Royal Military Police Reservist Case Study

My name is James Lynam, I’m 32 years old, live in Knutsford Cheshire and I am currently serving as a GPD (General Police Duties) JNCO with 2 Platoon (Manchester), 116 Provost Company Royal Military Police (HQ in Cannock). 116 Pro Coy is sub unit of 1 Royal Military Police Regiment, a hybrid regular regiment made up of regular and reserve units from England and Scotland.

Reservist career and training

I train two to three Tuesday evenings a month with my platoon in Manchester which provides focussed training to meet our training objectives and regular PT sessions to support a soldier first approach. Alongside this I will attend at least one training weekend a month, these are a combination of events which will either be focussed training to develop Policing and Soldier skills or may be military skills events or sporting competitions. To fulfil our commitment to each year we need to attend 27 training days per year of which week night evenings contribute towards.

I started my reserve career in 2016 which involved a series of interviews and preparation lessons with my platoon recruitment team in preparation for starting my training early in 2017. The training took myself approximately one year to complete which was made up of phase 1 training at Army Training Unit Grantham (soldier focussed basic training) and then phase two at the Defence School of Policing and Guarding (DSPG) at Southwick Park. Phase one is made up of either four weekends or a week course plus a two week continual training course and Phase two is made up of a two week course.

I’ve always had an interest in the Army from my time as a cadet when I was younger, this led me to apply for the regular Army when I was 18 but unfortunately for medical reasons I had to wait two years to re-apply. In this time my professional career picked up, life moved on and unfortunately the military became a memory with the reserves never really being on my radar (all or nothing approach). This all changed when I met a friend I hadn’t seen for a while who told me he had recently joined 116 Pro Coy and was undergoing training, he told me about the commitment requirements, training and opportunities which I thought sounded fantastic and subsequently started my training within a few months. What particularly attracted me to a role within the RMP over other units was the variety of training available, due to our role within the Army one day we can be training for policing duties and the next developing our soldier skills to support the field Army in Provost Operations. Alongside this there are numerous adventure training packages and career courses available.

I am yet to mobilise but am planning to within the coming years. That said within my unit there are regular opportunities to deploy on operations or supporting the regular Army with training activities, In recent years 116 have sent soldiers to Afghanistan, Cyprus (UN Peacekeeping mission) and the Falklands on operations and USA, Canada and Malawi on training or providing training to partner nations. As well we have supported with numerous close protection tours (an RMP specialism). 

Reserve highlights

There are many highlights for myself within the reserves, the main one for myself is being able to realise my ambition of being in the Army, marching onto the parade square in front of your family on your pass out parade after two weeks of intense initial training is a very proud moment. Whilst our training is much shorter than our regular counterparts, the professionalism and commitment of my fellow reserves to the Army alongside busy personal and professional lives is staggering. Other highlights include the seemingly limitless training and development and opportunities that is available, in my time I’ve trained at training areas across the country in multiple disciplines and whilst using a variety of weapon systems from the police baton, to Glock 17, SA80 and general purpose machine gun. In the coming year I aim to continue to develop my leadership qualities to pass the regular armies promotion course to corporal and push myself physically to attempt the P-Company pre-selection course. It must also be said that the quality and character of people within the units is fantastic.

I would recommend the Reserve forces to anyone with the drive and ambition to do so, the levels of discipline and standards expected of a reservist is no different from our regular counterparts so if you don’t like being told what to do its maybe not for you. However, whether you’re young and looking to taste military life before transferring to regular service or slightly older like myself and regular Army life would not work alongside your home life and commitments then there’s a role for you whether it be policing, infantry, engineering, signals, logistics, musician the list is endless and no matter what discipline you choose there are courses and qualifications within that branch to suit every individuals personal qualities. Did I mention you get paid for all these fantastic experiences!

Civvy street life

Day to day, I’m an engineer for Bentley Motors in Crewe working within their Quality Planning team where my key role is to ensure that the models are optimised to the highest standards taking lessons learnt from predecessor analysis and customer feedback. Like a lot of companies my employer has a policy to support my training within the reserve forces, in particular they allow two weeks additional leave per year for training of which one week is paid (the Army pay you for all training, so it balances out). My managers have always appreciated the personal commitment it takes to be a reservist and have always been flexible to my leave requests (business commitments dependant), when your colleagues are ‘downing tools’ on a Friday and opening a beer you’re packing your kit, putting your boots on and getting ready to spend the weekend away from your family on a training exercise. In the same way the Army have always been understanding that we have families and work commitments.

I struggle to pick a specific area where the Reserves have benefitted my civilian career however, I would say that the Army has taught me to be more self-confident and to speak out when something is wrong but. The Army live by a set of values of standards, Courage, Discipline, Respect, Integrity, Loyalty and Selfless Commitment. A set of values that any employer would love to know all their employees live by.

Exemplo Ducemus / By Example Shall We Lead (RMP Motto)

Reserve Forces