As part of Armed Forces Week, we are talking the opportunity to recognise and appreciate the integral part that Reservists play in the UK’s Defence capability.
More than 3,000 Reservists across the East Midlands commit their spare time, balance their day jobs and family life for a career in the military, ready to serve should their country need them.
Some of those work here in Derbyshire Constabulary and today (Wednesday, 23 June) we are going to take this opportunity to take a closer look at two of them and the work they do to keep us all safe.
Trevor Steed is a Police Sergeant based in Chesterfield.
He is also an active reservist, visiting 14 countries for short term deployments and mobilising long-term, twice to Afghanistan; in 2007 as a liaison officer between an American Special Forces unit and the multi-national HQ in Kandahar, then again in 2012 as a Battlegroup Intelligence Officer in the Nad-e-Ali region of Helmand.
He started his reserve career as a private soldier in the Royal Welch Fusiliers over 20 years ago, however in 2013 was asked to raise a new Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) squadron in north Wales and thus commanded 398 Sqn (Flintshire & Denbighshire Yeomanry) as a Major.
He is soon due to receive promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, assuming command of 156 Regiment RLC, a unit of around 500 regular and reserve soldiers with squadrons based throughout Merseyside, Manchester and Lancaster.
Trevor said: "There remain numerous preconceptions of what reservists actually are, in my experience many people associate the Reserves with ‘Dad’s Army’.
"In reality, it is a strategic and operational resource that augments the regular force both in time of conflict, such as Afghanistan when 10% of deployed UK forces were reservists, and in peacetime as seen during the ongoing pandemic when the Regular Covid Support Force was enhanced with 2,000 mobilised reservists”
Chris Buckland has been an officer in Derbyshire Constabulary for 16 years now, spending the majority of his career on South Division between Ilkeston and Derby city.
He has also been a member of the reserve forces for some 17 years, currently serving as a detachment Officer Commanding (OC) within the Royal Marine Reserves based in Nottingham, holding the rank of major.
In 2013/14, he was deployed to Afghanistan as part of a task force working towards reducing threats posed by insurgents to the country. Then in 2019/20 was deployed to Iraq to work as part of a coalition team working to re-build and strengthen the Iraqi military and police service. This was so that they can better combat the threats posed by ISIS and prevent the exportation of threats which could threaten our own way of life within the UK.
Chris explains: “I absolutely love my job and feel fortunate to work with people who share my drive and enthusiasm for tackling criminality.
“The two roles of police officer and military officer complement each other well and I often find myself drawing on skills gained from the military to assist myself with policing and vice versa.
“The opportunities to train alongside my regular counterparts are plentiful and I am able to regularly develop myself through attendance on exercises and courses.
“I generally love the outdoors and any form of fitness, adventure or activity so training as a Commando was something which appealed to me.
“Derbyshire Constabulary have been incredibly supportive of my service and enable me to train and deliver an output to both my community and country”.
We would like to thank Trevor, Chris and all the other reservists in Derbyshire Constabulary for their service to the force and the Armed Forces.