Reserves Day: Tax Specialist and part-time Soldier from Manchester


Today is Reserves Day, and employers across the country are celebrating the valuable contribution many of their employees make as Reservists with the Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve, Army Reserve and Royal Auxiliary Air Force.mcvickerorringe-02

Sebastian McVicker-Orringe, aged 29 and living in Manchester, is on the Tax Specialist programme with HM Revenue and Customs. He is also a Second Lieutenant and Section Commander with Manchester-based Army Reserve unit 6 Military Intelligence Battalion (6MI).

Intelligence Corps Operators collect information, evaluate, analyse and interpret it to help make better military decisions. Recruits to 6MI could find themselves doing anything from piecing together bits of information provided by other agencies to analysing bomb craters.

Sebastian has been an Army Reservist for almost exactly one year. He decided to get involved after seeing an article on HMRC’s intranet.

Sebastian said: “I’d always wanted to do something with the Army as there’s a long line of service behind me. Passing my trade training as an intelligence officer was a massive achievement as it’s a really tough course. The training is what keeps me attending every week – it’s really thorough, from analytical techniques to physical exercise, and always enjoyable.”

Sebastian is well supported by his employer, HMRC, who recognise the benefits Reservists bring to the workplace. HMRC has a Reserves policy allowing Reservists 15 days extra paid annual leave for their training commitments. The policy is supported by a full time Reserve Champion and nationwide advocates who support both the Reservists and their managers.

Sebastian’s manager, Chris Barker, said: “The Armed Forces are well known for providing great training, and in the Reserve Forces there are plenty of opportunities. On a basic level, Reservists I’ve talked to have an immense amount of pride in what they do and that enthusiasm carries across into their day job.

“Other transferable skills include presentational, analytical and leadership skills. As part of his officer training at Sandhurst, Sebastian attained a level 5 certificate in Leadership and Management from the Chartered Management Institute. As a Section Commander he currently has management and leadership responsibility for around 15 individuals. As a future leader in HMRC this is a great qualification to have, and invaluable experience.”

Sebastian said: “Thanks to my Reserve service I’m definitely a lot more confident as an individual. Army training pushes you to the limit and teaches you to perform tasks to a high standard. My duties with the Army are also giving me a wealth of management experience which can be directly applied to my future role in HMRC. I’m also a lot fitter, healthier, more fulfilled and happy. Who wouldn’t want an employee in that frame of mind?”

6MI was set up under the Army 2020 plan, which will ensure Army Reservists play a greater role in Defence. The 300-strong battalion has its headquarters and a Company of around 90 soldiers in Manchester, as well as detachments in Stourbridge, Lisburn and Bletchley.

Reserve Forces