residential course at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall which includes an overnight exercise on Dartmoor. New recruits will then be given training for a specific role, ranging from logistics to submarine operations.
The RNR Live open day will take place at HMS Cambria, Hayes Lane, Sully near Barry on Thursday, February 12,between 10am and 2.30pm. For more details please visit: www.royalnavy.mod.uk/navyreserves
You can join the conversation on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/HMS-CAMBRIA/133519303350070