As part of Armed Forces Week, we're celebrating Reserves Day.
Reservists give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces, balancing their civilian life with a military career.
They are ready to serve as part of the military should they be needed.
The Reserve Forces are integral to protecting the nation’s security at home and overseas. They are currently supporting operations all over the world and, in particular, are providing capability in specialist areas such as medical and cyber.
Derbyshire Constabulary is proud to have a number of Reservists amongst its ranks and we want to thank them for their service and dedication to protecting not only people in Derbyshire, but also the country.
One of those is Mike Qualtrough, a Communications Infrastructure Specialist. Day to day, he works to look after the force’s telephone system and other communication devices. As a Reservist, he uses these skills to train teams and assist with overseas operations and natural events such as floods.
Mike has been with Derbyshire Constabulary for three years, but having previously had a 21-year-career in the army, he wanted to continue to give back so joined as a Reserve when he retired.
He said: “I felt like I had a lot left to give having had a lot of experience and knowledge from my time in the army – having served in the Falklands, Northern Ireland and Iraq to name a few.
“Joining the Reserves seemed the ideal opportunity to continue this when I left.
“The most important thing for me was that I could fit it around my job and my family life. You have your minimum requirement of 27 days a year, but you can do as much or as little aside from that as you can manage.
“I’m very lucky with Derbyshire Constabulary that they’re very supportive of anyone who is a Reservist. Between everyone it’s been great in terms of working out when training can be done and understanding when certain deployments are happening.
“The opportunities available within the Reserves are also amazing. You do two weeks of training every year and I got to spend some time in Cyprus teaching on the firing ranges. There’s something to suit everyone.
“You meet all sorts of people in the Reserves with it being separate to their full-time job. I’ve worked with doctors, academics, firefighters and other police officers to name a few. In fact, one of the officers I’ve worked with previously has been one of our soldiers.
“There’s also lots of different courses, driving, medical and otherwise, that people can benefit from and learn transferrable skills from by being a Reserve.”