This week the UK comes together to pay tribute to the Armed Forces. Civilians, employers, families and military units gather together to express their gratitude for the contributions and sacrifices these selfless individuals make on our behalf. Today we give thanks to the Reserve Forces. Sharing a civilian and military career can be difficult, but many reservists talk proudly of how being a reservist had enriched their lives and developed their careers.
Reserve Forces have two clearly defined roles. Firstly, they provide highly trained soldiers who can work alongside the Regulars on missions in the UK and overseas. Secondly, they give people who have specialist skills, like medics and engineers, a range of exciting opportunities to use them in new ways. More than 32,000 Reservists are committing their spare time, balancing their day jobs and family life with a military career, to be ready to serve should their country need them (East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association).
Dr. Myszka Guzowska is a Colonel and Part-time in Reserve Army as well as an ambassador for OnBoarding Officers. Myszka is widely experienced in senior executive and non-executive leadership across academic, military and related fields. Most recently Myszka was Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University and also Assistant Director and Commander of the University Officer Training Corps at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, having served in the Reserve (formerly Territorial) Army since joining the UOTC at Oxford. Describing the important and he own experience having served in the Reserves for over 40 years, Myszka said:
“The Reserve Forces can be mobilised in their primary military roles in the event of a political crisis but also to assist in peacetime emergencies such as flooding. Reservists have two parallel occupations: their main one in the civilian sector and the other in a military role. As Reservists they train regularly to meet the same military standards as are expected of Regular soldiers so that they can be deployed as an integral part of the Armed forces on warlike operations. Also, just like the Regulars, they can be mobilised to aid the civil power in times of local emergencies such as storms and flooding. At times like this their civilian skills are often able to provide added value bringing additional expertise, skills and innovative thinking to augment the Armed Forces’ support to the civil authorities.
In my case, I have run my civilian career in parallel with my Reserve career for 40 years and I can honestly say that there has been a mutual synergy between the two pathways. What I have learned in one environment has been transferable to the other throughout, allowing me to progress at a much faster rate than if I had followed a single pathway. Moreover, the diversity of experiences has kept me fresh and tuned to what is going on in different environments on an ongoing basis.”