Seeing life with new eyes in RAF

EVER wondered what your colleagues get up to at the weekend? Sports, cinema, a night on the tiles? How about serving their country as part of the RAF reserve?

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 7th July 2012, 8:00 am

Gainsborough-based RAF Reservist, senior aircraftsman Michael Smith, has joined thousands of his fellow reservists by wearing his military uniform to work.

His civilian role is as production supervisor at Ping Europe in Gainsborough.

But he spends lots of his spare time with 2503 Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force regiment.

Wear Your Uniform to Work Day was the perfect chance to raise awareness of his role and others in the reserved forces.

“I decided to join as a reserve four years ago because I wanted to learn new skill and become part of a bigger team,” said Michael, 35.

“Being a reservist fits in very well with my 9 to 5 working life at Ping Europe, and because the training is on evenings and weekends it doesn’t interfere with work or family life.”

There are around 38,000 military reservists across the UK, who have been involved in more than 24,000 deployments at home and across the world over the last ten years.

Reservists spend most of their time in normal civilian roles. But they can be called on for service and deployed to different parts of the world.

Michael has travelled all over the UK and Germany and met lots of interesting people. “I’ve had experiences and adventures that I never thought I’d have – all through my role as a reserve,” he said.

“Reservists play a huge role in the country’s defence and the war on terrorism, deploying soldiers on operations across the world.”

“We often have different life skills due to our civilian roles, which I believe can be of help to military life.”

Ping, Michael’s employer, is also very supportive - allowing him time off for military activities. For more information on joining the RAF Reserves visit