Spotlight on Sgt Ross Murphy MBE

When did you join 4 LANCS?

I joined 4 LANCS in February 2007 because I had just spent the last 6 years in the Army Cadet Force. At the time my dad was in the Territorial Army. He took me over to see one of the Recruiting Sergeants one evening and I decided that when I was old enough, I would jump across. At the time, I was working for a small removal company whilst going through 6th Form; I wanted a new challenge and a little bit of extra money. I knew that I could get paid for something that I enjoyed doing. My long-term goal was to go to Sandhurst and become a Regular Officer, but the more I learned of the experiences and flexibility of the Army Reserve, the more it pushed me into other Army Reserve roles. In my time, I have served on various additional duty contracts, mobilisations and full-time reserve service contracts across a number of Units and Regiments. I am currently serving as one of the Regimental Sub Unit Support Officers within 4 LANCS.

What was the MBE awarded for?

It was awarded for various charity events and community engagement events that I have organised over the last 4 years. These Include Poppy Appeal fund raisers, charity walks and fundraisers for our local children’s Hospice, for help with our local Cadet Units in Cumbria and help in local schools, for setting up and for running free ‘LionFit’ fitness classes in the local area for members of the public, with the assistance of Physical Training Instructors from 4 LANCS. In particular, I have enjoyed being a part of the Poppy Appeal for the last 4 years. There are many amazing military charities out there, but I’ve witnessed first-hand what the teams behind the Poppy Appeal do for the military community. The money that they raise always means a great deal to the people that it helps and it always goes to the right places. The LionFit idea was brilliant to set up, we got to engage with people from the wider community and prove to them that you don’t need to be super fit to join the military. It was amazing that we could offer these classes free to members of the public. We witnessed the positive effect that these classes brought to our members whether that be mental or physical. I became emotionally invested in all the participants and once COVID hit, it meant we had to stop these events, everybody was so disheartened. I have since decided to set up my own company outside of the military and carry on with what we had started in 4 LANCS.

How has being in the Army Reserve changed your life?

Everybody’s experience is very different depending on how much time and effort you want to put into the Reserves. When I first started I certainly wasn’t the fittest guy in the Reserves, I just passed my fitness tests by a margin. However with the support from the Physical Trainers and other members, I worked on this and pushed myself because I wanted to get the best out of the Reserves. I gave myself a goal of completing a Physical Training Instructors course and I did this within two years of joining. The Reserves gave me the drive and the courage to push myself out of my comfort zone and complete something that I wouldn’t have done without the Army Reserves. I’ve always ‘gone in with two feet first’, so I found it very rewarding, both financially and professionally. I’m so glad I took the steps into joining the Reserves when I did and I didn’t wait. I’ve been very lucky in the last 14 years and I hope to stay here for many more years to come.

How has being a Reservist benefitted your civilian street career?

Joining the Army Reserve has helped me to strive in Civilian life as well as the Military. There are a lot of courses and skills that you can transfer into most of civilian life. I’ve completed a large range of courses over my 14 years of service that have helped me open up various civilian career paths. As a full-time Reservist, these will help massively when I feel it’s time to go part-time. These courses include: team management and qualifications for specific skills such as assault pioneer, close-protection, driving and education qualifications. The Army Reserve can largely enhance your CV as there are a lot of life skills that you can develop within the Military. These could be communication skills, teamwork and discipline. Having the Army Reserves on your CV will put you head and shoulders above the rest of the candidates in a job Interview.

If someone is considering becoming a Reservist, what would you say to them?  

I’d say go for it, you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain. If you can spare a minimum of 27 days a year to complete your Reserve commitment then you will fit in well in your local Reserve Unit. I’ve always seen 4 LANCS as a friendly, approachable unit who always have their soldiers’ best interests at heart. The opportunities they offer are huge. If you have the time then you can travel around the world and deploy on Operational Tours or Short-Term Training Teams. However if you don’t have the time then these will never be forced upon you, you get from the Reserves what you put in. 4 LANCS are spread right across the North West and there will be a unit very close to you, which you probably didn’t even know existed. Each Reserve Centre has a small team of recruiters and staff that are dedicated to your application and development, so I’d say research them online, give them a call or just visit them on their dedicated drill nights.

How did you feel upon receiving your MBE award?

When I received the phone call from the Brigade Commander I was overwhelmed with shock. It was something that I never expected. When you join, it’s something that you never believed you would get and especially at such a young age and low rank. When you go on parades at Remembrance etc., you see all the Officers with their MBEs, OBEs and awards and think they must have done amazing things to get them, so for me to be stood with the same medal as some of them is something quite extraordinary.

It will always make me proud to wear it and realise how far that I’ve come and I couldn’t of done it without the Army Reserve and The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment behind me.

Reserve Forces